Friday, May 27, 2011

Indiana "feticide" Ruling Overturned

This morning's paper reported that an Indiana appellate court ruled that a man who robbed a bank and shot the pregnant teller in the abdomen should not have been charged with feticide (better word: child-killing). The following excerpt is important:

"In an opinion issued Thursday, the Court of Appeals said Kendrick shouldn't have been convicted of both feticide and attempted murder. Under state law, the bank teller, Katherin Shuffield, is the victim in each of those charges, and the same evidence was used to prove them. The judges said that violates a provision in the state constitution that protects people from double jeopardy -- being tried for the same crime more than once.

They remanded the case to Marion Superior Court so Kendrick can be resentenced without the two feticide convictions, which account for eight years. But the appeals court noted that the judge can still sentence him to up to 53 years [the original sentence].

First of all, the mother IS the victim in both crimes, but the other victims are the children that were killed! How would you like to be the mother of these kids and have judges tell you "you're the only victim in this event." I wonder if any of these judges were men, and if so, I wonder where the people fighting for women's rights are?

Secondly, it is important to realize what political maneuvering is really going on by the appellate court. If the court says that killing a child ("feticide") is a crime in this case, then that means the child is really in some way its own person. BUT... in order to cover itself nicely it noted at the end that the criminal can still be charged with the same 53 year sentence he was originally charged with. Fantastic maneuvering by the courts! They're basically saying "we don't want this to become political, so it wasn't the killing of a child, but don't worry, he's still going to jail for the same amount of time."

Does a crime like this depend on whether the mother was on her way to the abortion clinic or not? If a mother makes it known that she is going to get an abortion, and then gets shot in the abdomen killing her child, can "feticide" still be charged? What if the criminal didn't know he was killing a "fetus" because he didn't know the woman was pregnant - does his not knowing make him less culpable (perhaps we can call it "feti-slaughter" a half step down from "feticide")? What if some other mother had made her intentions known that she planned to not have an abortion - does that mean that since the mother had decided she was carrying a person the crime is now "feticide" because of her decision?

Abortion advocates have long known that cases like these are their worst nightmare because these cases point out the insanity of "choice." If it is a woman's choice to abort her child, then it is in the mother's hands to decide if the child is a person or not. But what if, as we have in this case, a child is killed in the womb - is that murder? If it is murder, then the child is a person, but if the child is a person, then does that mean that the children who are aborted aren't persons?

This case shows the utter ridiculousness of the notion that a mother could "choose" whether or not to bestow "personhood" upon the person growing in her womb. Usually, the pro-abortion crowd frames the argument around "women's rights" but the horrific tragedy of a child being killed in the womb makes people pause and reframe it from the perspective of the child for just one second.

We pray for the mother of these children, for the repose of the souls of these kids, for the criminal who brought all of this about, and we pray also for our thoroughly confused nation as we try to continue to fit the square peg of "choice" into the round whole of "the acceptable"

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