Wednesday, January 05, 2005
You can find the story here
I'll summarize it for you if you don't want to read it. Recently in Michigan two teens, a male 16 years old and a female whose age is not given but is implicitly a minor, conceive a child. Over the course two weeks BOTH teens strike the mother’s stomach with a bat. The “strikes” apparently left no bruises, so it seems they were not severe enough to cause the girl pain.
After this two weeks, the girl miscarries. For some idiotic reason the girl talks about the series of events, post facto, at a high school leadership conference. Apparently she was giving a speech. It baffles my mind why she would get into this in the speech, but I digress. One of the adults supervising the conference hears the speech and of course calls the cops. They investigate, and according to the medical examiner the fetus was not viable at the time and was very premature.
I can’t tell by the article if both kids are arrested or not, but the boy is eventually charged. He is charged with “Intentional conduct against a pregnant individual resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth”. This is a felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison under a Michigan law passed in 1999. Under this law, the person making the “intentional conduct against the pregnant individual” is liable for the felony. And, even though BOTH teens did the poking with the bat, under this law the pregnant individual can NOT be held criminally liable, EVEN IF SHE ACTED IN THE “CRIME”.
Now this brings up a couple of points I’d like to address. The first is the hypocrisy of the system and the double standard of “babies” and “fetuses” or “fetal mass” and so forth. Had the mother gone to an abortion clinic and filled all the requisite forms, paid the money, etc she could have terminated the pregnancy quite legally. Now, I realize that I’m assuming the age of the “fetus” is young enough to allow a legal abortion, but that is what the article seems to imply.
So, a mother CHOOSES to abort the baby, she simply CHOOSES to do by herself with the father of the child. And this is illegal. The same end occurs, the same intent is there, and yet the father is in jail. I simply don’t comprehend this.
As I’ve said before, there is only one way to stop this hypocrisy and double standard between abortion and murdering fetuses. A universal standard must be set as to at what age a fetus becomes a child. At that point, the child would attain all the rights of any other person. If the child dies, for whatever reason, someone is criminally liable for murder. This MUST be done.
The second issue I’ll be addressing is the double standard between men and women. Both teens did the EXACT SAME act with the EXACT SAME intent. I understand one can’t be charged for bruising one’s self, but the male is not charged with injury to the female, only to the fetus. Why then would not the woman be charged? As a mother does she have the right to hit herself until she miscarries? If so, then why not allow her to ask someone to help, if she so desires. Personally, I think neither should be charged or even arrested in this incident. But if charges are levied, they should come down equally.
Finally, I simply reiterate that we must set a certain limit on when a fetus becomes a child. It would be binding medically and legally. This would solve a number of problems, and moreover would solve the blatant duplicity so often exhibited in such issues.