When does human life start , debate over death of unborn hit and run victim .

Charlie - posted on 05/24/2010 ( 96 moms have responded )

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THE parents of an unborn baby girl, killed when her heavily pregnant mother was run down on Christmas Day by a driver allegedly on drugs, are demanding a charge of murder or manslaughter over their child's death.

But according to New South Wales law, Zoe Ball was not a human being because, despite spending eight months in her mother's womb, the baby did not take a breath.

Parents Brodie Donegan and Nick Ball have decided to tell their story about the loss of their child with one aim: To change the law.

Ms Donegan was 32-weeks pregnant with the second child they had longed for when she went for a short walk to "stretch her restless legs". Just 20m from her driveway an allegedly drug-affected driver swerved off the road and hit her.

The impact shattered Ms Donegan's pelvis, lower spine, hip and right foot. She went head-first through the windscreen of the woman's minivan. The 40-year-old driver escaped uninjured.
The charges - driving under the influence of drugs and causing grievous bodily harm - are yet to be heard in court.

The couple want the driver charged with their daughter's murder or manslaughter. But the officer in charge of their case said the driver could not be charged.

The police report provided to Ms Donegan and the driver's insurance company did not even mention that she lost the child.

"As Zoe did not technically take a breath and was stillborn they say they can't charge her with manslaughter," Ms Donegan said.

Now the couple, from Ourimbah on the NSW Central Coast, are campaigning for the death of an unborn child to be a crime attracting a charge of murder or manslaughter.

"Not charging for Zoe's death negates her life," Ms Donegan said.

"There has to be a specific law that recognises the viability of life and protects an unborn child and the wording of that law has to include manslaughter. And it should apply on a national level."

They said police told them there was no intent to harm mother or child, even though a police spokeswoman said the driver had been charged under Byron's Law.

But Ms Donegan argued: "I believe if you get into a car under the influence or even knowingly fatigued that is intent.

"I begged them to do the caesarean as soon as I arrived at hospital. They said it was more important they assess my injuries."

A spokesman for Police Minister Michael Daley said the minister was willing to sit down with the Attorney-General's office to see if Byron's Law needed "adjusting".

A spokesman for Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said his office had been in touch with Ms Donegan and felt for her.

"The Attorney-General's office spoke with the victim last week and is seeking to obtain the full details of this case," the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Senior Sergeant Peter Jenkins, commander of the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit, defended the charges.

He said police did not have power to lay charges over and above grievous bodily harm to a pregnant mother if the baby did not take a breath.

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At this late stage of pregnancy , i most certainly feel he should be charged with her death as a person , although not an individual from her mothers body she is fully formed and functioning and should be treated as a person .
Do you think he should be charged with the death of Zoe ? do you consider her "human"?

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God doesn't give these babies born with severe defects chance to live a normal life, doctors do! If doctors were to step back after every baby born with a tortureous condition was born and leave up to God, they'd be dead. If it was left in the hands of God,instead of up to the mother to abort, they wouldn't live either.

Johnny - posted on 05/25/2010

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In response to the original post... I believe that life begins at conception. But up until the time that the baby takes its first breath, that life is in the hands of its mother. It is her choice to view the life inside of her as a baby or as a parasite. Like it or not, I believe that it is her right to make the choice whether or not to continue to support that life. But it is her right alone, no one else is allowed to make that decision for her. So if she was planning on carrying that baby to term and giving birth, then it is her right to request that the person who hit her and killed her baby be charged with manslaughter. The woman behind the wheel of the car, the police, nor the government have any say in whether that baby/fetus was murdered or not. It is solely to the discretion of the mother.

Sharon - posted on 05/25/2010

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I'm trying to remember at what point during my pregnancies my doctors said "and there is the fully fomed, functioning brain"....

I know hydro and anencephally can be diagnosed before the delivery date and often isn't. Plenty of women continue their pregnancies blissfully unaware of the dead life they carry. until the last minute ultrasound where the doctor tries to confirm fetal delivery date and fetus size.

