Pro-abortion pundits and organizations talk about choice, but often abortion is forced upon women, or they are coerced into it, and not just in China. Other force people to choose eugenics as a philosophy and encourage parents to abort their child who might have Down syndrome or some other malady.
Film legend Judy Garland “was forced into [an abortion] by her mother, her husband and the [MGM] studio. She desperately wanted children. Loved children . . . it was devastating to her to be taken to some abortion mill and be forced to give up her baby” (1). With the Laci Peterson and Lori Hacking cases, the mainstream media finally woke up to a troubling phenomenon: violent soon-to-be fathers and their pregnant victims. Indeed, the greatest risk of pregnancy and child-birth is not pregnancy complications or inadequate prenatal care, but violent fathers (2).
French Forced Abortion
In late June 2002, the Cour de Cassation, the highest court of appeal in France, ruled that a woman cannot sue her doctors if her child is killed during the labor process. The court ruled that the unborn fetus is not a person and that a fetus does not have the same rights as a born person does. The ruling overturned a lower court ruling in which the doctor was found guilty of manslaughter, after, according to the plaintiff Sophie Potonet, the midwife did not pay attention to her when she alerted the midwife to an irregular heartbeat in the fetus the eve of the birth. The ruling echoes a similar 2001 ruling, in which the court found that a drunk driver that caused the death of a six-month fetus resulting from a car crash could not be, inexplicably, tried for murder (3).
Dr. Mussa: Cowardly Doctor who Hired Goons to Beat the Woman Carrying his Child
In Israel, a coward named Dr. Fuad Mussa, a surgeon at Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center, hired three goons to beat up a pergnant woman carrying his child. The thugs beat up the girl in front of Mussa, who wanted to force her to have an abortion. She refused an abortion but later miscarried. He was ordered to a paltry eight years in prison in 1999 but may get released after being in jail for a third of his sentence for “good behavior.” The Israeli Health Minister Nissim Dahan decided to suspend Mussa's medical license for only two years, although this was met with much public and professional outcry since he should have had his license revoked for good (4).
Violence Against Pregnant Women and True Feminism
Some estimates of violence against pregnant women have suggested that “over one-fourth of pregnant women are abused, and perhaps a quarter of all battered women in the U.S. are abused while pregnant.” According to the March of Dimes, “battering during pregnancy is the leading cause of birth defects and infant mortality.” There are 3,400 animal shelters in the United States, but there are only 1,500 shelters for abused or battered women (5).
When the pro-abortion organizations and pundits objected to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, they seemed to be at odds with true feminists, since the bill was intended to protect wanted unborn children and protect pregnant women from attackers. If a pregnant woman was beaten and she loses her unborn child from the attack, in some states there was no legal recourse for a woman to use against her attacker, even though the attacker killed her unborn child. Why would pro-abortion organizations object to a bill that was meant to punish people that violently attack pregnant women and kill their wanted unborn children? Because even pro-abortion extremists that leave beaten pregnant women out in the cold street see that this could lead to a realization that personhood should not be based on being wanted. Indeed, in some states, if a man recklessly drives into another car and kills an unborn child, he can get charged with murder, but if the woman is on the way to the abortion clinic and kills that child, then there is no charge of murder. The child’s personhood, and therefore right to protection, is based on being wanted, which is ludicrous. So instead of calling for the protection of all unborn children, pro-abortion extremists call for the protection of no unborn children, even those that are wanted by their mothers.
Pro-abortion writer Bonnie Steinbok was interviewed in Newsweek on the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which would protect unborn children from violent attackers. Steinbok stated that if an attacker of a pregnant woman did not know the woman was pregnant, then he should not be charged with murder under the fetal protection laws against violence against pregnant women (6). Apparently, Steinbok believes perception is reality instead of the belief that reality should shape our perception, and that when a person does not know they kill a fetus, even though the attacker is attacking a pregnant woman that wants her unborn child, then it should not be “relevant.” If a man bombs a house and doesn’t think anyone is in there, but still kills someone, should he still not be prosecuted?
Forced Abortion Abroad and at Home
Brittany Dowis was 16 and pregnant. When her mother realized her daughter was pregnant at their Fort Pierce home, she pointed a gun at her belly and drove her 67 miles to the Aware Woman Medical Clinic, located on the outskirts of West Palm Beach. When Brittany got a chance to be alone with “clinic” workers, she wrote on a form that her mother was in fact forcing her to have an abortion. Meanwhile, Glenda Dowis stated that “If my daughter doesn't have this abortion, I'm going to blow her brains out” to a nurse in the waiting room. After clinic workers called the police, her mother was arrested. She was charged with false imprisonment and domestic assault. According to police, a .38-caliber revolver was found in Dowis' car (7).
