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Fetal Murder law

  1. Mar 9, 2004 #1
    So, are we really looking to "protect abortion" so much that we will allow people's babies to be killed with no consequence (or even just an assault charge)??
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2004 #2
    From the other side, do we need to politicize the criminal justice system in the way that some people suggest?
  4. Mar 9, 2004 #3

    I personally think it's a clear cut case of "you killed a lady and her baby" - two murder counts.

    However, the ACLU sees this as an attack on abortion and is part of the filing that is looking to overturn the law so babies will just be considered nothing, or a body part (thus an assault).
  5. Mar 9, 2004 #4


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    Here are the parts I don't get:

    Either a fetus is a living human being or not. If it is, then killing one is murder; if not, then killing one is not murder. It can't go both ways.
  6. Mar 9, 2004 #5
    The ruling may hinge on whether the fetus was potentially viable outside the womb or because they are now deceased from intent to murder. Disparity between fetal infanticide and abortion laws will eventually be resolved more in terms of the intent of the actor (on the one hand expressed in the medical decision of those pregnant) than the human likeness of the fetus.
  7. Mar 10, 2004 #6
    I have to agree with you on this one, LURCH; it is pretty ridiculous.
  8. Mar 10, 2004 #7
    Doesn't this work on the principle of if you killed someone without knowing you were going to kill them, are you still guilty of murder.

    I'm thinking "manslaughter" would be an appropriate sentence.
  9. Mar 10, 2004 #8

    Murder 2 is, in most states, described as "depraved indifference" to human life. If you setup a situation in which you knowlingly put someone in danger, and they die, then it can easily be Murder 2, even if you didn't KNOW you were goign to kill them. Thus, if you killed a woman, it could be argued that you were indifferent to whether she was pregnant or not, and setup a scenario in which if she was, the baby would die.
  10. Mar 10, 2004 #9


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    But the law has never before taken pregnancy into account. Suppose you injure a woman without killing her, but cause her to miscarry. Are you guilty of murdering her fetus? This is a situation where there is a lot of past case law. Is it all to be overthrown?
  11. Mar 10, 2004 #10
    1 count murder, 1 count babyslaughter?
  12. Mar 12, 2004 #11
    The South in America in the antebellum period made their slaves three/fifths of a person for voting in order to gain influence.

    So in this case, if it is applied, killing a mother with a fetus would be 8/5ths murder count, or 1.6 counts of murder.
  13. Mar 12, 2004 #12
    Have I mentioned that there is some good eating on a fetus?
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