There was an anencephalic baby in the NICU when my son was born. They kept the isolet covered at all times, no lights on ever. Apparently it took the mother by surprise. I remember taking the AFP - Alpha feto protein tests for NTB- neural tube defects - but plenty of women pass up those tests or they aren't offered them.

Anencephalic babies have NO chance of surviving.

Hydrocephalic babies face a TORTUROUS future of round the clock care, multiple surgeries, potentially malformed brains, or very little brain due to the build up of fluids. I went to highschool with a kid who was born with this. He was kind of loopy, due to the various drugs he was on for pain managment. One time - something happened to his shunt in class and he vomited everywhere, had a seizure, fell over and cracked his head. At the rate he was missing classes he was going to be well into his 20s before graduating. His life was a misery and lonely. With that freakishly large head, no one would date him. He had little to no grace or balance because his head was so oversized.

Todays medical care is much better than that gazillion years ago treatment but in researching it right now, its still pathetically behind the times.

There is no way in hell I would doom one of my children to that life of hell.

I adored Michael (kid in highschool) but his parents were very protective and very broke (due to his crazy medical bills) I fight the urge to look him up because I don't want to read he died from one of his many infections.

Life is friggen hard enough without throwing crap like that at a kid on purpose.

Sara - posted on 05/25/2010

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But I think the point is that is should be up to no one to decide but the parents. You can have your opinions, it's a free country, but you as an outsider can't possibly know or feel what people put in those situations do. That is why I am prochoice, I can't try make people live by my own moral code (not that you are)...but it's better to have abortion legal and safe with restrictions than to just outlaw it all together as murder and not give people a choice. If there's no hope for your baby, which does happen, then why should you have to give birth to it?

[deleted account]

This case has NOTHING to do with abortion. In cases of third term abortion, life is prioritized as mother then baby. They don't carry them out indiscriminately, there has to be a imidaite medical reason and they always try and deliver the baby first if they can.

This person plowed into a mother with no concern for her or her baby. The baby could have been saved if it were not for the injuries inflicted on her by the driver of the car. I do think they should be charged with manslaughter of that child. At 32 weeks she would have had a good chance at living outside her mothers womb.

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Irene - posted on 06/02/2010

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It is quite a difficult decision. Each country, hell, even each US state is different, but I think the woman should be charged with manslaughter. It was a life that was taken, no matter that it was still in the mother or not.

I am anti-abortion, but pro-choice btw.

Angela - posted on 06/01/2010

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I have to come to this thread more often...I love a good debate. Here are my thoughts:

I have grown up with an aunt with Down's Syndrome. When she was born in 1965, the doctor told my grandparents to put her in an institution, never see her, etc. My grandmother replied, "I can't do that. I have 3 other little girls at home waiting for their sister" Now, I love my aunt more than anything. But I have been among the mentally/physically challenged my entire life. I have seen the daily struggles, not only for these individuals, but their families as well. When I was pregnant with my first, my risk for Down's came back at .5% (the equivalent of a 37 year old...I was 27) I went to see a genetic counselor, who recommended an amnio, which also had a .5 risk of abortion. We did the amnio, and my daughter was "normal" What would our decision have been? At first, my husband and I agreed that we would abort. Why? Because I believe, no matter what, you love your child. It's what kind of life can you give them? I have seen my grandmother struggle to continue to live to the age of 92 and in that time, my aunt lived with her. It turns out, during the 14 days it took to get the results of the amnio, both of us changed our minds, but were too scared to tell each other. Regardless, my point is this...I believe in a person's right to choose what they feel is best for them. I may/may not agree, but until I have walked a mile in their shoes, I will not judge them. So: Should he be charged with manslaughter? Yes. I feel that the question of was it alive or not is a moot point. Did his actions cause the fetus to not live (if you feel that life doesn't happen until birth) or die (if you feel life happens at conception) etc? Yes. Therefore, he is responsible.

