Monday, August 16, 2004

Woman Purees Newborn
Acquitted on Technicality

"... Tremendous breakthrough", says ACLU spokes-person. "This case represents a giant leap in the right direction."

Dateline: Massachusetts

Exact details are sketchy, but what is known is that a woman, known only as "Jane Doe" gradually fed her two day old baby into a food processor.

In arguments before the court, Ms. Doe's lawyer, Mr. Sharq, argued that the alleged murder was in fact an abortion. Mr. Sharq noted that Ms. Doe had not wanted the pregnancy, but didn't know that federally funded abortions were her right as a woman. As she did not have enough money to pay for an abortion, she had been forced to bear an unwanted child. The lawyer then focused on the legality of abortions, centering on the viability of the fetus.

Noting that in the Roe v Wade decision the Supreme Court had left the ultimate determination of the viability of the fetus up to the doctor, Mr. Sharq then called in a pediatrician as expert witness. The pediatrician, responding to Mr. Sharq's pointed questions, admitted that a new born baby was just as helpless as a fetus. Elaborating, he acknowledged that a new born was just as dependent on the mother for survival immediately after birth, as before. With the term "viability" hinging on survivability outside the womb, the pediatrician commented that a baby wasn't able to survive "on its own..." until it was able to feed itself. A newborn, not being able to feed itself, would not survive outside the womb on its own, and was therefore not viable. In summation, Mr. Sharq said, "So, a new born is in actuality simply a post-uterine fetus, and a non-viable one at that." Turning to the judge, he continued, "A non-viable fetus is subject to abortion, under the laws of this land."

The court then focused on the grisly manner in which Jane Doe had disposed of her baby. In testimony, Ms. Doe asserted that she had only heard of two methods of abortion, suction and D&C. When vacuuming the baby did not have the desired result, she resorted to D&C, or chopping the baby into little pieces.

The court dismissed the charges. The judge, in the written opinion, noted that "in court case after court case the right of a woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy has been upheld as an interpreted constitutional right. As the natural result of pregnancy is a child, it can be argued that the prevention of an unwanted child is implied. Further the Supreme Court has rejected the notion that a fetus is a human being entitled to protection under the Constitution. It has been here established that a new born is simply a post-uterine fetus. As such it has no standing under the law, and no crime has been committed. May God help us all."

In a related story, you will no doubt be fascinated to learn that in Santa Clara County v The Southern Pacific Railroad(1886) the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a "person" under the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is Unconstitutional to pass laws applied specifically to corporations and not to flesh and blood persons, as such laws deny corporate "persons" civic equality. (Conlin, The American Past, A Brief History. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Copyright 1991)


Anonymous said...

Frater -Please tell me this is not for this setting a precedent?! OMG! I can not tell you the level of disgust I feel right now --wasn't there already a precedent with all those teens who would put their babies in toilets, etc...Isn't it enough to say that you can leave your baby at an emergency room /fire station with no consequence... Yes, may God help us all!

J.D. said...

If you are so sure you are right on this issue why the need to lie and make stuff up to convince others? Why the need to demonize the ACLU for things they haven't done if there is stuff out there you feel they have done that is wrong?

readers - of COURSE this isn't true. I don't know why it's here, but it wasn't funny.

Anonymous said...

If it is a satire --then I guess that doesn't say much for the ACLU and this society that it wouldn't be that big a stretch to believe it...I was horrified, but I guess I wouldn't be all that shocked....

J.D. said...

By the way, Frater. I shave my head. Too long in the infantry I suppose, but I just can't see the need to mess with hair.

J.D. said...

It says much for the demonization of the ACLU that you at first readily believed it after all the negative (and mostly untrue) things you have heard about the ACLU, whereas a card-carrying member like myself instantly knew it to be false.

Standing up for what is right against the majority means you will ALWAYS be the unpopular one. Our Bill of Rights protects us from a "tryanny of the majority" by making the federal government one of limited powers. The People have ultimate authority, and did not give the government all the authority they possessed. That means that in some cases even if most people (the majority) agree that the government should do something the government still can't do it. It isn't allowed. The only way to allow it is for the people to give it that authority by amending the Constitution.

Not surprisingly, some of the amendments in our Constitution give the government more power than it originally had, while others restrict it.

The ACLU seeks to ensure that the federal government remains one of limited powers, and thus defends unpopular causes and individuals when the government seeks to pass the boundaries the People set for it. That means that the ACLU often takes unpopular positions - but that is what must be done to defend a minority against a "tryanny of the majority." The government can't infringe the right of any to speak, even communists or nazis, so that all of us are protected. That doesn't mean the ACLU supports communism or nazism, but instead supports the Constitution. The government can't violate the 5th Amendment protections of unpopular criminal defendants so that potentially innocent people charged with a crime are protected, so the ACLU defends unpopular criminal defendants whose rights have been violated. That doensn't mean the ACLU supports crime or thinks the criminal shouldn't be punished. So the ACLU defends communists, nazis, Eugene Debs and Oliver North. It stands up for the rights of atheists in a majority Christian nation. It is thus an easy target.

Anonymous said...

I conceed it is your right (as a veteran & American) to be a card-carrying member of an organization that would take the case of a member of MAMBLA --hopefully it will not take a 40 yr. old man enticing your son at 13 to sleep with him to change your mind about this!.....If you do not believe that the ACLU is on a crusade against Christianity (making a school take down the Nativity and the Menorah -but has the Qur'an as REQUIRED reading) --then you are just living in a denial 'California-induced' world...

Daver said...

Alas, more proof that the court system and it's participants are insane!

I don't even know where to start with this story or this running ACLU debate.

Daver said...

OK, now that my emotions aren't running wild after reading the story, I have a question.

