Friday, February 04, 2005

The Permanent Lullaby Law

There's a bill before the Virginia General Assembly that would require a fetus to be sedated before being aborted.

Under the fetal-pain legislation sponsored by Del. Richard H. Black, R-Loudoun, a doctor must anesthetize a fetus 20 weeks or older during an abortion procedure.

Currently, there is "nothing to relieve a child's terror and suffering," argued Black, holding a plastic model of a fetus in each hand.

"I hope you will have the merciful impulse to vote for this proposal," Black told the House before it advanced, the measure to a final vote, perhaps as early as today.

Comical? Absurd? Like something out of The Onion? That's the whole point. Pro-life Republicans are slowly building a portfolio of fetal-protection laws that, if legally upheld and binding, would make Roe v. Wade logically untenable.

The most famous case is the Unborn Victims of Violence act, although it's much more limited in scope and jurisdiction than admitted by those who would lionize or demonize it. It made good election talking points, but (1) the law specifically excludes abortion as killing a child, and (2) it covers only federal murder crimes, which are very rare and would presumably occur only in U.S. territories or military bases.

More intriguing was the Scott Peterson verdict itself, which charged Scott with 1st degree murder of Laci and 2nd degree murder of Connor. First degree murder is murder with intent and premeditation; otherwise its Second degree murder. Yet Scott premeditated just as much to kill Connor as Laci. The only way you can say Scott did not premeditate killing Connor is by arguing that he did not know that Connor was a person who could be killed. But if Connor's humanity was non-existent, or even in doubt, then it wouldn't even be second degree murder by the court. You cannot say that Scott murdered Connor, but that Connor was not human being. Nor can you say that Scott murdered Connor, but wouldn't have if he were an abortionist. (That is, unless you're going to take the stand of this person whom I previously discussed.)


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