As for mercy killings, euthanasia etc. Have you ever seen a regal 93 year old struggle for each breath while a nurse comes in ever 10 minutes to clean the shit (excuse my language) that is leaking from their body because their bowels have shut down? We treat animals with more dignity than that. So, I think every situation calls for an independant decision, and if it is kinder, gentler, easier, then I feel that we should let them go.

It's my humble opinion, I don't mean to sound so upset, and I apologize if I have upset anyone, but my grandmother passed away 3 days after my son was born...and I was torn between the new life I had in my arms...and being with the older life on its way to heaven. So it's a topic I am a little sensitive about, but willing to discuss!

Shelley - posted on 05/28/2010

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When does Human Life Start?
I believe it starts at conception.
I had a miscarriage last year i was 9 1/2 weeks pregnant it would have been due on the 6th of june.I believe i lost a baby a very important part of me i grieve the loss as many mothers do a miscarriage This story makes me so sad how awful to loose a child i think the laws should be changed to 20 weeks as this is when it is called a still born and is buried prior to 20 weeks it is called a miscarriage and does not have to be buried. Any loss of a child can have a devistating effect.

[deleted account]

Thanks ladies....I found similar information but I do appreciate that you were willing to help me look!

Rosie - posted on 05/26/2010

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when i was looking for info that's totally what it seemed like.

When a woman chooses to have an abortion, she may face severe obstacles in exercising her choice. Although abortion is fully legal in Canada, only 17,8% of Canadian Hospitals provide abortion services. Even hospitals that provide abortions place obstacles, such as restrictive gestational limits and long wait times, in the way of women who try to obtain one. In many cases, physicians and hospital employees deny women access by refusing information and referrals, or by referring women to anti-choice agencies. It is important to note that hospitals are not the only abortion providers. In Canada, a number of free-standing abortion clinics exist in major cities. However, even with the existence of abortion clinics and hospitals, many women, especially those living in rural areas, have to travel significant distances to obtain abortion services. This is time consuming, expensive, and can conflict with work and childcare.

i found that on this website: http://www.canadiansforchoice.ca/rights....

Johnny - posted on 05/26/2010

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No Dana, that is not the case. Your doctor was probably unwilling to refer you for an abortion at that late point, but in Canada, it is legal to terminate a pregnancy at any point until the live birth occurs. It isn't so much that there is an actual written law governing it, it is that there is a complete absence of legislation following the Supreme Court striking down the previous abortion law. So, as it stands, there will be no criminal repercussions for a woman or the physician who terminate a pregnancy at any point. In 1989 the Mulroney government tried to make it a crime to seek an abortion for other than a medical reason, but it did not pass into legislation. There has been no serious attempt to legislate abortions since then. I suspect most Canadians are actually unaware that there is no law at all governing how and when a woman can terminate a pregnancy. It seems most Canadians are under the impression that it can only be done in the first trimester because most clinics and hospitals will only perform the procedure at those times. Most abortions after 16 weeks in Canada are for medical reasons. Surprisingly, despite the lack of legislation of late term abortions, Canada has much lower rate of this practice than the United States which has much stricter regulations. That is probably due to the ease of access for abortions, which means fewer women end up trying to terminate late in the pregnancy. According to the Pro-Choice network of BC:

There are six clinics in BC that provide abortions, four in the Lower Mainland, one in Victoria, and one in Kelowna. Each of them offer pre- and post-abortion counselling, and can help you decide the best decision for you. You don't need a doctor's referral; just call to make an appointment. You will probably be required to have an ultrasound, which the clinic can either do for you, or arrange for you. Waiting time for a clinic abortion may vary between one and three weeks.

There are over 30 hospitals in BC that are specially designated (required) by the provincial government to perform abortions, although other hospitals often perform them, too.

Most abortions are done in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy—the first trimester. A few doctors in BC do abortions on request up to about 20 or 22 weeks, as well as a few clinics in Ontario, Quebec, and Washington State. Abortions are also available after 22 weeks in the rare event that your life or health becomes seriously threatened by the pregnancy, or in cases of serious fetal abnormality.

