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Thread: Abortion/manslaughter

  1. #1

    Default Abortion/manslaughter

    Putting aside what anyone thinks about abortion, let me know what you all think about this.

    Abortion is legal. So, a woman can decide to have an abortion with or without the concent of the father. It just happens to be the law no matter what your views are. So, the courts are saying that a person isn't a person until it's born. That is apparent with abortion being legal. So, since it isn't a person, a doctor isn't a murderer for performing an abortion. That is what the law says and that is what we all have to realize before this debate can go any further. I would like to read what you all think about this situation that I just heard about on the radio. Legally, not emotionally, how can this happen?

    A pregnant, drunk, girl was driving her car. She got into a wreck and survived, but her (child, fetus, whatever you call it) did not. She was charged with vehicular homicide for the death of that the unborn child.

    Couldn't she have an argument here?

  2. #2
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    I agree. It is definitely a contradiction to say that to destroy a fetus on purpose is legal, but to destroy it through a negligent act is a crime. Perhaps in this case, the pregnancy was in the final weeks or days when an abortion would not have been allowed. More likely, the prosecutor is trying to make a point regarding his personal opinion on abortion.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator UGLY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    I might be wrong but I believe it is illegal to perform an abortion at home on your own. I think while abortion is legal it has to be done in a certain manner, so that might be a loop hle here. Spider could be right and the act took place in the third trimester of the pregnancy which is a time when it is illegal to have an abortion. Spider could also be correct in assuming this is a political statement but it could be about drunk driving for the prosecutor as it is abortion. I think it all comes down to the first two issues I stated and Spider theorized. Is a home abortion illegal and how far along was the pregnancy.

    One other issue that Spider brought up, that this act was negligent. I dont think driving drunk is negligent it is purposeful so that might create a hinge point for a jury.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    I'm not sure what trimester she was in. I didn't know that mattered because I've heard of doctors performing abortions in the third trimester. I think the last abortion doctor that was gunned down (I think in a Kansas church) did these types of abortions. I'm not positive on that, though. I've never heard of a case like this one, though. Would a ruling on this one way or the other set a precedent?

    I don't know about anyone else, but if I was this girl I'd fight this as hard as I could. Vehicular homicide has prison time, DUI just has a fine and 3 days in the county jail or a rehab facility.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    This issue has other even more salient examples involving murdering a women who was pregnant. I think the issue of double homicide would depend on the specific state's laws. Viable fetus vs. unviable fetus is an issue in homicides to my understanding (and is dependent on a state's laws' wording).

    So in the case above, if the fetus was "viable" as addressed (and defined) under state law, then she wouldn't have an "abortion" defense to argue, any more than Scott Peterson did in the death of Laci's unborn child. I know some want "viable fetus" changed to "unborn child", which would extend culpability to any fetus regardless of length of pregnancy. Pro-choicers oppose such changes.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    I don't see this is as the prosecutor making a political statement at all. He may well be in favor of abortion and is simply following his state's customary practices in such situations. I'm be amazed if this hasn't happened before elsewhere.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    What Spider said. The specific abortion laws where the woman lives might well be the issue, but it does seem like a contradiction.

    Related question: can you be charged for harming your fetus in other ways? Drug or alcohol abuse while pregnant can pretty much screw over your child for life (as in, serious brain damage) but as far as I know people aren't criminally charged for that.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    This is, indeed, a tricky one. Does anyone know of any precedent for something like this, whether it be state or federal?

  9. #9
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Abortion/manslaughter

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post

    Related question: can you be charged for harming your fetus in other ways? Drug or alcohol abuse while pregnant can pretty much screw over your child for life (as in, serious brain damage) but as far as I know people aren't criminally charged for that.
    Excellent points. And if the fetus was a person with all the associated rights and protections, was there a funeral for him/her/it?

    Regarding Ugly's comment about negligence, I didn't mean to imply that drunk driving doesn't carry responsibility, only that she was negligent by putting herself and the fetus in danger. She didn't intentionally harm the fetus. Splitting hairs perhaps, but at any rate I agree that she is totally responsible for the consequences of her actions.
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