If the ACLU finds it appropriate to defend this woman and her actions, why do they not find it appropriate to defend the baby?

This poor defenseless child needed to be rpotected from it's own mother. Who does that? Why are we more concerned with her right to kill her young?

Does anyone know how big the handbasket is that is carrying us all to hell?

Frater Bovious said...

Wow!! This was a reprint of a (fabricated) article that I wrote in my print only newspaper which was sent to my family. It is intended as satire, along the lines of Jonathan Swift when he propsed in his "A Modest Proposal" that the surplus of children and the lack of food for the growing population could be mutually rectified by the simple expedient of eating the children.

As far as the ACLU goes, I'm kind of glad there is an ACLU, but some of their causes make them an easy target at times. Like for instance, I can't really believe that it is so important to remove a monument of the 10 commandments that courts have to be tied up "defending" the constitution against decades old monuments that are primarily shat upon by pigeons and hardly given a second glance by passers by.

However, the intent to write an inflammatory article was apparently successful.

This of course did not happen, but partial birth abortions have, and I submit there is a grim truth told in my satire.

Frater Bovious said...

Also, for whatever it may be worth, in my satire all the ACLU does is applaud the decision. They did not take the case... I am fascinated by the fact that was assumed.

TWD, I really don't know much about the ACLU except my perception they unwaveringly attempt to support and protect the Constitution agains legal inroads I suppose foisted upon the nation by various politicos, etc.

Because the issues are complex and far reaching, I suspect that to really understand their motive or their point in a given argument, you would have to read the case. It is unlikely that you will get anything from any headlines in any of the mainstream media.

Which of course is why the Global Exclaimer Exists!

Anonymous said...

Frater...look what you started...hahaha....

Buck said...

The ACLU seems pretty focused on “rights”, and the ACLU is a product of the times, just like politicians. Exclusive emphasis on rights seems one dimensional to me. Everyone is on board for "rights". Who’s beating the drum for "responsibility"? A society of rights (of the people, freedom!) without responsibility (moral code, self control) is just cruel, and I see it reflected in a cruel world.

So what of responsibility then, simply survival of the fittest?

Anonymous said...

Two words that no longer exist in this society (much to our discredit):



J.D. said...

responsibility - as in "oops, my fault about those non-existent WMDs"

sacrifice - as in "I'll volunteer to serve in Vietnam."


Madame Boverie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frater Bovious said...

Odd that this has turned to this particular topic. First, a Rant:

A) I hate the designation WMD. The term destruction has a wonderful history of being used to describe things happening to inanimate objects. The destruction of human life is called killing, murder, etc.
B) "Mass" as used in this term means lots and lots. The efficacy of chemical weapons is such that massive loss of life is basically not an issue. And buildings etc., are still left standing, so chemical weapons fail as weapons that massively destroy infrastructure.
C) Biological weapons, while having the potential for massively destroying humans, again will leave buildings, etc., standing.
D) Chemical/biological weapons are primarily psychological in their effect, as witness the psychotic use of it in the Media. Or perhaps the WMD, Weapon of Media Disinformation. "Psychological?" you ask? Yes, like as in a locked door is a primarily psychological barrier in that you can still get in depending on how hard you want to try, or how much force you can bring to bear. I like to call them WMH, Weapons of Mass Hysteria, since that is all that has resulted so far.
E) Nuclear Weapons are Weapons of Mass Destruction by any yard stick you care to use.

Now, though it pains me to say this, WHOEVER coined this phrase WMD, even if it was some Republican or George Bush himself, it was clearly an attempt to lump something we knew Iraq at least used to have (chemical/biological weapons that we knew about because, well, we sold some to them) with the very worthwhile concern of Nuclear Holocaust.

It was a masterstroke of public manipulation as the evidence for nukes was significantly lower than the other stuff. (thank you for reading through the rant phase of this comment.)

Having said all that, I'm curious to know if everyone currently deriding Bush over the (to date) non-existence of these various weapons of mass dubiousity always felt this way, or has the availability of hindsight enabled them to, in the words of David Letterman, remember, as though it had actually happened, that they knew all along that there were none.

Pardon my verbosity.

Poor_Statue said...

Partial-Birth abortion (or late-term abortion as it is also called) is only used in extreme circumstances and is illegal in most cases. Add to that the fact that its occurence is rare.

The argument about partial-birth abortion is a tool used by the anti-choice to disgust citizens (as you demonstrated here) into being against all abortion.

Out of curiousity, are you also against fertility treatments?

Frater Bovious said...

Poor_Statue, I have never thought about fertility treatments. I would have to recklessly state at this time and without much thought, I have no concerns about fertility treatments.

I'm guessing that the "God" or "Religious Right" reasons for the anti-abortion stance is a subset of the "Don't mess with God's plan" line of thought. In which case my priest would probably tell me that we shouldn't jack with fertility.

But, I don't seem to have a problem with it. It's arguable that God's plan includes that people die of heart attacks. But we do something about that.

I have a complicated position on abortion that I typed somewhere once, and will attempt to find, if you really want to know my thoughts on it. fb

Frater Bovious said...

"Upon further review..."

It would seem that at least some aspects of fertility treatment involve creation of multiple embryos as the whole embryo implantation process is fraught with difficulties and is not a sure thing. So, multiple embryos, one or more implanted, and the rest-destroyed?

That seems close to the situation where a fertility process results in the mom having quintuplets, that is, until a doctor convinces her to abort 3 or 4 of them.

Which seems ghoulish.

It is a strange new world in which we live.

Poor_Statue said...

My point exactly. Most of the common fertility treatments result in discarded embryos. Since most of the arguments against abortion hinge on the belief that life begins at conception, these same people should be against fertility treatments. Most aren't.

That has always bothered me.