Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Killing unborn only sometimes a murder"

That's the title of Gordon Dillow's article in Sunday's Orange County Register. Mr. Dillow begins:

"When it comes to the killing of an unborn child, California law seems more than a little confused. Because under the law, sometimes it's murder, and sometimes it's not."

He then describes a case where a drunk driver, Danny Ruiz, crashed his car, killing his pregnant girlfriend, along with the unborn baby she was carrying. Mr. Dillow continues:

"Ruiz now faces 100 years to life on two counts of murder. That's right, two counts. According to the criminal complaint against him, Ruiz 'did unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill ANDREA NAOMI GERDON, a human being.' But the complaint also charges that Ruiz 'did unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill UNBORN FETUS, a human being.'"

"'Obviously we believe they (fetuses) fall under the innocent-victims rule,' says District Attorney spokeswoman Susan Schroeder. 'They are people whose rights need to be protected.'

But that raises the question: In a state in which early-term abortions are legal under any circumstances, and late-term abortions are legal under some circumstances, how is the killing of a fetus a murder?

The answer is in Section 187 of the California Penal Code, which states that 'Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.' Courts have ruled that in California criminal cases a fetus can be considered a murder victim at seven or eight weeks after conception.

But Section 187 specifically excludes from the murder category any legal abortions, or any killing of a fetus that was 'solicited, aided, abetted or consented to by the mother of the fetus.'

To put it another way, in California an expectant mother can legally kill her unborn baby, or have it killed. But without the mother's consent, anyone else who kills that unborn baby can be charged with murder.

Mr. Dillow closes by asking:

So how can a 5-month-old fetus be a 'human being' in a criminal courtroom, but not necessarily be considered a 'human being' while in a doctor's office or an abortion clinic? How can that unborn baby have a legal right to life in one place, but not in another? "

It's an enormously obvious question, and the answer is simple: One can't offer the pro-choice argument on abortion without abandoning reason.

The "pro-choice" argument is justified on the basis of individual freedom. But freedom of choice can only take place in the context of lived life. It is contingent on life. This means that arguments for "choice" can't include abortion, since the act of abortion terminates all possibilities of choice for another human being. Hence, to be "pro-choice" on abortion is irrational. But once you've taken one position that requires the abandonment of reality, you've got to keep it up--because reality is not going to go away. Hence, the bizarre legal situation that Mr. Dillow describes.

Legal abortion absolves murder. It undercuts the first of the inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, on which our country is based. It has corrupted feminism. It has corrupted our legal system. And it has corrupted human reason.

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