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If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By DanceDynamicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:45 PM


Random I know. But I was thinking a few weeks ago, say a woman is 6-9 months pregnant(I say this because I know a lot of people don't feel it's a life until that point.) and someone purposely pushes her down the stairs or causes her to miscarry in anyway,should it be concidered murder?

love,
DanceDynamic

26 Replies to If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?

re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 01:04 PM
Given your criteria, yes. I believe that when a fetus becomes viable, it gains certain rights.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder? (karma: 1)
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 01:08 PM
This has happened before. Here's a famous case that comes to mind. en.wikipedia.org . . .

If you don't want to read thru it, the husband killed his wife and unborn son (8 months gestation I think?)

I am not really up on the law anymore, but I do believe it should be a crime. As to murder? The specific charge (1st degree, second degree, manslaughter)...would depend on the circumstances of the case for me.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 01:10 PM
I believe a fetus has rights when he is able to survive without the woman. So in your case, I think 6-9 months old is old enough to be a living/breathing human being out in the normal world.( Not sure about 6-7 months, but I would say 8-9 months is likely)

So yes, I think it would be murder.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By DanceDynamicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 01:55 PM
It doesn't matter to me how old the baby is(Like ours is 18 weeks, and TOTALLY has Daddy's legs hehe.)I think it's murder, but as to what kind, like Uber said, depends on the situation. Yall can post on what you think the courts would say if you'd like,(interesting to me as well) but I'm really interested on your specific opinion.

love,
DanceDynamic
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder? (karma: 1)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 04:27 PM
Errybody sit down and get comfy because I'm about to unleash some legal precedent on this B. *cracks knuckles*

If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be considered murder?

If abortion is legal at that point, absolutely not. In no way. Especially if the woman isn't showing and there's no way that the perpetrator would have known she was pregnant. I think it's absolutely preposterous and I'm really against ever charging anyone with the death of a fetus. A fetus is not a person, and thus is not alive.

Legal rights only extend to people who have already been born. Before that point you might have human rights, but you do not have legal rights. The Supreme Court put this quite eloquently in Roe v. Wade:
We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.


Prior to this, the Court decides clearly and firmly that the word "person" in the Constitution refers only "post-natally." Fetuses not included.

We cannot restrict rights any further than the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land, allows. We can, however, grant them. And the Supreme Court merely said the judiciary can’t decide the question of when life begins. Thus, technically speaking, We the People via the legislative branch of government can declare fetuses persons if it does not otherwise restrict the Constitutionally protected rights of post-natal persons.

Thus the (sigh) "Unborn Victims of Violence Act" PL 108-212, 18 USC 1841, ie. the Laci Peterson thing, is Constitutional. I'm pretty sure you can't kill a fetus without harming the mother in some way, so we're just tacking an additional sentence on to what the person would already be serving. Were fetuses to be declared persons broadly, in order to outlaw abortion - and to make this crystal clear, THIS LAW DOES NOT DO THAT - they are only "legal victims" in these specific crimes - that would not be Constitutional. And this is a federal law, so, from Wiki, "The law applies only to certain offenses over which the United States government has jurisdiction, including certain crimes committed on Federal properties, against certain Federal officials and employees, and by members of the military... [and] certain crimes that are defined by statute as federal offenses wherever they occur, no matter who commits them, such as certain crimes of terrorism."

I don’t like the implications of this and I don’t like the law at all. I suppose it’s reasonable enough, though I would want to see what the sentencing is and I don't feel like wading through the legal text to find that out. I do not think that the sentence should be the same as that of murdering a “post-natal” person. Especially early on, because for all we know the mother could have up and miscarried, or something could have gone wrong with the birth, the baby could have died anyway (although really, we all die anyway, but what the hell, you know what I’m saying here: we don’t know that the baby was viable!). Indeed Roe v. Wade goes on to say that "unborn children have been recognized as acquiring rights or interests by way of inheritance or other devolution of property, and have been represented by guardians ad litem. Perfection of the interests involved, again, has generally been contingent upon live birth."

