Two women got in an argument. One woman, after allegedly being slapped in the face, pulled out a handgun and shot the other woman. The wounded woman is in critical condition. Yet, the shooter may be charged with murder.
I suppose if you read the headline you can guess the riddle. Why is a murder charge possible? Because the wounded woman was six months pregnant. After she was shot in the belly the baby died.
From the Florida Times-Union:
The arrest report said Wyche admitted pulling a gun from her waistband and shooting Brooks after Brooks slapped her in the face.
Wyche is being held in the Duval County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
The Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office wouldn’t discuss whether Wyche could be charged in the death of the unborn child.
However, it is possible for murder charges to be brought against a defendant when an unborn child is killed.
Andrew Wayne King, 28, was convicted in September of two counts of first-degree murder, including an unborn child. King stabbed Felicia Burney to death in June 2010. Burney was nine months pregnant when she died. Her unborn child also died in the attack. King was sentenced to life in prison.
Our society is bound up in self-contradictory knots over the status of unborn babies. On the one hand, they aren’t human, have no protections, and should be “aborted” without shame. But then when it comes to crimes, suddenly we know that a baby has been killed. What is legal for a doctor is illegal for an assailant. Even our language to describe the child changes according to what we want to do to him or her.
It is pretty obvious what we are trying to hide. It is common practice to dehumanize the enemy. Unborn babies are treated no differently when they are regarded as the enemy.