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Thanks Kati, I found that too but I know there are restrictions because when I found out I was pregnant and already 19 weeks along, before I even said anything to the doctor the doctor said, " well, it's already too late for an abortion so let's talk about your other options..." ! I was shocked because I didn't express to him anything about wanting an abortion but I guess he figured that's where my head was going because I was beside myself.....19 weeks already and NO idea I was pregnant! You can imagine my surprise and I left without even speaking to him about why he said an abortion wasn't an option. Someone else told me that it's illegal past 12 weeks without a valid medical reason but I haven't been able to find any info to confirm that!??

[deleted account]

I have a question and what better place to ask it then here! I'm having trouble determining what the laws are about abortion specific to where I live....BC, Canada! I am under the impression that it's illegal to abort a child past 12 weeks or the first trimester without a valid medical reason??? Hopefully someone can enlighten me...thanks!

Suzette - posted on 05/25/2010

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Christa,

It took a long time, and a lot of hell, to get to where I am. (Mainly caused by myself... reckless teenage years and all.) When I was a teenager, I would've answered that I didn't want to live, but now is a different time altogether different circumstances and things are managed better. (And they can only speculate that mine is something I was born with, nothing physically manifested until I was in my teenage years. It's apparently sporadically genetic and skips generations.) Because it can be controlled, a lot better than what people with hydrocephalus have, it's not something my mother would've terminated pregnancy for even if it could've been detected. Which, apparently it can't be I'm told.

If I were in this woman's shoes and I had a child with a terminal disease, that had been detected, I wouldn't have been that far along so it wouldn't have been an issue. If I were in the woman's shoes and I had no idea that the child had a terminal disease but found out after they told me that the baby had died, then yes I would still want him charged. Number 1, I would've expected to give birth to a fully healthy child. No one ever told me until after the child was already passed that anything was wrong. Number 2, the fact that the child was terminally ill doesn't negate the fact of what I expected (the fact that the doctor didn't tell me or wasn't able to tell me is a different story). It also doesn't negate the fact that the man killed the baby, even if the doctor wasn't able to tell me or didn't tell me for whatever reason. That's something to take up with the doctor.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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Suzette, I have no idea your situation, but I bet you are glad you've been given the chance to live. I know his mother wouldn't change having him even with the way things turned out. And actually he had a very strange situation. He took too many pills, but the next morning he woke up and went to the hospital. They said they had no idea how he was walking, his organs were basically shut down. There was nothing they could do for him, but he was conscious long enough to say good-bye to everyone. So they do know exactly what he was thinking when he did this. He was sorry and wished he hadn't done it. He was happy he had the chance to live.



To get back to the OP, change it around. IF this baby had some sort of terminal disease would you still want to charge this man? If this baby wasn't going to live more then a few days, should he still be charged with robbing that child of it's life?

Suzette - posted on 05/25/2010

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Christa,



"I realize how hard that would be, but I just don't think anyone but God has the power to decide who lives or dies."

Speaking as someone who has a condition that cannot ever be "cured" by any surgeries, with all due respect, you cannot know how hard it would be for someone to live with something like that unless you, yourself, have to live with a condition of that sort. (I'm not saying that you don't have some condition as I'm not assuming to know you or your life.)



"Actually Sharon he did, I was basically part of that family for 6 years, he was like a brother to me and while he had scars on his head, he appeared normal."

No matter how well a person manages a condition, it's not cured. It's with them everyday, for the rest of their lives. Appearing as what society feels to be normal and actually being normal are two totally different things. Plenty of people tell me that I'm functioning great, and I am, but there are things that I can never do. Though that really doesn't bother me that much, except when I really want to go to a concert and I can't. Or when I want to drive myself somewhere and my husband is on a trip for work and we can't afford the taxi to do it. But I won't ever function as what society sees as "normal." Even if I appear to be doing so.



"He was virtually alone, he had his brother but his brother had his own problems. It had nothing to do with the disease but thanks for assuming."

