NY Times Op-Ed: Making Fetus’ A Protected Class Is A Big Mistake

by William Teach | April 13, 2015 6:52 am

Let’s see: liberals make virtually everyone else a protected class. Gays, minorities, women, Blacks, you name it. Well, except white men. They apparently do not want the unborn to have any protections. Here’s Deborah Tuerkheimer, who tries to tell us that the idea to stop making fetus’ a protected class isn’t about abortion rights

How Not to Protect Pregnant Women[1]

IN the wake of a savageattack on a pregnant woman and the removal of her fetus[4], Colorado lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill[5] that would criminalize fetal homicide. If the bill passes, the state would join nearly 40 others[6] that make fetuses a distinct class of victims. (The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004[7] similarly makes it a crime to kill or injure a fetus in certain circumstances.) (snip)

This type of legislation, however, is not about protecting the rights and well-being of the pregnant woman[8]. Rather the reverse: The risk is that, without statutory reform, the pregnant woman as a category of victim will remain overlooked, while the fetus gets special protection.[9]

Opposition to the creation of fetal victimhood has focused largely on the threat to abortion rights[10]. This is a legitimate concern, but affording victim status to a fetus has implications beyond the erosion of abortion rights. Legally severing a fetus from the pregnant woman has the effect of pitting her interests against the fetus’s. (snip)

Granting personhood to fetuses makes women criminally responsible, not only for the life of the fetus, but also for its well-being. This is a particularly high burden. Pregnancy in our society tends to be idealized and women counted on to provide a perfect uterine environment.

Liberals want Government involved with every facet of Other People’s lives except when it has anything to do with abortion on demand.

Prosecutors could, in theory, use the notion of “prenatal abuse” to pursue pregnant women who consumed too little folic acid[11]; neglected exercise[12]; gained too much or too[13] little weight; continued on a course of anti-depressants[14]; or had a stressful job[15]. Under the mantle of fetal protection, pregnancy could become subject not only to criminal sanction but to pervasive state regulation.

Funny how Liberals all of a sudden espouse Conservative beliefs about Government being too big when abortion is involved, don’t you think?

In reality, those who are targeted by government intervention[16] on behalf of the unborn tend to be the vulnerable and marginalized[17]. In recent decades, hundreds of women, disproportionately low-income and African-American[18], have been prosecuted or subjected to court orders over behaviors like drug use that are considered a risk to developing fetuses. Often, these women are themselves victims of violence[19] during pregnancy.

Of course, Ms. Tuerkheimer had to throw in some raaaaacism.

Granting fetuses victim status, however, does not address the core harm. When violence is done to a pregnant woman, her reproductive freedom is trampled.

So, it’s all about abortion.

The law should provide a remedy. Reform matters because abuse of pregnant women is so common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate[20] that more than 300,000 pregnant women a year are victims of domestic violence. Unlike headline-grabbing cases like the Colorado attack, violence against pregnant women is usually inflicted not by strangers, but by current or former partners[21].

What Ms. Tuerkheimer is doing is a headfake. A distraction. By all means, pregnant women should be protected. In fact, if they are assaulted, there are actually laws that make assault illegal. Imagine that. That in no way means that the unborn shouldn’t be protected. What she doesn’t come out and say is that these laws make it typically a murder to cause the death of an unborn baby when the mother is assaulted. Liberals do not like that unborn babies are accorded personhood, which could, theoretically, cause problems with their devotion to abortion on demand.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[22]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[23].

Endnotes:
  1. How Not to Protect Pregnant Women: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/opinion/the-error-of-fetal-homicide-laws.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0
  2. 101 Things All Young Adults Should Know

    : https://www.amazon.com/Things-Young-Adults-Should-Know-ebook/dp/B06XY87BF4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497732830&sr=8-1&keywords=101+things+all+young+adults+should+know
  3. Buy Now: https://www.amazon.com/Things-Young-Adults-Should-Know-ebook/dp/B06XY87BF4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497732830&sr=8-1&keywords=101+things+all+young+adults+should+know
  4. attack on a pregnant woman and the removal of her fetus: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/19/a-pregnant-colorado-woman-was-stabbed-her-baby-removed-wh
  5. introduce a bill: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27800078/colorado-senate-prepare-fetal-homicide-bill
  6. nearly 40 others: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/fetal-ho
  7. Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004: http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/unbornvictims/UVVAEnrolled.pdf
  8. is not about protecting the rights and well-being of the pregnant woman: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=842164
  9. , without statutory reform, the pregnant woman as a category of victim will remain overlooked, while the fetus gets special protection.: http://www.vawnet.org/domestic-violence/print-document.php?doc_id=3483&find_type=web_desc_AR
  10. threat to abortion rights: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/colorado-republicans-plan-file-fetal-homicide-bill-29959556
  11. folic acid: http://www/
  12. exercise: http://www.today.com/parents/exercise-good-moms-be-babys-brain-study-finds-8C11566374
  13. too much or too: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/pregnancy-weight-affects-childhood-obesity-041414
  14. anti-depressants: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/possible-risks-of-s-s-r-i-antidepressants-to-newborns/
  15. had a stressful job: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/may/31/childrensservices.medicineandhealth
  16. targeted by government intervention: http://www.nwlc.org/resource/if-you-really-care-about-criminal-justice-you-should-care-about-reproductive-justice
  17. marginalized: http://abcnew/
  18. low-income and African-American: http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/main/publications/articles_and_reports/executive_summary_paltrow_flavin_jhppl_article.php
  19. victims of violence: http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/articles/1992stat.htm
  20. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate: http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/violence/intimatepartnerviolence/sld001.htm
  21. current or former partners: http://www/
  22. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  23. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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