2/4/13

"Morally wrong"?

Awhile back we had the little dustup over the Catholic Hospital defending itself against a wrongful death law suit, by using Colorado law as a shield. Colorado law defines a 'person' as one who was 'born alive.'

Therefore, a fetus cannot be a person, under Colorado law, and if the fetus is not a person, there can be no wrongful death.

When all that came to light, there was some backpedaling that was epically spectacular:

Catholic Hospital: It Was 'Morally Wrong' To Argue That A Fetus Is Not A Human In Colorado Court 

On Monday, the hospital and the state's bishops released a statement acknowledging it was "morally wrong" to make the legal argument.

and

... last week Colorado's bishops met with executives at Catholic Healthcare Initiatives, a branch of the church that operates the hospital at the center of the case, to review how the lawsuit was handled. The two released separate statements Monday saying CHI executives had been unaware of the legal arguments and pledging to "work for comprehensive change in Colorado's law, so that the unborn may enjoy the same legal protections as other persons."

OK. I find it difficult to believe that the bishops were clueless about the defense argument used, but now we have them coming out saying they ain't gonna do that again.

Meanwhile, our elected officials have been considering a law that would make it a crime to kill a fetus.

Last Monday, no church representatives testified as a state legislative committee considered a proposal to make it a crime to kill a fetus. Republican Rep. Janak Joshi said his measure was not meant to wade into abortion politics but rather enable prosecutors to file additional charges in cases like the Aurora movie theater shooting. One victim was so severely wounded during the July massacre that she miscarried, but prosecutors could not file murder charges on her unborn child's behalf
.

That led to this interesting twist of logic:

Democrats and an attorney for Planned Parenthood argued that Joshi's measure, as written, could enshrine legal rights for fetuses in state law and lead to an abortion ban. The committee voted it down, but Democrats later unveiled their own bill that would make it a crime to kill a fetus during a criminal act committed against a pregnant woman. That measure specifically states that the intent is to neither outlaw abortions nor give unborn children additional rights.

Can anyone explain to me why it should be a crime to kill a fetus during the commission of another crime (see the state's existing statute on 'felony murder'), yet killing the same fetus through abortion or neglect should not be a crime?