My brother committed suicide. Assuming that we know every reason behind why someone does something so drastic and tragic, well we can't. Even if they leave a note, their notes are cryptic and often don't tell the real reasons behind why they do what they do. I'm sorry for your loss, I know how it feels to lose someone like that. My brother didn't leave a note, and I'm glad he didn't because they never make any sense and often don't tell the truth.

Sharon - posted on 05/25/2010

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It takes none.



God did not will people to give birth to mishapen and illformed humans. Its an accident of nature. This is why we've developed tools & technologies to save those we can and give mercy to those we can't.



I'm done with this thread.



The OP - manslaughter charges need to be brought.

Charlie - posted on 05/25/2010

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Oh , ok thanks Christa , i appreciate you sharing your views on that with me : )

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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Loureen, only when it's very clear that they aren't coming back. More in a pull the plug type of thing not a drug them kind of a thing. Let nature take it’s course.



Sharon, it's the hardest part of the religion. You can't understand why things happen. All you know is he gave us free will and because of sin the world is not perfect. But he is in control and he will take care of all of us. He doesn't "choose" for us to be one way or the other, we have free will. Anyway I don't want to get into a big religious debate, but I do understand how you feel that way Sharon. :-) It takes a lot of prayer and study to fully understand his will and purpose.

Sharon - posted on 05/25/2010

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I'm leaning closer and closer to the agnostics, the more time I spend on this site.



What god would choose that sort of life for one of his precious creations? The creations he allowed his only son to be murdered for?

Charlie - posted on 05/25/2010

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Just out of interest and nothing to do with this debate would you be against euthanasia as well Christa , Im just genuinely curious , you dont have to answer that if you dont want too or PM me if you want to keep that out of this thread :)

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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Actually Sharon he did, I was basically part of that family for 6 years, he was like a brother to me and while he had scars on his head, he appeared normal. He unfortunately had an abusive father and a mother who chased boyfriend after boyfriend across the country. He was virtually alone, he had his brother but his brother had his own problems. It had nothing to do with the disease but thanks for assuming.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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I realize how hard that would be, but I just don't think anyone but God has the power to decide who lives or dies. Just as I wouldn't kill my child if they were in an accident that caused pain. I would comfort them until the lord took them. That is my faith, I put all my trust in him and I understand that doesn’t make sense to some.

Sharon - posted on 05/25/2010

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The point is Christa - you can't predict how bad things will get. HHMMM i wonder why the young man killed himself. Poor kid.



I wish this world were perfect but it isn't. I can't say I think well of someone who actually thinks its ok to force pain on someone else. Who do you know would choose to live thusly crippled? You say he "conquered" it. There is no such thing. The sites all say "you manage it". Some people never need more than a surgery or two and their heads shrink down amazingly. Obviously that doesn't happen for everyone and you can't predict who it will happen for and who it won't.



As much as I thought Mike was a sweet guy - I wouldn't have dated him if he had been as rich as bill gates. I doubt I would have had mercy sex with him either. I'm willing to bet if he lives, he's paying for it.

Jessica - posted on 05/25/2010

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So basically your saying, it doesn't matter how much that child will suffer with whatever it's born with, no matter how horrid, just as long as it lives?? Even if it's doomed to live out a horrible, painful, or whatever type of crappy life, just so you can say it wasn't aborted....?

I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, I just think that for as much as you think you sound like ur acting for that child, it sounds like you are soley acting on what works for you and your comfort zone as opposed to whats actually best for the child...I don't understand that.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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My high school boyfriend's brother had hydrocephalus and was a normal functioning young man. He had to have several surgeries to deal with his shunt, but other then that he was perfect. He lived until 22 when he killed himself. The saddest part of that is he had finally conquered the disease and they had removed his shunt. They told his mother he wouldn't live past the age of 5. The point is you don't know how long a baby is going to live.

Suzette - posted on 05/25/2010

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I'm also with you on that Sharon. I don't think I could do that to my child either. I don't understand why people refuse to take the tests, I can understand if they're not made available and that there were times where the research wasn't as easily accessible, but I don't understand why they don't now.

LaCi - posted on 05/25/2010

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"There is no way in hell I would doom one of my children to that life of hell."

