By now, most of us have heard of the recent gruesome story of a young pregnant woman in Colorado who answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. Upon arriving at the residence, the young woman was beaten, cut open and her fetus was forcibly removed.
The suspect’s husband found the baby in a bathtub and saw the infant take its last breath before rushing the baby to the hospital. The infant, a little girl, did not survive.
The extent of time that the fetus must survive outside of the womb in Colorado in order to be classified as a person is not legally clear. Therefore, Colorado has indicated that it will not be filing murder charges against the suspect.
Colorado is one of 12 states that does not have laws on the books making the violent death of an unborn child a homicide. State legislators, fearing that abortion rights would be negatively impacted, voted down the measure in 2013. Voters in 2014 overwhelmingly rejected a similar ballot presumably for the same reason in not wanting to violate a woman’s right to an abortion.
Legal experts indicate that a person can still be charged with homicide under existing Colorado law if the baby was alive outside of the mother’s womb and the act that led to its death also occurred there. According to at least one report, the baby was seven months old when she was forcibly taken from the mother’s womb. Many scientific thresholds would deem this baby to have been viable.
Prosecutors have apparently chosen not to risk losing their case by basing it either on the testimony of the suspect’s husband that he saw the baby take a breath or that the baby was indeed viable.
Instead, prosecutors have charged the suspect with attempt to commit murder in the first degree of the mother, unlawful termination of pregnancy and seven other counts.
Colorado’s case leads one to ask why there are still 12 states in the United States that put the “fear” of stepping on someone’s abortion rights above the life of an unborn child. Are rights to protect an unborn child only available if the child is outside of the womb?
Since Roe vs. Wade, controversy has existed between pro-choice and pro-life camps arguing for a woman’s right to an abortion versus the rights of an unborn child.
While the two sides may never meet in the middle, apparently New York is one state that is forging ahead to protect women’s rights while disregarding the rights of the unborn.
The New York State Assembly recently approved a bill that would allow third trimester babies to be killed with one shot of poison to their hearts as they grow inside their mothers’ wombs.
The bill would expand New York State law, which until recently, only allowed for abortions in the third trimester when the mother’s life was in danger.
If the bill passes the Senate, women in New York would be able to get an abortion into their ninth month of pregnancy. Women could also get an abortion for any reason “relevant to the well-being of the patient.” The bill passed in the House by a margin of 94-49.
When did we become a nation that cares more about the rights of adults rather than the rights of children, whether inside or outside of the womb? Where are the laws that protect the rights of the “voiceless” who are not given a right to choose or those that lose their life at the hands of a violent act, as in the Colorado case?
While I understand pro-abortion arguments, I also believe that there has to be a balance between the rights of women, and men for that matter, over those of a fetus who deserves legal protection, especially when that fetus could live outside of the womb if given the opportunity.
The New York State bill which would allow for an injection of poison into the hearts of unborn fetuses is the same technique that was formerly used and can still be used to “put down” injured or sick animals. Something is clearly wrong when we also end the lives of human fetuses this way.
When we refuse to give rights to those that cannot protect themselves, we change the culture from one that values life to one that dishonors it.
While some will argue that a fetus is just tissue that is not “alive,” I would argue that at the very least, when there exists a heart in which to inject poison to destroy that life or when there is a seven month old fetus that would be considered viable outside of her mother’s womb, then the “unalienable rights” of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness given to all human beings by their Creator, and for which the government was created to protect, is applicable and should be enforced.
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