Technically you can pull the murder charge off and have it be Constitutional. But I agree with Roe v. Wade: even with the most sophisticated tools of modern science, we do not know when life begins, and such questions belong to the realm of the metaphysical. Indeed, the very fact that the nation is split 50/50 over this, that the best and brightest minds can have diametrically opposed views, all points to the fact that we don’t know when a person is a person. No one doubts that a zygote has the potential to be a person, but when we get to ‘well, does that mean it deserves all the legal rights of a fully-formed neonate?’ which will inevitably lead to questions of 'well, when does it think?' and 'when is it conscious?' which inevitably leads to ‘well, does it have a soul?’ we wind up in metaphysics. Law is not the appropriate field in which to address these questions.

I’ve babbled long enough and need to wrap this up, but I also want to touch upon a few more things: first of all, what exactly entails “leading to a miscarriage”? We don’t know what causes miscarriages; sometimes they’re just spontaneous. Can you prove a miscarriage was caused by something? (I don't know the answer to that, by the way.) If not, this shouldn’t be a law. Additionally: I don’t believe anyone should be charged with this crime if you cannot prove that they knew the woman was pregnant. Being shoved down a flight of stairs and then having a miscarriage is a very sad situation, but if you weren’t showing and the perpetrator didn’t know you, no, in Heart’s world you can’t charge him with the murder of your unborn fetus. Law cannot and should not address everything. (Which I think we get slap-happy about in today’s society, and I think the nation needs to take a collective deep breath and attend to some radical acceptance. I’m off-topic.)

If I had another point I forget what it was. So that’s enough. TO THE BATMOBILE! Heart out.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 05:38 PM
^ I thought people don't do abortions in the 3rd trimester unless the baby is causing health problems to the mother.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 06:37 PM
YumYumDoughnut wrote:

^ I thought people don't do abortions in the 3rd trimester unless the baby is causing health problems to the mother.

I wasn't paying attention to that part of the post and in any case, the trimester system that Roe v. Wade installed was overturned soon afterwards. The timing of abortions is state law, weighed by the "undue burden" test. Late-term abortions are subject to regulation, but they are not banned in all states. The only parts of Roe v. Wade that stayed valid law were just the facts that abortion is legal and the judiciary is not to decide the question of when life begins (and possibly some other tidbits; it's been a while since my last law class). I think late-term abortions should be legal, so it's all the same to me. I know Roe best, and I think that quote in particular is well-phrased, so that's why I chose to pull from it even though there's other more recent cases.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:07 PM
I think it is. I have a different opinion on when a fetus should be considered a human and such and I disagree with abortion (though if somebody wants to get one I don't judge because I am pro-choice) but I think at 6-9 months for sure it should be considered murder. Of course if it's 1st, 2nd degree, etc would be different but if you're 8 months pregnant and somebody pushes you down the stairs and you miscarry, I would call it murder.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By ballerinatwirler
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:36 PM
Given the scenario you described I would say yes. Isn't that a law anyways?

But to take things in a different direction what if suzy was driving her car and she didn't see the red light and slammed on her brakes and john was driving behind her didn't see that suzy slammed on her brakes and he caused a fender bender which was techincally suzy's fault. What if suzy was pregnant and had a miscarriage because of the accident?
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:50 PM
Heart wrote:

I know Roe best.


I know by "Roe" you mean the Supreme Court Case, but just in case people who don't know, meet, "Jane Roe" en.wikipedia.org . . .
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By imadanseurPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 05:22 AM
No. I fully support the right of women to have an abortion and to have this considered murder will almost take that right away from women.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 08:30 AM
See, I don't support abortion for a 8-9 month fetus at all. That is old enough to survive out of the mothers body as a human being. Therefore, killing a fetus at 9 month would be considered at least manslaughter or negligence.

A mother should make up her darn mind before trying to kill off a fully grown baby at 9 months. I don't think most places do abortions unless medically relevant at such a late stage in pregnancy. Therefore, it isn't taking away the right to abortion, if the woman couldn't chose to get an abortion so late in the game.