I'm with you on that, Sharon. If something was wrong and I was made aware of such consequences I wouldn't go through with the pregnancy. Thank you for sharing all that, I don't know enough about these things.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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Because it's a human and deserves the same courtesy the rest of us received. When you are ill you get to make the decisions on whether to live or die or you have willed your wishes out(or at least had the chance to), doesn't the baby deserve the same chance? Like I said if it's something huge like a missing vital organ they can tell that way before the third trimester and if it's something that appears terminal, you never know what can happen. Just because survival isn't very likely doesn't mean it's impossible. Doesn’t that baby deserve a chance? PLUS leaving it legal leaves room for abuse and there are many cases of Dr. Tillers that other Drs don't agree an abortion was necessary for anyone's health. Anyway this really isn't the point of this thread.. . .

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Kati - I can't find any US/UK statistics to compare. Late term abortions (after 20 weeks) only account for 1.5 % of UK abortions, I'm presuming that many of them occur after the 20 week scan as a result of finding abnormalities. I doubt many of them would exceed the 24 week cut off. I can't find any statistics for over that 24 week cut off.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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If it has no brain, or some other major problem like that, they know that well before the third trimester and who's to say any baby has 100% chance of not living? Deliver it, if it dies of natural causes then so be it, but why partially deliver it then deflate it's head? It's just so disgusting that even ONE of these happens here. It should have been illegal a long time ago. The same thing for the women's health, they can get a baby out in like 30-90 seconds with emergency c-section, I imagine the abortion takes longer, it couldn't be any shorter. So deliver it, give it a chance to survive and then take care of the mother.

Sara - posted on 05/25/2010

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But, is it murder if it's medically necessary? I mean, I don't think you can compare the two if you're talking about a situation like stated in the OP and a situation where a baby has no brain and thus has zero chance of survival outside the womb. You can't make a law that says that an abortion after X amount of weeks is straight up murder because it may not be true.

Katarina - posted on 05/25/2010

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I was thinking of Laci and Scott Peterson as well, Sara. Poor, Poor woman.It does happen more often then we'd all like to think.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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I guess the point should be until we can make a law that says a fetus after X weeks is a viable human and killing it is murder, no exceptions, there will always be cases like this where someone doesn't get the justice they deserve.

Sara - posted on 05/25/2010

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My first thought when reading the OP is about that Scott Peterson case a few years ago here in the states. He was found guilty of murdering his wife and unborn baby...she was 8 months pregnant I think at the time of her murder. So, there is a precedent here for treating a baby at that stage of development as a murder victim.

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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I actually didn't realize we had so many states with restrictions, I applaud them. But it doesn't change the fact that you CAN get one in this country for no reason at all at anytime. The problem with Tiller is his "medical reasons" were very questionable at times. But again I fail to see what the medical reason would be that wouldn't allow an emergency c-section to give the baby a chance to survive. There really isn't a need to abort a baby at such a late stage. Anyway this is all really off topic, I guess it just proves that our laws are behind our hearts. This woman should get justice for her murdered baby as should every baby killed in the third trimester. IMO

Rosie - posted on 05/25/2010

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actually cathy it looked like there were more late term abortions provided in the UK, than in the united states. i'm not trying to be combative, but it's just not true that everybody here is aborting their babies willy nilly during latter months like some people are trying to make it seem like.
sorry i'm getting off topic, i seem to do that alot....

[deleted account]

US law regarding abortion seems a bit wishy washy to me. Looks like people could find a lot of loopholes if they wanted.

In England, Wales and Scotland abortion is legal if you are less than 24 weeks pregnant and if two doctors agree that it is necessary for one of the following reasons

*having a baby would upset your mental or physical health more than having an abortion. This means you need to explain how you feel the pregnancy would affect your life to a doctor.
*having the baby would harm the mental or physical health of any children you already have.

An abortion is also legal at any time in pregnancy if two doctors agree that:

*an abortion is necessary to save your life
*an abortion would prevent serious permanent harm to your mental or physical health
*there is a high risk that the baby would be seriously handicapped.