According to Detective Michelle Ferrara, who interviewed the Brittany Dowis, the “mother had been threatening to beat her until she miscarried” (8). It seems Glenda Dowis has the same respect for her daughter’s life as for the baby inside her. This may seem a few quacky parents at first, but the trend is often more widespread that one could imagine. Many younger women are pressured to have an abortion, by either their parents, husbands, boyfriends or whoever happens to be the dad. This seems to convey that the pro-abortion industry and its followers are pro-choice only when the choice is usually to abort.
For example, on Friday, March 28, 2003, a federal court in Jackson, Mississippi issued a temporary restraining order in order to stop the forced abortion of a 16-year-old’s unborn child. While the girl had pleaded with her parents to let her keep the baby, her parents were going to force her to have an abortion. They had even scheduled one for her at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, March 29. The restraining order was issued late Friday, the day before at the Jackson Women's Health Organization on State Street in Jackson. The girl contacted the AFA Center for Law & Policy on Thursday, and a lawsuit was put together at the last minute.
Steve Crampton, Chief Counsel for the Center for Law & Policy, said that “If the right to choose means anything, it means that a mother-to-be may constitutionally decide to give her baby life.” Senior Litigation Counsel Mike DePrimo stated that “A mother's desire to protect her baby is among the strongest in life. While we are thankful the court entered the order, it is a sad fact that legal action was necessary to save the life of this unborn child” (9).
Head Coach: Get an Abortion or Be Fired (and Be Black-Listed)
Marianne Stanley, head coach of the WNBA Basketball team Washington Mystics, once gave an assistant coach a choice: have an abortion or quit. As head coach at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanley left the pregnant woman at a hotel during a recruiting trip across the Midwest. Sharrona Alexander, the assistant that was given the “choice” to quit or abort, refused to kill her unborn child. Three weeks after Alexander gave birth to Kenden Reaves in Laporte, Indiana, she sued the school and in 2000 was awarded $115,000 from the university to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
In a testimony, Stanley confirmed the charge by recalling how she told Alexander that “if you are going to continue with this pregnancy, you're not going to be able to fulfill the job duties; therefore, I am then going to have to hire another coach” and that she wouldn’t of hired Alexander had she known that she was pregnant. But in an interview with the Washington Post and in her deposition Stanley denied trying to coerce Alexander into having an abortion. She also said that she did not fire her, but “asked for her resignation” (10). For most cases, it is against the law to discriminate against pregnant women in California and Federal Law.
Stanley stated that the job would be too much for a pregnant woman, but the Washington Post reported that “Sherrie McElvy, a fetal medicine specialist at the University of California at Davis, advises pregnant women to continue the physical activities they were doing before their pregnancy right up until giving birth--as long as it doesn't involve using their abdominal muscles or there is a high risk of suffering trauma . . . In regard to basketball, there is a chance that the ball could hit her in the abdomen, but the likelihood of that is low. She can see the ball coming and just swat it away. For the most part, there would be nothing about coaching that would exclude her from continuing” (11).
Sadly, the incident seems to have blacklisted Sharrona Alexander in the world of women’s basketball coaching. She had wanted to learn about the game from one of the leading women’s basketball coaches, but because she didn’t want to abort her son she not only lost that job but couldn’t find another one after that--even though many were interested before. She also had to apply for public assistance after this incident (12).
According to Jerry Hester, who is the basketball coach at Troy State and was Alexander’s boss during the suit, Alexander had received several job offers in May 1998 before choosing to go to University of California. But Alexander’s husband Kenley Reaves said that she had applied for assistant coaching positions at four different schools, including one that was interested in her before she chose University of California. When the Washington Post ran the article, none had hired her, and she was working at a clothing store.
Hester stated that “I knew she was going to get herself blackballed and never be back in this business and she had a very bright future.”
Alexander testified: “This has ruined my life. I went from thinking I am going to take care of my son and be able to provide for myself and to be on food stamps and on welfare and be degraded, you can't imagine. You can't imagine how this has changed my life. My reputation, what people thought about me, how hard I had worked to get to that point was just thrown down the drain because I couldn't -- I couldn't just go to a clinic to abort my son” (14).