I think the man should get sued for the physical assault and she can claim emotional distress of losing her full grown fetus or something.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By imadanseurPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 08:42 AM
I don't believe life starts until you are actually born...saying a fetus is "murdered" at 6 months will chip away at women's rights. Slowly but surely people will want to push that to 5 months, 4 months etc. Too slippery of a slope for me.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 08:46 AM
I think the man should get sued for the physical assault

Why does it have to be a man? A woman was strangled in Afghanistain by her mother-in-law this week, allegedly because she'd just given birth to a third daughter rather than a son. Just sayin'.

On the topic at hand, I agree with imadanseur.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 08:49 AM
^It could be a woman for all I care. I just wrote he because I didn't think would assume I meant ONLY a man. "He/she" or "him/her" or " man/woman" however you want to look at it.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 08:59 AM
one of the big problems with dealing with the unborn, is that there are so many factors that can cause death. If we begin to legislate so that causing a miscarriage is a crime, then any time a woman has a miscarriage or stillbirth, it has to be investigated-was it medical,did the mother do something to cause it (and is that child abuse?) or was it caused by external circumstances? And, since many times doctors don't know what causes it, it leaves to much uncertainty.

Then you add in the abortion issue- I can choose to terminate a pregnancy, but if at the same point in gestation I want the pregnancy to continue, it is a crime? What about situations where the mother's life is endangered (rare I know, but it does happen)? Putting a double standard into law will only cause further confusion.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By DanceDynamicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:59 AM
Before someone asks, no this has not happened to me, not even close. No one has threatend me or my baby, an I'm not concerned about. It's just something that crossed my mind being I AM pregnant, and I'm already protective of our baby. Plus, I knew someone who pyhsically threw themeselves down the stairs. I don't know why the question really popped up, just did. So again, has not happened to me, not worried about it.

Okay, debate on.

love,
DanceDynamic
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 02:02 PM
imadanseur wrote:

No. I fully support the right of women to have an abortion and to have this considered murder will almost take that right away from women.

It already IS a law. The federal law passed in 2004. The way it's written it doesn't apply in many situations.


YumYumDoughnut wrote:

A mother should make up her darn mind before trying to kill off a fully grown baby at 9 months

Or you could actually consider - or, gasp, actually look up for yourself - why someone might have an abortion that late. Because it would actually make sense to have statistics on this issue, there are basically none to come by. The most often cited is from 1987:
In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), an affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), collected questionnaires from 1,900 women who were at abortion clinics procuring abortions. Of the 1,900, "420 had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks." These 420 women were asked to choose among a menu of reasons why they had not obtained the abortions earlier in their pregnancies. Only two percent (2%) said "a fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy," compared to 71% who responded "did not recognize that she was pregnant or misjudged gestation," 48% who said "found it hard to make arrangements," and 33% who said "was afraid to tell her partner or parents." The report did not indicate that any of the 420 late abortions were performed because of maternal health problems.

... a June 12, 1995, National Abortion Federation letter to members of the House of Representatives noted that late abortions are sought by, among others, "very young teenagers...who have not recognized the signs of their pregnancies until too late," and by "women in poverty, who have tried desperately to act responsibly and to end an unplanned pregnancy in the early stages, only to face insurmountable financial barriers." Source

Actually understanding the realities of why this happens instead of spewing of unsourced assumptions is highly encouraged.



PogMoGillies wrote:

one of the big problems with dealing with the unborn, is that there are so many factors that can cause death. If we begin to legislate so that causing a miscarriage is a crime, then any time a woman has a miscarriage or stillbirth, it has to be investigated-was it medical,did the mother do something to cause it (and is that child abuse?) or was it caused by external circumstances? And, since many times doctors don't know what causes it, it leaves to much uncertainty.

