Man tricks woman into taking pills to abort fetus. What should he be charged with?

Story here.

Apparently Florida has no “Injury to a fetus” type statute or I assume that he would have been charged with something like that.

The abortion parallels are obvious. Should it become murder because the victim wanted to have the child? How do her desires factor into your answer?

I don’t know what I think the answer is but “tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud” are just laughable IMO.

Knowingly giving someone Rx medication that has not been prescribed to them by switching the medication seems like a big no-no. If I read the above correctly that is what he is charged with, and that’s up to 15 yrs, but since it was a drug, as opposed to a guitar, it would seem like it should be more serious and in it’s own category.

Interesting that the initial charge was murder, since they have no injury/death to fetus status, and he pleaded it down. This would tend to indicate that in this case the fetus would be considered a person and needed no such ‘injury to fetus’ law and could go directly for murder.

The other aspect, morally & perhaps civilly, is we have given the woman the sole right to choice, which he removed from her. What is the difference here if she was given this pill for the abortion or drugged and forced to undergo a surgical abortion? Are not both a form of practicing medicine w/o a license nor consent?

Aggravated assault?

“Welden was a doctor’s son working toward a degree in biomedical sciences and religion.”

What a fine researcher or theologian he would have made…

The article implies that the fetus was pretty young at the time so I don’t think murder is even morally applicable.

But I agree that he is a poisoner, considering that secretly an abortifacient into a body without medical oversight involves a greater risk for complications that if it had been vetted as appropriate. But I suspect that he will get a sentence more along the lines of the maximum possible sentence of 15 years. I also suspect that’s why they charged him with mail fraud, which can carry a hefty sentence even if doesn’t carry the moral weight of poisoning.

Even if there’s no complications or risk of complications, it’s poisoning. Pregnancy is a natural bodily process; drugging somebody (without their consent) to prevent their body from working in any respect is poisoning; this is no different from drugging her to render her unconscious, or drugging her to impair her physical performance in a race.

Yes, but the end result of the poisoning is usually what you’re charged with. Did you drug that person to sexually assault them? Well, that’s a rape charge. Try to kill them with poison? That’s attempted murder.

“Poisoning” isn’t something that is on the law books in most places because the intent is generally where you find the statute.

In this case, though, I’d probably go with the aggravated assault charge.

Agreed. The precise charge is going to depend on the terms of the criminal statutes in the jurisdiction concerned, but “assault resulting in serious injury” is the guts of the charge. The “serious injury” would be the miscarriage. There are some jurisdictions where adminstering a poison is a distinct offence from assault.

In addition to assault, what about section 797.03?

Yeah, I’d say that’s a problem…

In Iowa, if a fetus of any age dies as a result of the commission of a crime, the perpetrator can be charged with, and convicted of, “nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy”.

My biggest problem with this story is the idea that it isn’t murder if a woman aborts a fetus*, but it is if a man does. That strikes me as a big ol’ double standard. “Aggravated assault” sounds a lot more appropriate for the legal charge in a case like this than murder.

*Which I don’t believe it is.

The guy who did this originally was reported to say, when he found out she was pregnant, this will ruin my life, too bad he had to ruin more lives on his way to making his statement come true.

The best defense I’ve heard to this is the woman gets to decide and grant the personhood status until the baby arrives, after delivery the child gets it automatically. I’m not saying it’s a good defense, just the best one so far.

It does have some merit as well, as the child has not emerged into our world yet, so does not exist in our world, yet does exist inside his/her own world, the mother, so she gets to decide what that is. Once in our world the situation changed.

Are you under the impression that a woman who tricks another woman into taking a drug that causes miscarriage would not be charged with anything? Are you under the impression that men never work as abortion providers?

He’s not in jail because of his gender.

I think the issue is not that a ‘man’ does it, but the child’s father, and his rights and say is not equal to that of the mother.

I really don’t grasp why this isn’t aggravated assault.

In most jurisdictions it is also specifically a crime to poison or drug someone.

It should be its own crime, somewhere in seriousness between aggravated assault and murder but the situation is sufficiently special to warrant a category unto itself.

Just as a pregnant woman is the person who should have authority to abort, because she’s closest to the situation, she is the injured party of a crime of great seriousness when someone else forces her to abort. It should be HER decision and it should be highly illegal to interfere with that in EITHER direction.

No - the point is that it’s a crime to secretly give a person a drug that causes uterine bleeding and miscarriages.

Is this a legal definition? If so, it seems pretty broad. Sneezing is a natural body process too but if someone were tricked into taking a Benadryl, I wouldn’t call it poisoning.

Oh, you’re one of those who thinks a man should be able to refuse his responsibility for a pregnancy–since a woman can (usually) choose to abort. Great, let all the guys who dislike engaging in safe sex have an easy out…

Sounds like aggravated assault, at least.