Forcing Hospitals and Doctors to Participate in Abortion
It’s not enough that abortion clinics on corners and some hospitals offer the “choice” to end the life of a woman’s unborn child. Now pro-abortion pundits and organizations such as the ProChoice Resource Center, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Catholics for a Free Choice and NARAL have called for an end of conscience clauses. Conscience clauses are intended to protect doctors and hospitals from lawsuits if they refuse to perform or be involved with abortion. For religious, logical or ethical reasons based on religious conviction or scientific evidence, or both, many doctors and hospitals refuse to be associated with abortion in any way. That caused pro-abortion figures such as Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice and Nancy M. Yanofsky, president of ProChoice Resource Center to call for a campaign to end this “denial of access” to “basic health care.” Yanoksky has postured that people should “reject all ‘noncompliance’ clauses outright” (15). But in reality, to “reject” a doctor’s personal conviction that killing unborn life is wrong or to “reject” an official pro-life policy of a Catholic hospital for instance is really a call to force these morally apt individuals and organizations to participate in the culture of death by force. Emily Bass complained in pro-abortion magazine Ms that the scenario in which a doctor would not refer a woman to an abortionists a “chilling” scenario.
Catholic leaders rightly condemned the initiative to force Catholic hospitals to offer abortions. The euphemistically termed “Reproductive Freedom Project” by the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union whined that “As more hospitals are managed by religious entities and more states adopt broad refusal clauses allowing health care providers to deny treatment on the basis of religious or moral objections, more women are harmed and more physicians are thwarted in their efforts to care for their patients” (16). While it is no surprise the ACLU supports abortion-on-demand, attempting to force hospitals to offer such “services” and doctors to be involved in such a gruesome “choice” is a relatively new strategy. Women are not harmed by doctors refusing to perform abortions, in actuality women are sometimes harmed during an abortion instead. If a small minority of physicians is mad because other physicians won’t participate in taking innocent life, then they should perhaps choose a different profession without the Hippocratic Oath.
Forced Eugenics and the Obligation to Abort
Even during prenatal diagnosis, where an unborn baby is tested for genetic diseases, often times the doctor will force the pregnant woman to commit to an abortion if an abnormality is found before conducting the tests. Other times when the possibility of a genetic abnormality is high, the doctor will pressure the woman to undergo testing (17).
In a Canadian study, when pregnant women found out they were carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome, one out of three felt they were “more or less forced” to have an abortion. One of the reasons for proposing the abortion of “defective” children is financial. Nachum Sicherman, a professor at Columbia Business School, stated that aborting babies with Down syndrome “a great cost saving” (18). Judith Boss pointed out that there is a great deal of pressure from society to keep certain types of people aborted. She states that “Even if the utilitarian cost-benefit type of argument is limited to the elimination of humans with disorders detected before birth, the general acceptance of this type of reasoning, even without mandatory legislation, places a subtle and insidious pressure on parents of fetuses with potentially costly disorders to abort them for the good of society. Public opinion is a powerful force” (19). Others have advocated even taking away the right of parents to give birth to children that may have handicaps or abnormalities that were detected in utero. In 1971, geneticist Bentley Glass stated that “No parents will in the future have a right to burden society with a malformed or mentally incompetent child” (20).
Some have argued that widespread screening of fetuses may lead to mandatory diagnosis and abortion for “the social good.” Boss stated that it “is a really possibility in the United States.” Boss states that “it could be argued that the state may . . . claim to have a compelling interest in eliminating particularly burdensome potential lives.” Others have stated that during a time of low health care budgets and higher costs, “mandatory amniocentesis may in fact approach mandatory abortion” (21).
Denying Parenthood as a Eugenic Means
In 1972 Dwight J. Ingle wrote that “some of our social problems . . . could be reduced by selective population control. By this I mean that millions of people are unqualified for parenthood and should remain childless” (22). While Ingle admitted that genetic counseling may not help the “gene pool” for a number of years, “The use of genetic counseling will become more important when it becomes possible to detect undesirable genes in each individual prior to mating”(23). Ingle also postulated against the mentally ill: “Suppose that a couple plans to raise a family, but each of the parents has an inherited illness. Do they have the right to take the considerable risk that one or more of their children will become mentally ill? Also, their mental problems may make them poor parents. I believe they should be persuaded or coaxed into changing their minds” (24). Ingle concluded his book with comments including the estimate that 75 percent of “negroes” should be allowed to reproduce because they are more intelligent that the lower 25 percent of “negroes” and that the lower class is “outbreeding” the higher class of “negroes.” He stated that the “negro” race was headed towards “genetic enslavement” (25).
