Monday, January 3, 2011

City's Third Homicide Spawns Law School Exam Question

The Indianapolis Star reports.

A woman eats rat poison a week before giving birth. Three days after birth, the newly-born baby dies as a result of her mother having ingested the rat poison. Can the woman be prosecuted for murder (or any crime for that matter) even though when she did the act the baby was not yet born?

To prosecute her requires accepting the fact that not only is the fetus life, but that it is life deserving of the protection of the law. That would be inconsistent with the intellectual basis for abortion rights that depends on the fetus not being legally protected life until after birth.

Talk amongst yourselves.

8 comments:

Hoosiers for Indiana said...
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Hoosiers for Indiana said...

Paul,
I'm going to disagree with you on this one. She can legally be charged for something. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know what the charge would be.
Indiana doesn't permit any late-term abortions. In some cases fetuses have rights. I'm curious to know if there were other circumstances that we are not aware of.

Ronald Rodgers

Paul K. Ogden said...

HFI,

I didn't mean to argue that she can't be charged, but rather that the charge would be inconsistent with the philosophy behind abortion on demand

Actually Indiana does allow late term abortion if it's necessary for the mother's health, including her emotion and mental health. That's a mighty big loophole. Case law (i.e. Doe v. Bolton and its progeny) requires Indiana and other states make that exception to their ban on late term abortion.

Hoosiers for Indiana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosiers for Indiana said...

Like I said, "I'm not a lawyer" and I don't know know all the facts.

My concern would be what we don't know about this issue. One question would be...Why if she met the exceptions she didn't go to a doctor?

The woman seems to have waited an awful long time, before drinking/eating poison.

Is there any place in Indiana that will perform late-term abortions? If there isn't than she should go free.

Downtown Indy said...

So was she trying to kill herself or the child or both of them? Is she sane or insane?

Since the child was born alive, the abortion issue would seem to be moot. There was no abortion by definition.

But she did cause the child's death and so if that was her intent that would be murder, but if killing herself was the intent but the child died that would be some degree of manslaughter. Right?

IANL, either.

Hoosiers for Indiana said...

What does IANL mean?

Thanks,
Ronald Rodgers

Downtown Indy said...

It means nothing, unfortunately. If I'd spelled it correctly, it would have meant "I Am Not A Lawyer."