Thursday, November 18, 2004

Terminating pregnancy with a baseball bat

The Detroit Free Press has been featuring the last couple of days a story about two teens who attend Armada High (north of Detroit in Macomb County) who intentionally killed their unborn child by having the father hit his pregnant girlfried with a baseball bat over the span of several weeks. The girl eventually miscarried. The coroner report isn't done yet so they don't know how old the child was. They were supposedly good kids and didn't tell others about the pregnancy until after she miscarried and according to one of the father's friends the baseball bat was the mother's idea.

The article discusses how prosecutors may not be able to charge or at least prosecute the father under Michigan's prenatal protection law because the mother was a willing participant. Is beating someone with a baseball bat assault if that person wants to be beaten with a bat? Was the child a willing participant in the beatings that took his or her life?

Interestingly, the unborn child in this case without a name and unwanted by the parents is repeatedly called a "fetus" by the Free Press. In other articles here and here about the Laci/Conner Peterson case in the Free Press, the wanted (though probably unwanted by Scott) Conner is referred to as "unborn son," "the son," "baby," "her first child," and "a boy."

Planned Parenthood spokesperson Margy Long says this about the beating,

" "How terrible it would be to be 16 years old and feel so desperate. What did that girl go through to have someone beat on her until she miscarried? It's a tragedy that pregnancy was terminated."

Hmmmm..... Hey, Margy - would this pregnancy termination have been a tragedy if one of your abortionists used a vacuum instead of the father using a Louisville Slugger? Were the 227,375 abortions your organization performed in 2002 also tragedies? Is it a tragedy that your organization tries to usurp parental rights by judge shopping so that minors can easily obtain a waiver even if they don't really qualify.

Is it a tragedy that Planned Parenthood of Michigan's web site says this:

"Q. What happens if the judge denies me a judicial bypass?
A. Hopefully this won’t happen. It would be good to get in touch with someone at Planned Parenthood before you file your petition. They might be able to tell you which judge would be most likely to help you."

Both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press are reporting that the child was approximately 6 months old when he was delivered. The boy (even though the Free Press labels the child an "it" twice in the first paragraph) was approximately 13 inches long and 25 to 26 weeks old. The print article in the Free Press surprisely contains drawings of unborn children and their development throughout pregnancy. The bat used was supposedly a mini/souvenir type bat.

A constitutional law professor, Robert Sedler, is quoted (in the Detroit News story)as saying that the father can be prosecuted but the mother can't be.

"It seems to me they can prosecute this guy," Sedler said. "I don't think she can be convicted as an accomplice. She still has to be treated as a victim."

He said the girl's consent to the beating is legally irrelevant. "(Consent) is not a defense to a criminal prosecution," Sedler said.

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