As Dena S. Davis pointed out in Genetic Dilemmas, genetic testing may in fact bring less choice instead of more to many women. The woman who favors abortion, who does not want a son or daughter who has Down’s syndrome, and who is “comfortable with a high-tech pregnancy,” the new genetic technologies of prenatal diagnosis may increase the “choices” for her. But for the woman who cannot contemplate an abortion, who may not be discriminating against a child with Down’s syndrome, and who may be more reprehensive of prenatal diagnosis and the violence of abortion, the new genetic technologies may in fact be oppressive. According to Davis, “Now that the choice exists whether or not to have a baby with, for example, Down syndrome, the decision to go ahead and have that baby may actually be much harder to make. Indeed, as testing becomes more and more routine, the disease being tested for becomes ever more dreaded, ever more unthinkable” (26). Genetic testing is the least of the worries for women that abhor abortion even more. According to Davis, “Another way in which genetic testing may actually curtail choice is in the unspoken but powerful assumption that parents will react to the news of fetal abnormality by having an abortion” (27).
In England, public advocate Julian Gardner warned that “Medical science advances, such as the genome project, could be used to pressure parents to abort fetuses with abnormalities.” Gardner stated, “If we can contemplate taking away family payments for not being vaccinated, what do we say about the mother who doesn’t have a compulsory prenatal test to determine whether there are any genetic defects? Or who, having had the tests, chooses not to have an abortion when defects are present?” Gardner asks, “Do we cut off all who are due for family payments, the disability support pension, the health-care payments?” Ethicist Nicolas Tonti-Filippini warns that “genetic testing could lead to ‘respectable’ discrimination by scientists in white coats” (28).
Ronald Dworkin not only believes the liberal view of abortion is that it is morally justified in various situations including if the fetus is abnormal, but he went even further and wrote that “in some cases, when the abnormality is very severe and the potential life inevitably a cruelly crippled and short one, the paradigm liberal view holds that abortion is not only morally permitted but may be morally required, that it would be wrong knowingly to bring such as child into the world” (29).
One writer pointed out in Science that forced eugenics may actually come to fruition from the new genetics. “If a health maintenance organization (HMO) requires prenatal screening, and refuses to cover the birth or care of a purportedly ‘defective’ child, how close is this to eugenics?” (30). There is no doubt this would be the worst kind of eugenics--the forced or coerced eugenics, where people are refused care if they are born because of a prenatal diagnosis.
With the widespread availability of prenatal diagnosis, some parents may feel pressured to undergo tests to make sure their unborn child is free of any abnormalities. Even a “pro-choice” writer has acknowledged this, who stated the availability of “a simple maternal blood test will create pressure on all pregnant women to have their fetuses screened prenatally,” and that some physicians may conduct the tests without the woman’s knowledge or at least pressure women into undergoing the test. “Without having freely chosen to be in the situation, women may end up with pressure from providers, spouses, or others to terminate a wanted pregnancy.” The author went on to describe the problem of a government program that would force pregnant women to undergo prenatal tests, and possibly pressure the women to “terminate the pregnancy” if the fetus has abnormalities. In an understatement, the author stated that this policy would be “questionable” (31).
David S. King pointed out in the Journal of Medical Ethics that there is a “presumption of termination” of the fetus for many women having prenatal diagnosis. “Many women feel that once they have agreed to testing they should opt for termination, since otherwise there was little point in undergoing testing. The still common practice amongst obstetricians of refusing to offer amniocentesis, unless the woman agrees in advance to termination, enforces this logic.” According to a British study, “13% of obstetricians agreed with the statement that: ‘The state should not be expected to pay for the specialised care of a child with a severe handicap where the parents had declined the offer of prenatal testing’” (33).
As we saw in the chapter on the new eugenics, many have lauded preimplantation diagnosis as a worthy alternative to prenatal diagnosis and subsequent abortion. But this “free-market” eugenic application may not be based on “choice” either. Some have called for the prohibiting couples to implant embryos from IVF that have been found to have a gene that causes a disorder (34).
Man Gets Only 6 Months for Beating His Girlfriend and Forcing Abortion
In March of 2002, a 20-year-old North Buffalo coward named Jeremy Powell pleaded to second-degree assault and felony abortion in an attack on his girlfriend. His girlfriend, Tiffany Turillo, had refused to have an abortion when Powell insisted. Powell had attacked his 3-month-pregnant 20-year-old girlfriend, purportedly stating “I’m going to beat that baby out of you.” According to court records, Powell broke in through a kitchen window at 8:00 a.m. on January 7, 2002, and “beat, punched and kicked her, and then locked her in the basement.” The penalty for forcing this abortion is a paltry three and a half to seven years in prison, since it was not prosecuted as a murder (35).
