Murder by any name is still murder

Published 6:16 am Wednesday, June 11, 2003

By Staff
As most of you who have been reading my column for any length of time know, I'm not afraid to take on a controversial issue or step on toes. So, here I go.
As many of you have probably also been doing, I have spent considerable time following the Laci Peterson case.
For those who do not know, the case involves the disappearance and death of the eight-and-a-half months pregnant Laci Peterson and the trial of her husband, Scott, for the crime. For some reason this case has become a huge story that has swept the nation and fired controversy on several issues. Many people have taken not only a personal but also a political interest in the tragedy.
The main issues brought out by the case seem to be those of abortion and fetal rights. Should Scott Peterson be charged with double homicide? There are very few people who could deny that a baby just two weeks from its due date is a human being and to be considered a victim of crime.
Yet if this is true, how does abortion fit into the laws of crime against the unborn? If it is murder when a father is responsible for the death of an unborn child, why is there a difference when a doctor is responsible for the death?
I know the entire abortion debate is a hot topic, but it should be. Despite your political leanings or stance on the issue, the fact remains that how a society views human life is a determining factor in how it views human rights. The undermining of value of the unborn is a symptom of a culture that is devalues all life. With the killing of Laci and her baby, Conner, new light has been shed upon this explosive topic. For many, seeing the grief of a family that loved and speaks of the unborn child by name has made the person-hood of the fetus more evident.
At this time, Congress is again debating the partial birth abortion ban. The bill to ban this procedure, politely termed by CNN and abortion proponents as "intact dilation and extraction," has been passed and vetoed twice in the past. On June 3 the bill passed the House and President Bush has promised to sign it into law.
Despite one's views on either side of the abortion debate, this bill is essential to preserving how our society respects life.
The procedure is heinous (I cannot describe it here, however, there are numerous resources available on the subject) and goes far beyond all arguments for or against abortion.
Murder is murder, whether committed by a father or a doctor. A third trimester baby is the same life whether it is called Conner or "fetus."

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