I recently wrote a blog post on the gruesome murder of a baby in her mother’s womb. In that blog post, I highlighted how the murderer—who allegedly stabbed the woman’s womb open and removed the baby—was reportedly not even charged with murder for her actions because the child was unborn. Well, a law professor at Northwestern University, Deborah Tuerkheimer, recently wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times on that very incident. And this op-ed is highly disturbing and disgraceful.
In her piece, “How Not to Protect Pregnant Women,” she writes, “In the wake of a savage attack on a pregnant woman and the removal of her fetus, Colorado lawmakers are planning to introduce a bill that would criminalize fetal homicide. If the bill passes, the state would join nearly 40 others that make fetuses a distinct class of victims.” She goes on to say “This would not be the first time that lawmakers exploited an extraordinary incident of violence against a pregnant woman to promote the rights of fetal victims,” and “Opposition to the creation of fetal victimhood has focused largely on the threat to abortion rights. This is a legitimate concern, but affording victim status to a fetus has implications beyond the erosion of abortion rights. Legally severing a fetus from the pregnant woman has the effect of pitting her interests against the fetus’s.”
So basically what she is saying here is that allowing a fetus—an unborn child—to have rights as a victim, and making the unborn their own class of citizen, could have worse consequences than just the possible “erosion of abortion rights.” What could be worse in her mind than lawmakers trampling on the so-called “right” of a woman to choose death for her child?
Well, according to Tuerkheimer, “granting fetuses victim status, however, does not address the core harm. When violence is done to a pregnant woman, her reproductive freedom is trampled.” So the most important thing here is not the life and well-being of the developing child. It’s the mother’s “reproductive freedom.” According to Tuerkheimer, the mother has chosen to carry this baby to term so, when her child is harmed or killed, it’s not a living human being that has been destroyed, but, rather, “the victim’s [the mother’s] interest in her developing fetus is thus violated.”
This view places absolutely no value, meaning, sanctity, worth, or even basic respect on the life of the unborn child. Instead, the supposed right of the woman to “reproductive freedom” is lauded as of far more value, meaning, sanctity, respect, and worth than the life of the yet unborn child. This is disgraceful. Actually, such a belief is totally consistent with a naturalistic evolutionary worldview. After all, if we are just animals, then life has no ultimate value, purpose, or meaning. So getting rid of a child in its mother’s womb would be no different than getting rid of a spare cat!
Each and every single human being—born or unborn—has worth and value because he or she was created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Our culture has slid so far from biblical values that it has not just devalued human life—people in our culture today now value a woman’s so-called “reproductive freedom” far and above a human life that murder can’t even be called murder. People like Tuerkheimer are trying to keep justice—murder being called murder—from being served to those who harm or kill an unborn child all in the name of “reproductive freedom.” This is tragic. Sadly, we will only continue to see beliefs like this in our culture as it slides farther and farther from biblical authority.
According to the Word of God—the Creator of all life—all human life has the utmost value, meaning, sanctity, worth, and deserves respect because we are fashioned by God in His image (Genesis 1:26). No animal was made in God’s image! Humans are very different from animals. Psalms tells us, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13–14). And God told the prophet Jeremiah, “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” (Jeremiah 1:5). We are known by God before we are even conceived in the womb! All life has value and deserves to be protected.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.