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America's Culture War: Abortion

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Baseball Bats, Wrongful Deaths, and Innocent Blood

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.
Brad Harrub, Ph.D.

Two legal cases have left abortion-rights activists on precarious footing. The first involves a Michigan abortion case revolving around two teenage minors. The second involves an embryo that was mistakenly discarded by an Illinois fertility clinic. In the abortion case, the Macomb County (Michigan) prosecuting attorney, Eric Smith, is charging a 16-year-old teenager with “intentional conduct against a pregnancy or stillbirth.” What was this “intentional conduct” that would bring upon him a felony charge? The teenager and his girlfriend had premarital sex and his girlfriend ended up pregnant. Not wanting to have the baby or tell her parents, the two teens checked into abortion procedures, but were told that since she was a minor, they would need parental consent. Since she did not want her parents to know, the two teens decided that they would perform their own abortion. Thus, the girl allowed her boyfriend to hit her repeatedly “with a 22-inch souvenir bat over a two-week period” (Cardenas and Hunter, 2005). The result, of course, was that the innocent six-month old baby was bludgeoned to death.

The teenage boy faces a possible sentence that would put him into custody until he is 21. The teenage girl is charged with—absolutely nothing. Given that the Supreme Court legalized abortion over 25 years ago, the girl “cannot be charged under that law because it specifically excludes the mother from criminal liability” (Cardenas and Hunter, 2005). The willing accomplice in a murder (to which she has confessed) cannot be prosecuted for any criminal behavior, because our judicial system recognizes her “choice” to kill her unborn child if she likes. The boyfriend of the girl, and father of the innocent victim, however, beats the baby to death with the mother’s help and permission, and ends up being charged with “intentional conduct against a pregnancy.”

What kind of morally blind society could fail to see the logical implications in such a gruesome situation? And yet the lawyer defending the young man believes that this brutal murder was the result of “laws limiting abortion” (Ertelt, 2005). Instead of focusing on the horrible irony surrounding the girl’s innocence in a murder, the lawyer is more concerned with making abortion easier for others. The lawyer for the teenage boy, Miranda Massie, stated that if “this country keeps rolling back freedom of choice and rolling back abortion rights, what you’re going to see is more children attempting to perform back alley abortions on themselves” (as quoted in Ertelt, 2005). Consider for a moment the logic of this line of reasoning: Her client was “forced” to beat his unborn child to death with a baseball bat because it was not “easy enough” for his pregnant-out-of-wedlock girlfriend to obtain an abortion. Thus, if our society would remove all restrictions from abortion, this scenario never would have taken place. The conclusion Ms. Massie has suggested is that it is “society’s fault” that her client beat his child to death, and that it could have been prevented if society had “more lenient laws.” Ms. Massie is half right. It is our society’s fault in a way—but not the way she would like us to think. It is society’s fault that the intentional death of any unborn child should ever be called anything but murder, whether carried out by a “medical professional” or a 16-year-old kid with a baseball bat. It is also our society’s fault that it has not punished—with severe and dire consequences—each and every case of such abortion as premeditated murder.

The second case proves just as baffling. A couple went to a fertility clinic in an effort to produce the child they so desperately wanted. The couple was originally told that one of the embryos they produced looked particularly promising. However, six months later when the couple was preparing to have the embryo implanted, they were told the embryo had been accidentally discarded. A judge has now allowed the couple to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the fertility clinic. Commenting on the judge’s decision, an Associated Press wire release noted: “In an opinion issued Friday, Cook County [Illinois] Judge Jeffrey Lawrence said ‘a pre-embryo is a “human being”...whether or not it is implanted in its mother’s womb’ ” (see “Judge OKs...,” 2005). Thus, the judge believes the couple is entitled to seek compensation just like any parent who had lost a child through wrongful death.

James Costello, the attorney for the couple in this case, stated: “Somebody just threw out the stuff. They were shocked, of course, when it happened. The issue becomes ‘what do you do now?’ It certainly is something more than somebody throwing out some tissue” (as quoted in “Embryo in Clinic...,” 2005). Costello continued: “Philosophers and theologians may debate, but there is no doubt in the mind of the Illinois legislature when life begins. It begins at conception.”

Sensing the conundrum that this cases presents, John Mayoue, an Atlanta, Georiga, family attorney who has written extensively on in vitro law, told the Chicago Daily Herald: “There are hundreds of thousands of embryos frozen in clinics. Are we then going to elevate those clinics to the status of an orphanage? If I’m a person who owns an IVF clinic, I don’t want to be storing or be responsible for the continuation of this life form. What kind of insurance rates would you have? We are considering embryos to be property for certain purposes and life for others. And that’s the incongruity” (as quoted in World Net Daily, 2005). Indeed, what does this mean for other fertility procedures and stem-cell research? On the one hand, our court system says life begins at conception, and is willing to reward a couple whose child was discarded, and yet our same legal system does not hold a female responsible for being an accomplice in the murder of her unborn child. If someone kills a pregnant woman, our courts charge the offender for the murder of two individuals (e.g., the Lacy Peterson case), and yet if the woman “chooses” to terminate a pregnancy, she is legally able to kill that same unborn child. Truly, the legs of the lame are not equal!

Cases like these have surfaced in the public eye dozens of times. Each time they do, they bring to light the inconsistency of our society. We, as a society, pride ourselves on our humanitarian efforts to help tsunami victims, our military efforts to free oppressed nations, and our social efforts to eradicate racism and prejudice. Yet our society has continued to turn a blind eye to one million murders a year via abortion—murders that are ruled as completely legal and that sometimes are funded by federal tax dollars.

The baseball-bat murder of the innocent baby in Michigan provides an extremely clear-cut example of moral evil that any sane person can recognize. The teenage boy beat an unborn child to death, and he deserves to be punished. The teenage girl was an accomplice who aided in the murder, and she deserves to be punished as well. Yet, amidst all the legal jargon of pro-choice, rights infringement, and political correctness, the obvious truth that the girl is an accomplice to murder gets brushed aside and overlooked. What a morally reprehensible situation!

God’s attitude toward the actions of these court cases and toward the twisted society that has produced them, has been made abundantly clear. In Proverbs 6:16-19, the Bible explains that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood,” and that such hands are an abomination to Him. Until our society and government recognize the sanctity of life from the moment of conception, murderers—if they are charged with anything at all—will be accused of little more than “intentional conduct against a pregnancy,” and the millions of slaughtered unborn children will go to their graves or other “disposal” outlets, without a voice to oppose their murders. May the Lord open the eyes of our morally blind society!

REFERENCES

Cardenas, Edward and George Hunter (2005), “Boy Faces Felony in Baseball Bat Abortion,” Detroit News, [On-line], URL: http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0501/05/A01-50709.htm.

“Judge OKs Discarded Embryo Lawsuit” (2005), CNN, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/02/05/frozen.embryo.lawsuit.ap/.

Ertelt, Steven (2005), “Parents Defend Michigan Teen Accused of ‘Baseball Bat,’ ” [On-line], URL: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1316342/posts.

“Embryo in Clinic Ruled a ‘Human’” (2005), World Net Daily, [On-line], URL: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=42735.




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