Pro-lifers have unintentionally sowed the seeds of injustice by exempting mothers who get abortions from prosecution. They, too, should face consequences.
In March 1994, in Florida, 19-year-old mother Kawana Michele Ashley put a pillow over her stomach and “fired a .22 caliber pistol into the right side of her womb” in order to kill her six-month-old unborn daughter. Shot in the wrist, her baby was delivered by C-section and died of kidney failure two weeks later.
In May 1997, in Georgia, Jacquelyn Aretha Hillman, a 19-year-old single mother, shot herself in the stomach and killed her unborn child. She was eight months pregnant.
In Virginia, in March 2006, 22-year-old mother Tammy Wynette Skinner intentionally shot herself in the stomach the day she was supposed to give birth, after having contemplated “several ways to abort her child, including punching herself in the stomach and drinking bleach.” Her baby would have been named Kysharia.
In all of these cases, prosecution for the crimes of criminal abortion, murder, and manslaughter was dropped. The perpetrators could not be held liable because the statutes under which they were being prosecuted only applied to situations in which a third party committed the crime. As the Florida Supreme Court put it, the court would not “pit woman against fetus.”
Yet it is obvious that these mothers had pitted themselves against their unborn babies. This ugly truth is not overshadowed by the law’s refusal to acknowledge it.
Read the rest at The Federalist