I read a tragic story in the paper today, of a couple who’s unborn child was killed in a car accident involving an allegedly drug-affected driver. Because their daughter Zoe did not technically take a breath before dying the police were unable to charge the perpetrator with manslaughter. In fact the police report provided to Ms Donegan and the driver’s insurance company did not even mention that she lost the child.
So now the couple are campaigning for
the death of an unborn child to be a crime attracting a charge of murder or manslaughter. But the problem is, and it seems I’m not the only one to see this, this bangs straight up against abortion laws. One commenter put it this way:
I’m sorry, but it doesn’t matter how devastated these people are, this will never happen. The law they want can simply not exist as long as any form of abortion is legal. It just can’t. There has to be a very clear line between abortion (legal or unlawful) and murder. That line already exists and it’s birth. Changing this would give too much room for error and interpretation. It just can’t happen.
The problem is acute. This baby was 32 weeks. Medicare presently funds abortions of babies as old as 26 weeks. Where would you draw the line if not at birth? At the age of survivability? Premature babies have been known to survive from 21 weeks! To charge this driver of manslaughter would necessitate charging abortion doctors of the same. Which of course raises some very thorny questions.