When does life actually begin and a fetus considered to be a living being? There appears to be an inconsistency between abortion laws and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
When evaluating abortion, the beginning of life is determined by when the baby is born, but when evaluating a situation where a pregnant woman is murdered, the time that life begins can start at any time individual states determine.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a federal law that stipulates a child in the uterus is a legal victim. Abortion law states that abortions are permissible until a fetus becomes viable outside the womb and that a woman has the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy.
Yet, at the same time, laws in several states currently specify a double homicide can be charged if a pregnant woman is murdered. Some states determine a double homicide can be charged at any stage of pregnancy, not just later trimesters of viability. Looking at the state laws, it appears states have different variants of fetal homicide laws according to gestational age. Still, they are not equated to the same time frame stipulations where permissible abortions are allowed by law.
For instance, when a pregnant woman is murdered, why does the law count an unborn child as a person, but the unborn isn’t considered a person in the case of an abortion? If a woman is “x” gestational weeks pregnant, the fetus is the same age whether the mother decided to abort or if she were murdered and the fetus doesn’t survive. Either way the fetus dies.
Despite this, as outlined by law, in abortion, the fetus has no rights and is not considered a living being, but in the case of a pregnant woman, a murder has been committed. The laws relating to abortion and fetal homicide difficult to reconcile from an ethical, moral and humanistic standpoint. The major difference between the two seem to be one pregnancy was wanted and the other wasn’t.
Is this a viable means of determining what constitutes life in terms of the law?
If the abortion law outlines a fetus as not a living being unless it is viable outside the womb, how can murdering a pregnant woman be a double homicide? This is inconsistent. If the law was consistent and the fetus has no rights, shouldn’t that equate to murder for the life of the mother and another separate charge for loss of her pregnancy?
Charging double murder says two lives were taken which seems to be a clear contradiction of when a woman aborts and ends the life of an unborn child. Theoretically isn’t it the same thing? In both cases the unborn is murdered.
How is it possible the varying laws can actually co-exist when determining when life becomes viable? A clear contradiction at best.