I am now writing exclusively over at the Christians In Context blog. Click on this banner to be taken there!

Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
Looking for a church in the Omaha area? Come check out ours on Sunday mornings at 11!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Choice and the Fetal Homicide Laws

According to an article in the July 9th edition of the USA Today, a majority of U.S. States now have fetal homicide laws (only 14 do not). Again I am shocked and saddened at how our obsession with autonomy and choice have blinded us to the tragedy taking place daily here in the United States. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled about the fetal homicide laws, but I am awed that so many people miss the double standard. To enforce a fetal homicide law is to say that a viable fetus has a right to life . . . that is, unless the mother decides otherwise!

Doesn't the choice of the mother seem a far too subjective standard to determine if the elimination of her fetus is considered a murder or a service? If she doesn't want the baby, the process is legal and even lauded by many as "an exercise of her rights". But if she wants the child, the same procedure (or any other action ending the life of the child) is a criminal offense.

Using such a definition, there is no objective value and no objective grounding for the life of the unborn. By such logic, if the mother vacillates between wanting to keep the baby and not, the status of the baby volleys between a valued life and a worthless blob of tissue.

Entertain with me for a moment a couple of scenarios. If a woman goes to a clinic to receive an abortion and changes her mind on the table, is the doctor guilty of murder if he goes through with the procedure? If woman intends to get an abortion but is physically assaulted by a man before she can have it done and as a result the fetus dies, is he guilty only of the assault or of fetal homicide as well (or did he do her a service by saving her the time and cost of the abortion clinic)? These are simply illustrations to point out the moral ambiguity surrounding the whole issue of abortion.

Have we really come to a point where individual autonomy and choice now trump the value of innocent human life? Do we really hold our freedoms so high and tight that we willingly blind ourselves to the infanticide taking place around us? I hope I am not the only person sensing a dire need for an objective standard for the value of all human life.


drumkeyjw said...

Well stated. I agree. I find it unbelievable how they can charge a man double murder for murdering a pregnant mother, but if a mother decides to abort her baby, how is that not murder? Or an even better question, say the mother had an appointment for an abortion at 7:00 AM and she gets murdered at 6:59 AM, is the murderer tried for 2 murders or is it in question since the mother's "choice" was to kill that "part of her body"? Where is the line drawn?
Is the baby human or not? When it is a human? 4 weeks, 8 weeks, upon birth? Currently there is a partial-birth abortion ban. When I talk to people about what a partial-birth abortion actually is, they are shocked and agree it shouldn't happen. However, these same people have no problems with 3rd trimester late-term abortions. Even when ultrasounds show the arms, legs, head, heartbeat, etc. It's just astonishing the logic involved.

Dan H. said...

Nice stuff! You're a good writer, a musician and a great guy!

Candice said...

Well written article.