But Powell did not even get the three and a half to seven years. Instead, even though he admitted beating his girlfriend to induce an abortion, he got a short six-month sentence, (when being sentenced he had already served six months in jail) and was to be on probation for five years. The light sentence was based on the Turillo’s later insistence that he should be freed, and statements, although false, that the “fetus was already dead.” All of a sudden Turillo seemed to be denying the whole incident. He was stating the Big Lie that the unborn are not life.
When women are attacked, often some hesitate to come forward because of these weak sentences or other psychological reasons. Lisa Bloch Rodwin, the chief of the district attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, stated that “more than half the victims of domestic violence later deny their allegations for emotional, financial or other reasons. She described that as ‘part of the symptomatology’ of such cases’” (36).
Besides dehumanizing the unborn child and giving a paltry 6-month sentence for this heinous anti-feminist act, the denial that the child was a life not only lies with the judge in this case but also later with the girlfriend. Perhaps feeling pressure from her boyfriend, she later falsely stated that “the fetus was already dead.” Who convinced her of this lie? Her boyfriend, who wanted her unborn child dead and ended up murdering the baby, or the pro-abortion pundits and pro-abortion Supreme Court justices who claim that the fetus is a “potential life,” in other words, dead until birth? Perhaps both the boyfriend and the pro-abortion extremists, who deny the unborn the right to life, share the blame.
It seems ironic when pregnant women are getting beaten by their boyfriends, and the purported “feminists” are the ones partly responsible for pushing an ideology that has led to pregnant women not having enough legal ammo to fight against violent attackers. In another case, the only way a man was punished for inducing premature labor in his girlfriend by slipping her drugs was by defining the fetus as a “body part” of the pregnant woman. Edwin Sandoval, lawyer for the girlfriend-drugger, defended his client’s actions and stated that he should not be charged with aggravated assault since the unborn child was the target instead of the mother. While the Connecticut legislature introduced legislation to punish attackers of pregnant women that cause her to lose her child, Defense attorney Paula Waite spelled out the conundrum: if the fetus is considered a life form, the state’s laws permitting abortion are in question, but is the fetus is considered a body part by the law, the laws that put a greater penalty on attacking pregnant women could be in danger (37).
Forced Abortion by Violent Attackers--When Even Babies Wanted by Their Mothers are Not Safe
When Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols conspired to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma City, one of the victims was the unborn child of Carrie Lenz. But that child was not listed as the victims, and the child’s murder was not listed as those that prosecutors would charge McVeigh and Nichols with. Even when a child is wanted, in many cases he or she is treated as a piece of property, not a human life. The Oklahoma City bombing was just one example where the unborn are not counted as victims at all, even when he or she is wanted and loved by the mother and father. It is therefore understandable why Carrie Lenz’s husband supported a bill introduced into congress in 1999 that would protect unborn children from violent acts. Lenz stated that “If someone through violence kills a fetus, I think they ought to be able to prosecute.”
In Kentucky, 18-year-old Ashley Lyons was shot and killed on January 7, 2004. Hours before her murder her mother had accompanied her to watch an ultrasound videotape of her unborn son, Landon. But Kentucky, with no fetal homicide or unborn vicitims law at the time, prosecutors are left with only one murder to charge with, although in reality there were two. Kentucky passed a fetal homicide bill in February. In 1998, Christina Alberts, pregnant with her daughter Ashley Nichole Alberts, were killed when criminals broke into her home in South Charleston. South Carolina also had no fetal homicide law, so prosecutors could only charge the robbers with one (38).
Many states have fetal homicide statutes, where if a pregnant woman is murdered they will charge double homicide. But abortion advocates have feared that this would lead to endangering their abortion “rights.”
Named the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the act in no way threatened a woman’s "right to choose” and exempted abortion. But that didn’t stop the extremism of the likes of Kate Michelman, of ever-name-changing NARAL (called at that time National Abortion Rights Action League) who don’t even want to protect wanted unborn children when a woman is being violently attacked. She stated that it was a “pure sham” (39). Claiming to be a feminist, Michelman actually is harming women’s cause by being opposed to this bill along with most other pro-abortion pundits and organizations. The bill was meant to protect the unborn children that are wanted from violence. The violent perpetrator would then be prosecuted under the law instead of getting off. Already 24 states had laws on the books similar to the one in congress sponsored by Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), and those didn’t stop abortion in those states. This truly feminist bill, which would eventually get signed into law, would help protect women and enable prosecutors to charge those that attack pregnant women for more serious crimes and therefore keep them in jail longer, much to the dismay of pro-abortion extremists.
