A county is weighing a murder charge against a mother after her sick “home remedy” for killing her unborn child: Having her boyfriend punch her in the stomach repeatedly until the baby died.
KBFX-TV in Bakersfield, California, reports that the “baby died May 24 at Kern Medical after being pulled from the womb with a fractured skull. Police believe the baby girl’s parents are to blame, but the case has presented a legal conundrum eliciting strong opinions about how to proceed.”
“The mother is believed to have been 30 weeks into her pregnancy when she arrived at the hospital, according to a search warrant affidavit filed by Bakersfield police.”
Police say that the baby was delivered with “traumatic injuries… that led to the child’s death” and that “severe bruising” was discovered on the woman’s stomach.
The station reported the woman, whom it did not name, said that the injuries occurred while she was mopping, but medical officials didn’t buy it. Police were called in for an interview, and it was revealed that her boyfriend punched her “at least 10 times.” After this, she says, she “stopped feeling the baby move.”
California law describes viability as occurring between 24 and 26 weeks and defines murder as the “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” Nevertheless, Deputy District Attorney Gina Pearl — who’s investigating the case — says this is somehow a complicated one.
“We’re actively reviewing it,” Pearl said. “It’s a unique case. We’re still investigating. There’s a lot of different angles.”
KBFX also reported that no murder charges will be pursued against the boyfriend if “the act was solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus.” Because apparently, charging them both — as would happen in every other case in which a murder was suborned, as in through a hitman — just isn’t an option or anything. Ah, California.
A representative from Pro Choice Kern County has an obvious answer to solve this: More abortions.
“Of course, we don’t want anyone to suffer violence,” Jennifer Bloomquist told the station.
“We can prevent future cases by offering greater access and even funding for abortions,” she added. “Safe and legal abortions, not induced miscarriages.”
Marylee Shrider, executive director of Right to Life Kern County, told KBFX that she was “shocked, and I wanted to burst into tears.”
“Even if she thought of it, what kind of man would say, ‘Yeah, I’ll punch you in the stomach until the baby is dead?'”
“On moral grounds, grounds of decency, no, there’s no gray areas here,” Shrider added.
I have a great compromise, though: Why not just charge the duo with practicing medicine without a license? After all, if a fetus can simply be killed on a mother’s whim and with your taxpayer dollars, isn’t the only thing they did wrong here not leaving the murder in the capable hands of a doctor? Sure, viability may have already been reached, but there are ways around that — and after all, if only you would have paid for this woman’s abortion, California taxpayer, she wouldn’t have had to do this!
Or we can treat this like we would when the fetus was killed by a murderer or drunk driver and hold those responsible for its death accountable.
“So the only difference in this case is the mother didn’t want the baby,” Shrider told KBFX. “The baby is a human being, or she’s not. The fact that she’s wanted or not wanted is not relevant. It doesn’t make her less human.”
Maybe in a logical argument, yes. But not in California.
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