Friday, June 10, 2005

Double standards

Besides being a sad story, on the part of the babies involved, this is a shining example of the natural result of current abortion laws in North America. According to most laws in North America a fetus is considered a person deserving of legal protection from harm by anyone except the mother. For example, in the case of a pregnant women who is murdered, the defendant will often find themselves charged with double homicide, as they should.

In this bizarre case, Gerardo Flores was asked by his girlfriend to help abort her twin babies after her own attempts to cause miscarriages were unsuccessful (including punching her own stomach). To achieve this he repeatedly stepped on her stomach, and earlier on the day of the miscarriage he punched her at least once (this time during a fight).

The end result was the twins were in fact killed (although they cannot confirm how or when exactly) and Flores, who I have little sympathy for, received the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. Legally the girlfriend, who invited Flores to do this remember, broke no law and cannot even be charged as an accessory. Under Texas law then, and US federal law now, a woman cannot be charged for causing the deaths of her own fetuses for any reason. Of course if the babies had survived but were mentally of physically damaged due to this then more than likely both Flores and his girlfriend would have been found guilty of some form of child abuse/endangerment for their actions.

At some point we have to set up a common legal definition of when in fact a fetus is a life and make all the laws equal. Now the exact timing can be debated for years to come, but sentences like this clearly show that the current system of arbitrarily defining a fetus as a child depending on who is involved is blatantly unfair.

Either Flores is guilty of assaulting his girlfriend (something that may not even get him jail time) or they are both guilty of two cases of capital murder. You cannot have it both ways.

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