Even Tracy Marciniak, a pro-abortion woman from Wisconsin, has “become a champion of pro-life groups” since her unborn son was murdered five days before he was to be born. When her then-husband Glendale Black punched her in her stomach, he got a measly 12 years for attacking his wife, but under Wisconsin law murder charges were not an option at the time. Marciniak stated that “His father got away with murder! He got away with murdering his own son. Here, I not only lose my son, but now the state is telling me that my son didn't exist.” In Wisconsin, Marciniak succeeded in getting then-Governor Tommy Thompson to sign a bill into law in 1998 to protect the unborn from conception until birth, with the exception of abortion. On the federal level, a similar bill entitled the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, sponsored by Representative Melissa Hart (R-PA), aimed to protect the wanted unborn as well. Even though the bill exempted abortion, pro-abortion extremists such as Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) complained. Lofgren whined that “It defines in the law eight cells as a human with rights, and that's not what the Supreme Court has said.” Planned Parenthood also whined that if the bill was made into law, it would portray fetuses as persons because the law would call for a separate charge and penalty for killing a fetus. Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood of America, complained that “It is about making the fetus have all the rights in law and taking rights away from the woman” (40).
What about the right of women to protect their unborn children? I guess that right is worth sacrificing to the pro-abortion extremists. Their precious right to abortion-on-demand is so fundamental that they advocate forcing battered women to lose their sons and daughters and to have no recourse in law.
Personhood Based on Whether or Not the Baby is Wanted and Laci Peterson
In April of 2003, missing pregnant woman Laci Peterson’s body was found along with the body of her unborn child in the bay area of California. Her husband was arrested, as the evidence pointed to Laci being murdered in their home the last day he said he saw her, and her body as well as her unborn child’s body were both found a few miles where Scott had claimed that he was fishing. It made sense when authorities announced that they would charge her husband, Scott Peterson, with double homicide, instead of just single homicide. But not to On April 19, 2003, Morris County NOW President Mavra Stark stated that “If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder.” Laci Peterson was eight months pregnant, due in a month, and Stark seems to be claiming here that unborn children should not be given protection, even if they are wanted.
Marie Tasy, public and legislative affairs director for New Jersey Right To Life, countered Stark’s absurd comment, saying that “Clearly groups like NOW are doing a great injustice to women by opposing these laws. It just shows you how extreme, and to what lengths, these groups will go to protect the right to abortion.”
Stark added to her insanity: “There's something about this that bothers me a little bit. Was it born, or was it unborn? If it was unborn, then I can't see charging [Peterson] with a double-murder” (41). Stark, a representative of the pro-abortion extremist organization NOW, defended a murderer and dehumanized a nearly full-term baby for the Culture of Death.
In California, if the fetus is older than seven weeks, murder charges can be brought against someone that kills the fetus (except by way of a legal abortion obviously), perhaps from a drunk driving accident or an intentional attack on the woman. Sadly, this leaves even wanted fetuses left without protection before seven weeks. If, perhaps, a woman was to be drugged by a man without her consent, resulting in her 6-week-old fetus being killed, hypothetically they would not be able to charge him with murder, even if the mother wanted her child.
In 2003, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act was considered to be renamed Laci and Connor’s Law in memory of Laci and Connor Peterson. If the tragedy had occurred in some states without the law, Scott would have been charged with only one murder. Luckily, California had the law on the books that enabled prosecutors to charge Scott Peterson with a double homicide. Even though Laci Peterson’s family urged Congress to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, pro-abortion extremists balked at this notion, calling it an “exploitation” of the tragedy. Too bad the law would have made it a crime to harm Connor as well on a national level. On May 5, 2003, Laci Peterson’s mother, husband, and four brothers and sisters signed a letter addressed to the bill’s sponsors, Congresswoman Melissa Hart (R-Pennsylvania) and Senator Mike DeWine (R-Ohio). The act would consider an unborn child a legal victim when a federal act of violent crime is committed. Both in 1999 and 2001, the Republican-held house passed the bill, but the Senate which in 2002 gained only a minute majority in congress, had not passed it yet, due to lobbying by National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), Planned Parenthood and well as a slew of other pro-abortion groups. Even though the bill excludes abortion, and even though 26 states have unborn victims laws in their states for state crimes, and none of them have affected abortion, the abortion propaganda and political machine still opposes this bill. Even though it would be protecting a wanted unborn child from violence, the pro-abortion extremists still opposed this bill, as they opposed considering Conner Peterson--an eight month old fetus--a person.
Said National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) Legislative Director Douglas Johnson: “The pro-abortion advocacy groups have blocked enactment of unborn victims laws in many states. They have also blocked the federal unborn victims bill, insisting on a competing ‘one-victim’ proposal that in effect would tell a grieving, surviving mother that she didn't really lose a baby -- that nobody really died in the crime” (42).
