Monday, May 26, 2008

If an animal can be a victim, so can an unborn child

JJ says:

Party-pooper that I am, I feel obliged to point out that the "victim" in this little scenario is still the guy who got attacked, not the TV set that got smashed in the commission of the assault.

JJ seems to be implying that an unborn child would not be a victim.

As it stands, I understand that under Common Law, the "Born-Alive" rule states that injuries sustained to the fetus before birth are actionable if the baby is born alive.

As the Supreme Court ruled:

Once a child is born, alive and viable, the law may recognize that its existence began before birth for certain limited purposes.

Now how can a person be a victim of a crime, if he wasn't a person to begin with when the crime happened?

Obviously, the answer is: he can be a victim.

That's logical. If the baby can be a victim if he is born alive, then he can be a victim if he is not born alive. His subsequent death does not change his status at the time of the commission of the offense.

That precedent has been established.

Besides, we already recognize that other non-humans can be victims of crime: such as animals and corporations.

And if that logic isn't enough, let's just look at who undergoes the injury:

This is "Pokey" my unborn daughter.

Is JJ saying that "Pokey"-- would not be a victim if someone killed her?

What if I got kicked in the stomach and Pokey died. Sure, I would be a victim. But wouldn't the greater offense be the death of the baby, not the kicks in the stomach? Sure, getting kicked in the stomach is painful, but you can heal from those injuries.

If Pokey died, that's not an injury to me. If she suffers a brain hemorrhage, I'm not the one suffering the brain hemorrhage. She's the one who's bleeding in her brain.

How can a fetus NOT be a victim, if she suffers injury?

If I were to lose my daughter that way, I would be a victim from the loss of my daughter. That in itself is reason enough to support C-484. But if my daughter were to die, how could she not be a victim?

A victim is one who suffers from an unjust action.

I realize that to feminists, a fetus is a "nothing" is owed nothing. But for the rest of humanity that has a shred of sympathy for unborn children, does this fetus not deserve to be secure? And if you deprive that security from the fetus, isn't he suffering an injustice? Isn't he a victim?

It's not a matter of personhood or non-personhood. If a being suffers unjustly, he is a victim. No one would dare suggest that an animal who is subjected to abuse did not deserve to be secure. And if he is abused, he is certainly considered a "victim".

The same logic should apply to a fetus. If an animal can suffer and be a victim, a fetus can as well. His status as a victim should not depend on his being born alive or not. It's illogical to say that he would only be a victim due to a subsequent event. The action suffered is either unjust or not. He either suffered or he didn't.

And it's that suffering that renders a being a victim.

Nothing else.

Pedgehog asks:

How can they possibly think this is a suitable anaology? Is the TV set INSIDE the man? *sigh*

It makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE. Pokey is mine. If she's killed, someone deprived me of my child.

Mike says:

Suzie just doesn't under stand that a fetus is a part of the mothers body, like an eye or a toe or a kidney, until it is born alive and separate

Yeah, I'm much, much too ignorant to state that another living organism, with her own biological systems, her own DNA, her own movements, etc is a body part just like my kidney.

I mean, my kidney kicks me in the ribcage every hour, and my liver flips around and my pancreas sucks his pretty little thumb.

I've only been pregnant three times (four if you count my miscarriage) and undergone at least a dozen obstetric ultrasounds. I have strictly no knowledge of reproductive biology. When my kids touch my belly, they're trying to talk to a figment of their imagination. All those pokes against my abdomen, those are all pretend. Nobody home! The baby magically appears when the obstetrician slices me open.

Yeah, only fanatical fetus-fetishist nutjobs like Henry Morgentaler think it's a baby at this point.

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