Yes but why?

A Vietnamese woman has escaped execution after paying a fellow inmate to bring her a plastic bag of semen and a syringe so that she could become pregnant while on death row.
Under Vietnamese law, pregnant women or those with children under three years of age cannot be executed.

OK, don’t execute pregnant women, long standing thing (Anne Bonney and friend did this to avoid being hung with, erm, Calico Jack, didn’t they? And one story is that they jeered him as he was…..or maybe that’s the G MacDonald Fraser version).

However, why?

Yes, yes, obviously, but today?

The fetus isn’t a person today is it? Not a human. So why can’t it die with the mother?

I wonder if anyone can actually manage to rationalise that.

You can do it easily by saying you’re against capital punishment and so on. But the specific point that the fetus is a non-human that can be destroyed at whim, and yet is so precious that it stops a righteously convicted criminal from being executed?

21 thoughts on “Yes but why?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    It is weirder than that – the Latin American dictatorships are often criticised for holding pregnant Communists in prison until their children were born. As opposed to shooting them right away as the Soviet Union did I suppose.

    But the Great British Confusion continues. A Vibrant Teaching Assistant has just got life for performing what he probably would describe as a DIY abortion on his Vibrant girlfriend:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3442592/Teaching-assistant-22-killed-unborn-baby-stamping-heavily-pregnant-ex-girlfriend-s-stomach-sentenced-life-prison.html

    Father-to-be Kevin Wilson, 22, stamped on Malorie Bantala’s stomach after failing to convince her to abort their child, claiming he was not ready for fatherhood.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3128172/Eight-months-pregnant-woman-21-loses-baby-pushed-ground-repeatedly-kicked-stamped-two-men-crash-helmets.html

    Not a sentence I am particularly upset about – except for the fact that he will be out before his child would have made it to primary school. But it is odd to see something that Amanda Marcotte has described has a malignant tumour being given about the same protection as a real person.

  2. The baby is not guilty of the crime. And is below the age of criminal responsibility anyway.
    And the mother has not chosen abortion. She can choose to kill the baby; the state may not.

    No, can’t rationalise it.

  3. The fetus isn’t a person today is it? Not a human. So why can’t it die with the mother?

    Maybe if this took place in the West where abortion is legal (albeit under specific, but very lax circumstances involving medical professionals), but in Vietnam it is illegal to kill a foetus.

    There from all else follows…

  4. Sorry, I should have said abortion as performed in the UK and the USA is illegal.

    Vietnam is more akin to Ireland in that it will only be performed if the mother is genuinely at risk of serious injury if the pregnancy went ahead.

    In the case of an execution by legal authority it would still involve the murder of an innocent (as in the foetus, not the mother)

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    John Galt – “Maybe if this took place in the West where abortion is legal (albeit under specific, but very lax circumstances involving medical professionals), but in Vietnam it is illegal to kill a foetus.”

    WTF? Vietnam is a Communist country and so the main form of birth control is abortion. The fifth highest rate in the world I believe. The highest rate of teenage abortion in the world:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/08/vietnam-tackles-high-abortion-rates-2014827131119357230.html

    According to doctors from Hanoi’s Central Obstetrics Hospital, who presented a report last May at the Franco-Vietnam Gynaecology and Obstetrics Conference, 40 percent of all pregnancies in Vietnam are terminated each year.

    Abortions in the first 22 weeks are still legal, affordable and available upon request at public hospitals and private health facilities across the country. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Compendium of Research on Reproductive Health in Vietnam, two-thirds of terminations in Vietnam today are a result of unwanted pregnancy.

    It makes you wonder what the other third are.

  6. SMFS has the better example here. (I am sitting down and fanning my face) Father kills the unborn child: murder; mother kills unborn child: her right to choose.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “SMFS has the better example here. (I am sitting down and fanning my face)”

    Thinking about me in my pyjamas are you?

    “Father kills the unborn child: murder; mother kills unborn child: her right to choose.”

    Not murder I believe. A 1929 law protecting the unborn if I remember that second link right.