Fox News held a nation-wide poll with Opinion Dynamics that was released April 25, 2003, on the Laci Peterson case, asking if Conner, the unborn son of Laci, should be considered a victim as well in the double-murder. Eighty-four percent agreed that a double homicide charge was appropriate, while only 7% sided with a one-victim charge (43).
Even some “pro-choice” writers such as Naomi Wolf have pointed out the hypocrisy of basing a fetus’ humanness on the factor on whether or not she is wanted. Said Wolf concerning the flip-flop, “So what will it be: wanted fetuses are charming, complex, REM-dreaming little beings whose profile on the sonogram looks just like Dad but unwanted ones are mere ‘uterine material’?” (44).
When the senate passed Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a CNN story on it explained that “Critics cite erosion of abortion rights” in its subhead, even though the bill was meant to protect wanted unborn children and protect pregnant women from attackers (45).
When Medical Mistakes are Murder, but not Murder (according to Vichy French Courts)
Sometimes even wanted unborn children are killed from abortion; one case involved Thi-Nho Vo, whose unborn child was killed from an emergency abortion after her records were mixed up with another woman set to have an intrauterine device removed. At a hospital in France, Vo was set to get a prenatal exam but instead lost her unborn child against her will. Sadly, the French court ruled that the murder of the unborn child was not homicide, so Vo brought it to the European Court of Human Rights (46).
Pro-Aborts Against Pregnant Women
The liberal pro-abortion extremist campaign has run into another problem. The first happened when people started to kill their children, either unborn or born, because their children had disabilities. That conflicted with the usual pro-disability liberals. Now comes another problem—what about women that want their children, and they are taken away from them by violent attackers? The common sense would say to prosecute the attackers and come up with more laws to protect the unborn from them. But to pro-abortion extremists, this is conceding that the unborn child is a human life. Both pro-life and pro-abortion forces realize that the fetus should either have all rights or no rights. If there was some middle ground, it would base humanness and personhood on whether or not the unborn child is wanted, which is obviously absurd.
Pro-abortion liberals not only have caused the culture of death to spread to dehumanize the disabled. And later they advocated giving the unborn child no rights, even when the mother wants her child. Basically, NOW and other pro-abortion organizations are on the side of the violent attackers such as Scott Peterson. They have called for no new laws to prosecute these violent attackers.
Protecting Pregnant Women
Thankfully, not every murdering mother or father is spared a tougher sentence because of the lower perceived value of the unborn life. Some courts and juries have even given appropriate sentences, treating the unborn child as a victim instead of a piece of property. In November of 1998, a 26-year-old named Brian Smith repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant and due in two weeks. Amanda Hunter, 21 at the time, was walking from an ante-natal clinic when Smith attacked her. The knife did not kill her because the baby inside her womb acted as a barrier, but the unborn child’s buttocks were cut twice and they still bear the scars. An emergency caesarian section was conducted to save the baby. Hunter had told the police that she was afraid of Hunter before the incident, stating, “I am fearful of Brian and believe he is going to take the life of my unborn child.”
When Smith was sentenced to two life sentences, it was almost a surprise to Hunter, who had been “scared he would get less.” And it’s no wonder, since many times violent attackers of pregnant women that kill unborn children do not get prosecuted for attempted murder. Hunter said, while holding her baby who had just turned one year old, “It’s a great relief . . . two life sentences is everything I could have hoped for. I still have nightmares about what happened and knowing he’s locked up for a long time means I can sleep easy. I feel a lot more secure, for me and Bailey, now he’s behind bars . . . Bailey is fine now. He’s a lovely boy and all I want to do is concentrate on him now” (47).
1. Gerald Clarke, “No More Over the Rainbow,” ABC News Online Chat Transcript, March 31, 2000, http://abcnews.go.com/onair/2020/2020_000331_garland_chat.html
2. See Linda Stasi, “Pregnancy’s Greatest Risk: Daddy,” New York Post, August 16, 2004, and “Fatal Fathers: A Bill Kurtis Special Report,” A & E, August 16, 2004.
3. “Top French Court Rules Fetus Not Living Person,” Reuters, June 25, 2002.
4. Ran Reznick, “Failure to revoke doctor's license draws fire,” Haaretz, April 27, 2004.
5. George A. Gellert, M.D., Confronting Violence, second edition, Answers to Questions About the Epidemic Destroying America’s Homes and Communities, American Public Health Association, 2002, Washington, D.C., 154.