I'll also add to that that most doctors or medical establishments won't consent to abortions after 18 weeks unless they consider a woman to be in the latter catergory.

Rosie - posted on 05/25/2010

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yeah, i didn't understand it either, most of the cases of hydrocephaly aren't severe, but apparantly some are so bad that the babies head grows to be 20 in. in diameter (an adult head is 7-8 in). i don't see how that could come out during c section either. i was looking stuff up to cause some were making it seem like people just go in and can get an abortion for whatever reason. hers a link i found interesting. http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_pb...

[deleted account]

Most babies have a high chance of surviving at 27 weeks. Anything after that I presume would fall into the fetal homicide area. I agree the two things are completely different.

Katarina - posted on 05/25/2010

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Where I am from(BC, canada) they can not abort passed 12 weeks in most clinics, 20 weeks for serious complications and past that the woman gets referred to a clinic in the states. We just don't do them here.

LaCi - posted on 05/25/2010

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Thanks Kati. I do understand there are risks associated with a c-section, although I didn't mind mine at all. But I can't imagine a mother who apparently wanted to have the baby choosing to vacuum its brain out over just having the c-section. From what I just looked up even with hydrocephalus ( I don't know much about complications like this) most infants will lead normal lives with few limitations if its caught early enough. Certainly-if the fetus is too damaged I understand, but to abort the thing you apparently wanted to have to avoid a c-section? seems silly to me. ;/

Katarina - posted on 05/25/2010

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It's called fetal homicide, IF a fetus could have a [put percent here, I can't quite remember, something in the 80's I believe] of surviving the person can be charged with fetal homicide. Abortion is COMPLETELY different. Aborting a 10week old fetus versus a 36 weeks old fetus dying in an collision are completely different.

Rosie - posted on 05/25/2010

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laci, alot of partial birth abortions done in the third trimester are done because of hydrocephaly. sometimes the head is waaaaaay to large to deliver by induction. there are c-sections but that is major surgery and has risks to the mother as well. so as gruesome as it sounds they suck the brains out of the fetus, and compress the head to let it pass through the birth canal.



here's some of the law of the united states, sounds pretty similar to yours cathy.





The United States Supreme Court decisions on abortion, including Roe v. Wade, allow states to impose more restrictions on post-viability abortions than during the earlier stages of pregnancy.



As of April 2007, 36 states had bans on late-term abortions that were not facially unconstitutional (i.e. banning all abortions) or enjoined by court order.[16] In addition, the Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart ruled that Congress may ban certain late-term abortion techniques, "both previability and postviability"



All[17] of the 36 state bans are believed by pro-choice organizations to be unconstitutional.[18][19] The Supreme Court has held that bans must include exceptions for threats to the woman's life, physical health, and mental health, but four states allow late-term abortions only when the woman's life is at risk; four allow them when the woman's life or physical health is at risk, but use a definition of health that pro-choice organizations believe is impermissibly narrow.[16] Assuming that one of these state bans is constitutionally flawed, then that does not necessarily mean that the entire ban would be struck down: "invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render narrower declaratory and injunctive relief."[20]



Also, 13 states prohibit abortion after a certain number of weeks' gestation (usually 24 weeks).[16] The U.S. Supreme Court held in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services that a statute may create "a presumption of viability" after a certain number of weeks, in which case the physician must be given an opportunity to rebut the presumption by performing tests.[21] Therefore, those 13 states must provide that opportunity. Because this provision is not explicitly written into these 13 laws, as it was in the Missouri law examined in Webster, pro-choice organizations believe that such a state law is unconstitutional, but only "to the extent that it prohibits pre-viability abortions".[18]



Ten states require a second physician to approve.[16] The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a requirement of "confirmation by two other physicians" (rather than one other physician) because "acquiescence by co-practitioners has no rational connection with a patient's needs and unduly infringes on the physician's right to practice".[22] Pro-choice organizations such as the Guttmacher Institute therefore interpret some of these state laws to be unconstitutional, based on these and other Supreme Court rulings, at least to the extent that these state laws require approval of a second or third physician.[16]



