News From The Fetus Front: Maybe Fetuses Aren’t “Persons”

Ken AshfordCrime, Women's IssuesLeave a Comment

(1)  A New Mexico bill introduced Wednesday would force rape victims to carry their pregnancies to term during their sexual assault trial or be charged with “tampering with evidence.

If a woman ended her pregnancy after being raped, both she and her doctor would be charged with a third degree felony under HB 206:

Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

In addition to burdening victims of sexual assault, the bill from State Rep. Carolyn Brown (R) also reveals some hypocrisy in the anti-abortion community. While anti-choice advocates maintain that a fetus should be afforded the full rights of personhood, charging abortion as “tampering with evidence” effectively turns the fetus into an object.

(2)  This New Mexico bill isn't the first time so-called pro-life supporters have dropped the fetal personhood crusade when it was convenient.

When sued for malpractice, a Catholic hospital group decides that fetuses don’t have any rights if that would cost them money: (via)

But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

This is a sad case where a woman pregnant with twins died suddenly, and no emergency c-section was performed to attempt to save the twins. Apparently unborn persons are only persons if they’re being treated in a non-Catholic hospital.