Saturday, December 03, 2005
A Mother's Prerogative
The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that unborn children are not "human beings," and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregancies.Even though the boy died two days after birth, since the mother's actions were taken before he was born and he was not yet a human her actions don't count.
The unanimous decision overturns the manslaughter conviction of 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, who was found guilty in connection with the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine shortly before his birth.
"I'm extremely happy and grateful," said Aiwohi. "I believe [the case] changed me into a better person and I just hope to share that with others."Yeah, right. I bet she's become a regular Mother Teresa.
"My son can finally lay to rest," her husband, Kimo Aiwohi, told reporters. "And I'm very happy for my wife."Must be true love. Maybe he made the meth.
If you read further down the article, you come to this:
In June, Gerardo Flores of Texas was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison after kicking his pregnant girlfriend repeatedly in the stomach to cause her to lose the couple's twins. The girlfriend, Erica Basoria, did not want the babies to be born and allowed Flores to kick her, but she was not charged with any wrongdoing by the state of Texas.Different state and the action was committed by a man. The outcome may have been different for Aiwohi had she committed the acts in Texas but this does show the inequity between males and females.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 34 states have fetal homicide laws. I have always found these laws paradoxical. A woman can kill her child (fetus) at will before he/she is born provided she does it through an official act of abortion in these states but can be charged with homicide of some sort if she kills it by some other method. Others causing the death of an unborn child would also be open to homicide charges. Funny, when is a child not a child or is it when is a non-human a human?
I wonder what will happen in Hawaii the next time the death of a fetus is caused by someone other than the mother. Will the non-human become human? As I interpret this ruling if a person does something to a pregnant woman that causes the death of the unborn child that person may be charged with assault or a related charge for what they did to the mother but not for anything that happened to the unborn child.
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