Federal Unborn Victims Bill (was Re: no brainer: abortion is killing. so what?)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Mon Aug 23 23:52:48 PDT 1999

>it's a no brainer. abortion is killing but it's not murder. in the first
>place, we already make distinctions about killing v. murder do we not?
>that is, the legal system recognizes differences in first degree murder,
>manslaughter, accidents, crimes of passion, self defense, property defense,
>and so forth. when someone is convicted of killing someone else, they are
>penalized differently according to the crime and the degree to which the
>crime was rational, pre-planned [in cold blood], the result of criminal
>negligence, the result of supposed irrationality/passion, etc. if it is
>completely an accident or in self-defense then it's not considered
>actionable as a form of murder or manslaughter or even involuntary

A killing, even if it eventually gets proven a non-guilty act of self-defense, falls in the sphere of criminal justice. I for one do not want to push both pregnancy and abortion further into the jurisdiction of criminal justice, in which the U.S. government has been already moving them. You have heard of poor women of color put into prison because of their being pregnant and using drugs at the same time, haven't you. Does it sound like a good idea to you? If not, why think of abortion as "killing," which would, if you pursued "logic and coherence of law and morality" (Steve's reason for thinking so), put abortion into the purview of criminal justice? You don't want a woman who had an abortion to have to prove her "innocence" in a court of law, do you? Further, even according to your incoherent thinking, abortion providers can't be said to be acting in "self-defense."

BTW, are you in favor of the following Federal Unborn Victims Bill supported by anti-abortionists?

>for text of article mentioned below: http://www.nrlc.org>
> WASHINGTON: In collaboration with NRLC, Congressman Lindsey Graham
> (R-SC) has introduced a major new right-to-life bill in Congress - -
> the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
> The bill was in the drafting stage for months, but there was no public
> discussion, in order to avoid tipping off the pro-abortion lobby. It
> appears that the introduction of the bill on July 1 caught the
> pro-abortion forces completely unawares.
> The unborn child is currently a non-entity in federal criminal law.
> Under this bill, the unborn child throughout the period of her in
> utero development would be recognized as a member of the human
> family, protected from assault or homicide (if these occur during the
> course of some federal crime). It seems obvious that when an unborn
> baby is injured or killed by an act of violence, there are two
> victims, the mother and the child. Yet, current federal law does not
> allow a criminal to be charged for the harm he causes to the unborn
> child. Enactment of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is necessary to
> correct this manifest injustice.
> **Communications should be directed to ALL members of the House of
> Representatives, urging them to co-sponsor the Unborn Victims of
> Violence Act (H.R. 2436). Pro-life lawmakers should support it because
> it will permit justice to be done on behalf of unborn victims.
> Lawmakers who call themselves pro-choice should support the bill
> because it protects babies who are injured or killed contrary to the
> choice of their mothers. This particular bill does NOT restrict
> abortion.
> The following article appeared in the July 6, 1999 edition of National
> Right to Life News.
> Rep. Graham Introduces Unborn Victims Bill
> NRLC Helps Launch New Federal Bill To Protect Unborn Victims of
> Violence
> By NRLC Federal Legislative Office
>HR 2436 passed House Judiciary subcommittee within a month of introduction
>(legislative speed up!) and will be scheduled for full committee
>deliberation when Congress returns from recess in September...
>11 states currently have similar laws...language of this bill - 'unborn
>child' - elevates fetus to status that even rabid anti-abortion US
>Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has rejected in past: that of
>person under 14th Amendment....
>bill sponsor Graham and co-sponsors Chris Smith (R-NJ) & Charles Canady
>(R-FL) all oppose *Violence Against Women Act* scheduled for
>reauthorization this year...'nuff said, Michael Hoover

Kelley also wrote:
>as for whether this argument feeds into the RTLers arguments against public
>funding for abortions, well the orig point of this thread was about making
>concessions for the sake of coalition building. that's a concession i'm
>willing to make since it's already the case that there isn't public funding
>for abortions.

If Kelley's thinking spoke for the majority of 'pro-choice' people, one would be indeed justified in thinking that 'pro-choicers' are less interested in poorer women's reproductive rights than richer women's, and that feminism is a movement by, for, and of non-poor women.


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