6. Bonnie Steinbock, “When Can It Feel Pain?” Newsweek.com, June 9, 2003.
7. “Florida teen says mom forced her into abortion clinic,” Associated Press, August 2, 2000.
8. Antigone Barton, “Girl says mom tried to force her into abortion,” Palm Beach Post, August 2, 2000.
9. Steven Ertelt, “Court Halts Forced Abortion on Mississippi Teenager,” Pro-Life Infonet, April 1, 2003.
10. Jessica Hopp and Greg Sandoval, “Mystics Coach Was Cited in Pregnancy Suit,” Washington Post, September 16, 2002.
15. Emily Bass, “Unconscionable care,” Ms, June/July 2001: 40-42.
16. “A.C.L.U. report on science clauses draws Catholic reaction,” America, New York, February 4, 2002: 4.
17. Leon Kass, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: the Challenge for Bioethics, (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2002), 127-128.
18. Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, “Why Max deserves a life,” Christianity Today, June 16, 1997: 80.
19. Judith A. Boss, The Birth Lottery: Prenatal Diagnosis and Selective Abortion (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1993), 183.
20. Ian Hunter, “Life is too important to be left to scientists,” National Post (Canada), February 12, 2001.
21. Harold Green and Alexander Capron, Issues of Public Policy in Compulsory Genetic Screening, Birth Defects: Original Article Series 10 (6): 57-84. Judith Boss, The Birth Lottery: Prenatal Diagnosis and Selective Abortion (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1993), 169.
22. Dwight J. Ingle, Who Should Have Children? An Environmental and Genetic Approach (New York, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1973), xiii.
23. Ibid, 29.
24. Ibid, 114.
25. Ibid, 127
26. Dena S. Davis, Genetic Dilemmas: Reproductive Technology, Parental Choices, and Children’s Futures (New York: Routledge, 2001), 17.
27. Ibid., 17-18.
28. Meaghan Shaw, “Alert on pressure for more abortions,” The Age, July 6, 2000.
29. Ronald Dworkin, Life’s Dominion: An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), 33. Emphasis added.
30. Garland E. Allen, “Is a New Eugenics Afoot?” Science 294, no. 5540 (October 5, 2001): 59-60.
31. John A. Robertson, Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 157-158.
32. David S. King, “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and the ‘new’ eugenics,” Journal of Medical Ethics 25, no. 2 (April 1999), 176-182.
33. JM Green, “Obstetrician’s views on prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy: 1980 compared with 1993,” British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1995, 102: 228-232. Quoted in King, David S. Journal of Medical Ethics. London, Apr 1999; “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and the 'new' eugenics.” Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Start Page: 176-182
34. S. Le Bris, “Preimplantation diagnosis: points to ponder,” Biomedical Ethics, 1998, 3:52-60. Quoted in King, David S. Journal of Medical Ethics. London, Apr 1999; “Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and the 'new' eugenics.” Volume: 25 Issue: 2 Start Page: 176-182
35. Matt Gryta, “Man guilty of abortion in ex-girlfriend's beating,” The Buffalo News, March 16, 2002.
36. Peter Simon, “Man spared more jail for forcing abortion,” The Buffalo News, July 20, 2002.
37. See Matt Apuzzo, “Conn. Supreme Court: Fetus is Body Part,” Associated Press, May 7, 2003.
38. Douglas Johnson, “Conner, Ashley & Landon,” National Review, March 24, 2004, http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/johnson200403240855.asp.
39. Jeanne Meserve, “Abortion rights forces fight bill to make harming a fetus a crime,” CNN, September 29, 1999, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/09/29/unborn.victims.bill/.
40. Steve Brown, “Fetal-Rights Debate Contains Shades of Gray,” FoxNews.com, August 4, 2003.
41. Rob Jennings, “Laci Peterson case tied to Roe debate,” Daily Record, April 20, 2003, http://www.dailyrecord.com/news/03/04/20/news3-laci.htm.
42. Douglas Johnson, “Family of Laci and Conner Peterson Urge Approval by Congress of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act,” National Right to Life Committee, May 7, 2003.
44. Naomi Wolf, “Our Bodies, Our Souls,” The New Republic, Oct. 16, 1995: 26-32.
45. “Senate passes bill making it a crime to harm a fetus,” Associated Press, March 26, 2004, CNN.com.
46. Paul Novak, “French Woman Sues for Unborn Child’s Right to Life,” LifeNews.com, December 11, 2003, http://www.prolifeinfo.com/intl37.html.
47. Paul Stokes, “Life for knifeman who tried to kill his child in ex-lover’s womb,” The Telegraph, November 23, 1999.