Saturday, March 17, 2007

AZ Court won't say if fetus is human: will SCOTUS?

The Arizona Court of Appeals in Tucson has declined to answer the question of whether a fetus is a human being.

Defense attorney Natasha Wrae and Pima County prosecutor Jacob Lines spent about an hour Tuesday arguing the issue. Rather than take either side, the judges declined jurisdiction.

On Friday, Wrae said she will ask the Arizona Supreme Court to answer the question.
Wrae represents Regina Lockwood, a Tucson woman charged with one count of abandonment or concealment of a dead human body and one count of conspiracy.
According to county prosecutors, Lockwood was eight months pregnant when she gave birth to a boy in September 2005. They say Lockwood and her friend, Nicholi Grimm, submerged the baby in a water-filled bucket and then buried the bucket inside another bucket in the backyard of their home.

Lockwood and Grimm say the baby was stillborn and they didn't have money for a proper burial.

Grimm, too, was charged with abandonment or concealment of a dead human body and conspiracy.


I can see this issue being decided in the Supreme Court of the United States. Will the conviction stand if an Arizona Court says a fetus is a human being? I don't think so. If the woman is convicted, I am almost certain there will be an appeal.

Now, my American friends will have to help me out here: I'm not sure this is the right time for a fetal rights case to come to the fore. Do pro-lifers have the votes on the Supreme Court? Now we are talking about an almost full-term baby, here-- four pounds. That could be a factor.

This is all speculation. Still, it could be an interesting ride. Definitively a story worth keeping an eye on.

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