Thursday, April 09, 2009

Body of Law

Bill Lets Moms-To-Be Kill To Save Baby
Measure Would Authorize Deadly Force If Unborn Child's Life At Risk

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A bill in the Oklahoma Legislature would allow pregnant women to use deadly force in order to save the lives of their babies.

The bill stems from a Michigan case where a woman who was carrying quadruplets stabbed and killed her boyfriend after he hit her in the stomach. The woman lost the babies and was convicted of manslaughter.
Sounds like, no pun intended, a miscarriage of justice. But to me the article just seemed a bit odd, and why would Oklahoma care about a case in Michigan?

The OK lawmakers make a new law about something that happened in Michigan in 1999 while "Oklahoma has also had a law covering the murder of unborn babies since 2005"? So I decided to do a bit of research.

And surprisingly, it turns out not to be true! The Michigan court and the appellate court both found that:
Months before trial, defendant moved for permission to present testimony and to argue that she killed Pena in defense of her unborn children. The trial court concluded that one could assert the defense of others theory if claiming that deadly force had to be used to protect a fetus or embryo.

The court signed an order stating that “Defendant’s Motion to Allow Defense of Defendant’s Unborn Child as a Theory of Defense is hereby granted.
And the appellate found that
We conclude that in this state, the defense should also extend to the protection of a fetus, viable or nonviable, from an assault against the mother, and we base this conclusion primarily onthe fetal protection act adopted by the Legislature in 1998. See MCL 750.90a et seq.
But lets take a closer look at the Oklahoman's law:
The group Americans United for Life came to state lawmakers and asked for the bill that Thompson co-authored. It's called the Use of Force For the Protection of the Unborn Act.

"You have the right to use lethal force, if needed, to protect your unborn baby," he said.

Oklahoma already has a law allowing a person to use force to protect himself or another person from someone else. The new bill includes an unborn child as "another" person.
[...]
"It is good to see legislators educating themselves on this issue," [YWCA's Josh Beasley] said. "Domestic violence is the second-leading cause of death among (pregnant) women nationwide, so it's good they are taking the issue seriously and wanting to do something about it."
But that's a lie. "CDC homicide data indicate that from 1995 through 1999, homicide was the second leading cause of death for women aged 15 to 24, after accidents." And more from the same GAO report:
There is no current national estimate of the prevalence of violence against pregnant women. Estimates that are currently available cannot be generalized or projected to all pregnant women. CDC’s PRAMS develops statewide estimates of the prevalence of violence for women whose pregnancies resulted in live births; 1998 estimates for 15 participating states ranged from 2.4 percent to 6.6 percent. Research on whether women are at increased risk for violence during pregnancy is inconclusive.

However, CDC reported that study findings suggest that, for most abused women, physical violence does not seem to be initiated or to increase during pregnancy.
This is obviously a backdoor approach to declare a fetus a child and overturn a woman's right to choose.



Cross posted at VidiotSpeak