Murder Isn’t Murder If It’s an Unborn Baby . . . Really?

by Ken Ham on March 30, 2015

A tragic story has been making headlines recently that highlights how far our culture has drifted from a biblical standpoint on the sanctity of life. According to news reports, a woman at 34 weeks of pregnancy was responding to an ad on Craigslist for some baby clothes when she was attacked and her unborn child was cut out from her womb. The child did not survive the attack but reportedly the mother is recovering. Shockingly, according to reports, the woman who apparently attacked and killed this child will not face murder charges for what she did! Instead, she has been charged with “criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder [presumably of the mother that she allegedly stabbed], unlawful termination of pregnancy, and other crimes for allegedly cutting a fetus from the womb.” But the killing of the baby does not qualify as murder in Colorado or in about a dozen states because there is not proof that the baby was born alive.

Fox News reports that “the gruesome attack revived the highly-charged debate over when a fetus can legally be considered a human being.” Apparently Colorado, the state in which this attack occurred, does “not have laws making the violent death of an unborn child a homicide. State legislators in 2013 voted down such a measure over fears it would interfere with abortion rights, and voters overwhelmingly agreed when they rejected a similar ballot measure in 2014.” Fox also reports that “legal experts say a person can still be charged with homicide for an unborn child’s death under existing Colorado law if the baby was alive outside the mother's body and the act that led to its death also occurred there.” So in order for the violent murder of a baby to be considered murder it can’t take place within a mother’s womb—it has to happen outside of the womb!

This horrible story highlights how the abortion debate has dramatically changed what murder is. The courts cannot call what this woman did “murder” because then abortion would also have to be considered murder. This woman reportedly ripped a baby out of the mother’s womb prematurely so that the baby died. This is little different from what abortionists do every day around the United States.

Many people are rightly outraged that this woman would do such a thing and that the courts wouldn’t call it murder. CNN reports that Boulder County District Attorney Stanley Garnett said, “Now, I understand that many in the community—and heaven knows I've heard from a lot of them—would like me to file homicide charges.” But are these same people also outraged that abortionists can rip tiny babies—as well as babies not so tiny—out of their mother’s wombs and completely get away with it? It is inconsistent of those who support abortion to be outraged at what happened to this woman and not be equally outraged by abortion!

Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, a skilled writer and a retired obstetrician and gynecologist, says of this,

According to preliminary reports, this little girl was old enough to survive outside the womb. But even though witnesses believe they saw her gasp, she apparently did not manage to take a breath to inflate her lungs. Thus, by not announcing to the world with a successful breath or a cry that she was a bona fide member of the human family, the laws supposed to protect our lives and justly punish those who willfully destroy them do not apply to her. Yet similar horrors happen in abortion facilities every day in this country and around the world. For example, in late-term abortions, it’s considered an abortion “failure” when a baby is inadvertently allowed to be born alive! In the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002, federal law defined a “person” as a baby of any stage of development that displays any of the usual signs of life—a heartbeat, breathing, or voluntary movement—at any stage of development, so long as he or she has been completely expelled or extracted from the mother’s body. But laws vary as to the responsibility of the abortionist who allows this to happen. Thus, though perhaps having broader definition of signs of life than media reports suggest are being applied in Colorado, federal law is regrettably consistent with the notion that only a person that has been removed from his or her mother’s body is entitled to legal protection.

Of course, such hair-splitting legalities exist to protect the abortion industry. The epic difference here—from the standpoint of public opinion—was that this was a wanted child and she was also of an age that could not even be lawfully murdered at the mother’s request in many places. Our prosperous nation in which so much can be done to sustain and improve life has in the wake of Roe v. Wade officially become a culture of death. What a horrid double standard we have sunk to, that in the name of keeping the systematic murder of unwanted babies legal and readily available, the law cannot call the murder of even a wanted baby murder.

Unborn life is not worth less than life that has been born. Murder is murder regardless of the age or level of development of the victim. All life is precious because each human being is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and skillfully wrought together by Him (Psalm 139:13–16). And also consider Jeremiah 1:5 where we read, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” God knew Jeremiah before he even existed in his mother’s womb! Life does not begin after a baby emerges from the protection of his or her mother’s womb; life begins at fertilization and should be protected from that moment. For more, I encourage you to read AiG speaker and writer Dr. Tommy Mitchell’s article “When Does Life Begin?

Our courts have strayed so far from basing their thinking on God’s Word that they won’t even recognize that this violent killing as reported was a murder. This reflects the thinking of an evolutionized culture that doesn’t recognize that each individual—including the unborn—is made in God’s image and is therefore worthy of protection. We need to pray that our courts will return to a biblical basis for their thinking and this will only happen as the gospel of Jesus Christ changes hearts and minds throughout our culture.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team

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