EXACTLY

If you can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, it has no place in a criminal courtroom.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder? (karma: 1)
By djcharamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 07:26 PM
DanceDynamic wrote:

Before someone asks, no this has not happened to me, not even close. No one has threatend me or my baby, an I'm not concerned about.


Uhhhh.... You sure about that?

www.dance.net . . .
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By DanceDynamicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:04 PM
Edited by DanceDynamic (54838) on 2012-01-31 22:38:37
^ Let me over correct and be SUPER specific again. No one has PHYSICALLY threatend me our my baby in a violent way. No one has laid their hands on me or threatend to. So uhhh, yeah I'm sure about it. Are we happy now?

love,
DanceDynamic
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By colleeflower28
On Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:28 PM
YumYumDoughnut wrote:

I believe a fetus has rights when he is able to survive without the woman. So in your case, I think 6-9 months old is old enough to be a living/breathing human being out in the normal world.( Not sure about 6-7 months, but I would say 8-9 months is likely)

So yes, I think it would be murder.


I find this very interesting given your opinion on third trimester abortions
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Thu Feb 02, 2012 02:00 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2012-02-02 14:05:33
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2012-02-02 14:06:35
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2012-02-02 14:14:26
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2012-02-02 14:23:04 I shouldn't say "never"...because there are cases I might commit murder.
^ What makes you say that?

I would most likely not abort a child in the third trimester, but I believe that it should be legal for a woman to abort. I believe that a woman who choses to abort a third trimester fetus is committing murder against her own child. ( The is an ethical choice for me, not a legal play of words) I say this because the fetus is almost formed by the time they are 8/9 month. Although just because * I* believe it is murder doesn't mean it actually is. There is a debate on when life actually begins, so I am just stating my own personal beliefs here.

I don't think things are black and white. A woman may think aborting at 2 weeks is murder ( I don't), some may not think it is murder up until the day of birth. To each their own.

I'm not looking down on women who have abortions at all, nor am I saying they shouldn't be able to do so. Do I think some women who get third trimester abortions are murdering their children? Yes.
Do I think there is a good reason to "kill" someone? Absolutely. I would never look down on a person who killed in self defense, killed someone in war, helped someone with assisted suicide etc. I don't think killing someone in of itself is the most horrible thing in the world. I guess what I am trying to say is that if a woman does commit "murder" in the third trimester, I fully understand why she did it and I am not saying it is a bad thing given that she probably has a different outlook on when life actually begins.
I can also see myself "murdering" my own child in the third trimester if I was going to die in childbirth or something. I have thankfully never been in the position, but I have a feeling I will keep myself alive even if it meant killing my fetus in my womb.

I believe it should be up to the individual woman to sue and not the DA. I don't think the state should charge it as a criminal investigation.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Thu Feb 02, 2012 02:29 PM
Just wanted to clarify something that was brought up. When I said it should be considered murder/manslaughter or negligence, I meant that is how I would feel if I got pushed down the stairs and my fetus died. I would mentally curse the person for murdering my child.

Legally, I think the most someone could get sued for is physical assault of pushing the mom down the stairs. I don't think it is murder/manslaughter or even negligence...because the person who pushed down the stairs may have a different idea of when life begins. If he/she felt that life begins at birth, then in his mind he didn't commit murder. He shouldn't be charged with murder, because in his world and legally life DOESN'T begin until birth.

PS. Wasn't there a criminal case where a man killed his wife and unborn child? If I remember correctly, he got charged with two counts of murder. Does anyone remember seeing a case like that on TV? I think that case is the exception where the legal system said the unborn child should be counted as a "real" human in that 2 manslaughter case.
re: If someone causes a pregnant woman to miscarry, should it be concidered murder?
By DefyingGravityPremium member
On Sat Feb 04, 2012 03:05 AM
YumYumDoughnut wrote:


PS. Wasn't there a criminal case where a man killed his wife and unborn child? If I remember correctly, he got charged with two counts of murder.
...You call yourself a San Franciscan and you don't remember this case? Scott and Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner. 2002. He's chillin' in San Quentin still.
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