Nine states have laws that require a second physician to be present during late-term abortion procedures in order to treat a fetus if born alive.[16] The Court has held that a doctor's right to practice is not infringed by requiring a second physician to be present at abortions performed after viability in order to assist in saving the life of the fetus

Sara - posted on 05/25/2010

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I was curious, so I found this:

In Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions, the high court allowed states to prohibit abortions after the fetus is able to live outside of the womb, with the following exceptions: States may not prohibit abortions necessary to preserve a woman’s life or physical or mental health, and states must allow the attending physician to determine when a woman’s health is at risk and when the fetus is viable, without requiring a second doctor’s opinion.

Apparently, Vermont is the only state with no restrictions on abortion. I think that people make it seem like there are so many states where you can just waltz in at any point in your pregnancy and demand an abortion. I've never thought that to be the case. I'm pro-choice and I certainly don't agree with the abortion of a healthy fetus in the third trimester.

Sara - posted on 05/25/2010

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Christa, where it is legal to have a third trimester abortion? I think it's a state by state thing, certainly where I live an abortion that late could not be obtained without a medical reason...even in Kansas, Dr. Tiler performed abortions that late only when there was a medical reason. I know of no place you can just walk in at 8 months pregnant and say "Hey, I think I've changed my mind, can i just get that abortion now". Where I live, you can't obtain an abortion past 12 weeks without a medical reason.

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I thought we were fairly liberal in our abortion laws. Our cut off, in the UK, is 24 weeks unless of substantial risk to the woman's life or if there are foetal abnormalities when there is no time limit. Disgusted at the thought that a viable baby can be aborted for no reason. What do they do? Deliver the baby then kill it?

LaCi - posted on 05/25/2010

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"Like I said before if there is a medical reason in the third trimester just DELIVER the baby, don't kill it. Give it a chance to live on it's own. There is no need at all for third trimester abortions."



I'm down with that. If it's purely for a medical reason I don't see any reason abortion is absolutely necessary if it's at a point in which survival out of the womb is a strong possibility. I'm actually not sure why that isn't brought up more. Generally when your health takes a downward turn when pregnant they do lean toward emergency c-sections or inducing to prevent worsening conditions. I'm not all that knowledgeable about pregnancy/delivery, is there ever a reason why that isn't an option?

Christa - posted on 05/25/2010

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@Suzette, the vegetative state was talked about referring to early fetal brain development. They obviously don't stay that way for long, they continue developing until birth. So using that as a reason they aren't yet human and ok to kill doesn't hold water. IMO
I was also pointing out the hypocrisy in our laws as well as some peoples statements. Either a fetus is a baby or it isn't. It doesn't change depending on whether or not the mother wants it.
Like I said before if there is a medical reason in the third trimester just DELIVER the baby, don't kill it. Give it a chance to live on it's own. There is no need at all for third trimester abortions.

@Cathy, here in the US you can get a third trimester abortion without a clear medical reason and they do not try and deliver the baby. FYI. Like I said some of your other countries are way ahead of us on that front. The pro-choice community will not give in to anything because then they think they loose their precious right to choose, even when it is clear as day they a killing a baby for convenience.

Rae - posted on 05/25/2010

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I watched the interview the other night and bawled. I believe the driver should be charged with murder, he ended a life and devastated a family. To me the abortion issue is standing in the way of this couple having justice and the driver being held responsible.

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He shouldnt get away with what hes done to that poor woman and her family. Life begins at conception thats my opinion and in regards to abortion anyone having one knows they are ending a life so i really dont know why some people have to beat around the bush about it.

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I don't think we have the right law for him to be charged. It's a very slippery slope if they do decide to charge him, because of the whole abortion issue.

While he's done something horrible, grievous bodily harm is appropriate. It would be far too complicated to decide legally when life begins (as a separate entity) and to write in a clause that excludes abortion.

Charlie - posted on 05/25/2010

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No decision as yet although majority of the public want this man charged .

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