Thursday, February 07, 2008

Fetal Rights Victory: French Supreme Court Says Stillborn and Miscarried Fetuses Can Be Given a Legal Name

The French Cour de Cassation-- the equivalent of a Supreme Court-- has ruled that miscarried and stillborn babies can have a name registered by the government-- regardless of the stage of development.

This is a very significant development in the struggle for fetal rights, on many levels.

For one thing, it is the first pro-fetal rights court ruling in a Western country-- outside the US-- that I've ever heard of. And in a very secular country at that. That is a step in the right direction.

Secondly, it reinforces the idea that the unborn child has an identity.

For decades, proponents of legalized abortion have banked on the idea that the unborn is just a blob of tissue

Well, people don't name their blobs of tissue.

When people start hearing about little Francois stillborn at 22 weeks, or Marie miscarried at 14 weeks, and how French society-- through the eyes of the state-- recognizes that they are worthy of identity-- that will only help the pro-life forces and underscore the weakness of the abortion ideology's take on the fetus-- that he's a nothing.

Here's an interesting development:

It also enables the mother of the foetus to claim maternity leave and parents to recover the body to hold a funeral. Before foetus were incinerated by the hospital along with waste tissues.

Nevertheless, the anti-fetus forces will be at it to limit the extent of this court ruling:

State attorney Alain Legoux said the decision left a troubling legal void about the criteria for determining the survivability of a foetus, and this raised potential conflicts about abortion and embryo research.

He called on legislators to fill the void.


Chantal Birman, deputy president of a pro-abortion and contraception group called ANCIC, said the court's determination would provide a powerful emotional argument for opponents of abortion, as it implied that a foetus or an embryo of any stage of development had the right to a name.

"A foetus is only viable after 26 weeks," said Birman, a midwife by training. "You have to take the timetable of pregnancy into account."

After 26 weeks? Uh, no, earlier than that. What kind of midwife is that? There are babies that survive at 22 and 23 weeks.

Notwithstanding new legislation, this is still a significant event in the history of the struggle for fetal rights.

For more social conservative news check out