    But it gets worse – the British government, again if I remember right, performed a compulsory abortion on a woman who wanted to keep her child because the agents of the British state decided she was not mentally fit to continue with her pregnancy.

  8. I wonder if SJW would protest against scientists aborting baby animals?

    I guess they would raise the question of consent…

  9. This was part of the plot of one of the stories in the Sophia Loren movie Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: her character was found guilty of some crime, except that under Italian law, women who were pregnant or nursing couldn’t be put in prison. So her character gets pregnant something like 12 times in succession to keep out of prison for many, many years, until her husband just can’t knock her up any longer.

  10. Father kills the unborn child: murder; mother kills unborn child: her right to choose.

    I don’t know if the father was convicted of murder: the article says he got a life sentence, but doesn’t mention murder. Personally, I think a man who kicks a woman so much she loses a kid she wants should be chucked in jail for a very long time, albeit not charged with murder.

  11. But it gets worse – the British government, again if I remember right, performed a compulsory abortion on a woman who wanted to keep her child because the agents of the British state decided she was not mentally fit to continue with her pregnancy.

    That was the Italian woman, right? People should have been strung up from lamposts for that.

  12. I dimly remember an incident in the US where a man killed his pregnant girlfriend and was charged with two murders.

    The case caused all sorts of ructions with the Feminazis who saw the double murder charge as a deliberate provocation.

  13. Easily rationalised. A foetus has a potential right to life (as it is not alive until born regardless of viability), but does not have the right to force another being with rights (the mother) to carry it, so if she chooses not to carry the foetus she does not have to do so (regardless of the effects on the potential rights of the foetus – unless we want to enable the tyranny of the environmentalists, I suspect we should be clear that the rights of a person who exists always trump those of a potential person who may exist in the future). So in effect a foetus can have rights so long as they do not trump those of the mother, whose rights have priority due to her definitely being alive to exercise them (even if in this case that was a slightly unfortunately choice of words…).

    So here, as the mother has consented to bear the foetus, then the foetus’ rights come into action because these do not in any way effect the mothers’ rights due to her choice to have the child. The same applies where an unborn child is killed: the unborn child is protected unless the person carrying it decides they do not wish to do so.

    As Vietnam is a communist dictatorship, I’m guessing the real reason is not as logical, but simply because them theres’ the rules, but still.

  14. I fail to see any reason why the execution would not be stopped in this case.

    The woman is already in prison so she can’t commit more crimes against the general population. The woman wants to carry the child, if only for the selfish reason of gaining almost 4 more years of life. Without further information I can not comment on the father’s rights in this case.

    This is before we even consider whether the woman should be facing execution. Unless the Vietnamese legal system is far better than that of the US there is a non-trivial chance that she never even committed a crime.

  15. I disagree. An unborn child is alive and it is human. Killing it is murder. It’s up to the rest of you to rationalise why a mother causing her child to be killed, for any other reason than to save her own life, is not murder.

  16. An unborn child is alive and it is human. Killing it is murder.

    Should women who miscarry report it to the police then? And should we have a coroner’s report for each miscarriage? Should the women, in those instances where their actions might have caused the miscarriage, be tried for murder?

  17. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “Should women who miscarry report it to the police then? And should we have a coroner’s report for each miscarriage? Should the women, in those instances where their actions might have caused the miscarriage, be tried for murder?”

    Heart attacks are not reported to the police. Natural deaths with no suspicious circumstances do not go to the coroner. Women whose action have caused miscarriage have been tried in America and I believe in Britain. We had a thread on this recently.

    Vietnam probably inherits this law from the French.

  18. Heart attacks are not reported to the police. Natural deaths with no suspicious circumstances do not go to the coroner.

    Who decides whether they are suspicious or not?

  19. In fact, if we’re going to treat the unborn child as a human and their deliberate death as murder, we’re going to need a register of unborn children. We need to report pregnancies, in other words, right after they occur. Or will we take the word of the mother/father/neighbour that this “human being” existed as the basis for a police investigation? What’s to stop a woman aborting her baby with a knitting needle and saying “I was never pregnant”, without a robust registering and monitoring program administered by the state?

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