Yesterday, for the first time here in Kentucky, a man was arrested and charged under the state of Kentucky’s new fetal homicide law. Eric Trask beat his pregnant wife Samantha, who had filed for divorce 3 months ago. She was being treated at University Hospital downtown, but an ultrasound showed that her 5-month old unborn child had died. It was reportedly not the first time he had beaten her, even while pregnant. Interestingly, they were only married for a month, and both are under 20. Kentucky’s fetal homicide law was just passed last year.
Another side to the story, in my view, is the way it is being reported, both in the Courier-Journal and nationally. In the opening lines of their story, the CJ mentions that “her unborn child died.” From there forward, however, we see the baby described as “the 5-month-old fetus.” MSNBC likewise uses the phrase, “5-month-old unborn fetus.” The attempt to use cold, clinical langague to gloss over the humanity afforded to unborn babies by this law shows deference to the abortion industry and its vocal advocates. They understand the inherent contradiction in having a fetal homicide law that protects the life of unborn babies while at the same time allowing abortion to go on in the same town.
You typically see that kind of language employed because it makes the baby sound less than human, and de-humanizing a baby in this way makes it easier to stomach something like abortion. While “fetus” and “embryo” are descriptive biological terms, they are used in the media to promote the view that what resides in the mother’s uterus is simply a blob of undefined and unformed cells and matter and tissue, rather than a living thing. Fortunately technology comes to our aid with amazing 3d and 4d technology that presents amazing pictures of babies in the womb. They are alive. They are human beings, not blobs.
Fetal homicide bills acknowledge what (most) mothers already know, and their existence in legislation entails that most citizens also know. In having these laws exist side by side with abortion, we are in the de facto position of saying that the determinant for whether or not a baby is alive is the mindset and will of the mother. Of course that’s arbitrary. The same unborn baby can be valueable enough to protect by law, or conversely can be deemed an unimportant inconvenience that can be destroyed. But common sense, not to mention logic, demands that we see the silliness and arbitrariness of such distinctions. One’s will or desire to not change the reality of what something is. It is what it is irregardless of what another person thinks. And unborn babies are clearly living human beings.
Nod to David Price for the story.