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March 06, 2005

Teen Charged With Murder For Inducing Miscarriage

Lindsay from Magikthise, who is hosting at Pandagon this week, wrote about the Texas case where an 18 year old man has been charged with murder for helping his 16 year old girlfriend miscarry.

An 18-year-old boy from Lufkin, Texas has been charged with capital murder for helping his 16-year-old girlfriend induce a miscarriage. The girl faces no charges.

The case is considered a test for a new Texas law that criminalizes injuries to fetuses. [AP]

While this case is being used as a test case for the state's new law protecting "the unborn," it needs to be pointed out that fetal deaths may be considered murder. One of the commenters at Pandagon had written "I was thinking about the practicing medicine angle, too. But doesn't the law consider all fetal deaths to be murder if they happen as a result of some other crime? "

Yes, fetal deaths are considered murder but the fetus isn't given personhood.

A fetus is not a "person" under the law. It does not have rights as an individual or as a person.

A fetus is generally considered by the law to be a "human being," i.e. a being that is human. That does not imply rights as an individual, or that a fetus is a "person" as opposed to "chattel," property.

"Homicide" only means the killing of a human being by another human being. The word does not even imply a criminal killing. "Homicide" does not require a killing of a "person," but of a "human being."

It's clear that this new law seeks to give fetuses personhood. That said, a fetus is a "human being." That does not mean it is a person. Current law declares it the property of the woman.

Still, this new law seeks to elevate fetal personhood above that of the pregnant woman's personhood. That's bad news.

Posted on March 6, 2005 at 10:54 AM | Permalink


You're going to start seeing a lot more of these cases especially in rural areas in blue-state areas. There is no access to legal abortion within most US counties, and there are restrictions for minors. So deperate kids will start doing this stuff more and more, especially in states that offer little to nothing in terms of social safety net protections (like Texas that paragon of Bible Belt virtue).

Posted by: silverside at Mar 6, 2005 12:15:14 PM

So I am talkative today. I am from Texas so while I don't know a great deal about the case I know a little bit about it. Lufkin is in East Texas about 3 hours from any metropolitian area where the girl would have had access to abortion services. Also, we have parental notification laws, there is evidence to suggest that her mother would have supported an abortion but the girl was living with the boy and his family and they were pressuring her to have the children(twins). There is also evidence to suggest that this was an abusive relationship, she showed up at the hospital with bruised arms and a bruised and swollen left eye. While I disagree with the law, because it elevates the status of the fetus, if the law was written to protect pregnant women as it was sold to the citizens of Texas; then it could have been written in such a way that the fetus had nothing to do with the crime and the offense was based souly on the injuries suffered by the actual victim, the woman who was beaten.

Posted by: Rugo at Mar 6, 2005 12:55:48 PM

So much that is 'bad' seems to emanate from Texas and I'm not just talking about this law...but they have the highest number of people on death row, first woman executed there in like a century, always giving Supreme Court a headache either trying to execute the retarded or a juvenile, two Bushes for President, Jerry Falwell AND Pat Robertson, BOTH there, many mothers losing custody of children there, abuse of animals in rodeos, etc.,

Is there a way we could like 'ex-communicate' them from the rest of the US...like what the Church used to do in the medieval period when a country's rulers just refused to follow the commonly accepted norms of all the other Catholic countries...

Just refuse them like airplane flyover/landing privileges, cable, telephone connections, etc.,
until they shape up???

Anybody have any other ideas...I'm just so sick of Texas and all the 'evil' that emanates from that region of our country...

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 6, 2005 3:45:53 PM

"...there is evidence to suggest that her mother would have supported an abortion but the girl was living with the boy and his family and they were pressuring her to have the children(twins). There is also evidence to suggest that this was an abusive relationship, she showed up at the hospital with bruised arms and a bruised and swollen left eye..."

So why not arrest the two sets of parents involved? The girl's mother, for allowing her to leave her home and move in with boy and his parents and then arrest the boy's parents as well for allowing this to go on under their roof?

I mean these people were the adults involved and they SHOULD have known what was going on, they were responsible for these two...

This way we don't overturn the whole right to abortion law by extending laws to cover fetuses, while not giving a damn about the actual living minors involved.

It appears to be a simple case of parents not supervising their LIVING CHILDREN properly...

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 6, 2005 3:52:04 PM

This is Texas we are talking about we have some of the strangest laws on the books. But plesase don't ex-communicate us from the rest of the United States, we did give you LBJ, Anne Richards, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins,The Texas Observer, and if you can remember way back John Henry Falk. Plus then if you kick us out then you would have to pick on Louisanna and it wouldn't be as much fun. There are good liberals in Texas, we just are out numbered.

Posted by: Rugo at Mar 6, 2005 4:25:24 PM

Alright...but you'll have to start working much harder then citizens in OTHER states to justify your liberal credentials...LOL...

Sorry...but if I hear of one more case going to the Supreme Court from Texas regarding execution of retarded persons, juveniles or something to do with a fetus, I'm going to just scream...

It's becoming a little too much already from that state.

Posted by: NYMOM at Mar 6, 2005 4:49:53 PM

If we did "exile" some of the former Confederate States it would be no hair up my ass. Those states are nothing but trouble, especially for women and people of Color. Sometimes that's all they're good for; reminding the rest of us why we need to keep fighting for civil rights, gender equality, and keeping religious dogma the fuck out of government.

Texas....shit, why couldn't we have just left them as their own damn country?!

Posted by: Pseudo-Adrienne at Mar 6, 2005 5:18:53 PM

"Texas....shit, why couldn't we have just left them as their own damn country?!"

It could still happen if they keep it up...

Posted by: at Mar 6, 2005 7:27:05 PM

somewhere or other, right around the election, i saw some hypothesizing of what might happen if Texas chose to exercise that right of its to split into five separate smaller states. turned out at least a couple of them would end up blue states, almost no matter how you sliced it, with one or two others being battlegrounds. considering the size of the damn thing, it almost made me wish the Texans _would_ go ahead and do it.

...now if i could only find the link to it again... ah, no such luck, it seems. :-(

Posted by: Nomen Nescio at Mar 7, 2005 9:29:03 AM

So, what happened? Did the girl want the twins?
What's the story? The 18 year old boy 'helped'
with the 'miscarrage'--by beating the mom, beating
his girlfriend who was carrying the twins? Was it
against her will? What kind of 'choice' is this--
if this is the case. What is the story? Yes, I believe
it is good for the woman, girl, female, mother, carrying
the twins, to have a choice, and not to be abused by
the boyfriend--and to have the babies killed--if this was the case.

Posted by: Holly at Apr 18, 2005 2:01:41 AM

Unfortunately, this case is not rare nowadays. More and more people, especially teenagers, are not ready to have children. At all times people face this problem, and we can do nothing with it.

Posted by: toothpick_tp at Oct 10, 2007 12:58:41 AM

There are so many cases of miscarriage today. It's really disapponting. It especially happens with young girls who are not responsible enough to bring up a child. It's good that such a law has been established.

Posted by: Jenna at Dec 21, 2007 12:56:56 AM

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