The abortion wars aren’t ending anytime soon in Tennessee where last week the state House of Representatives approved a bill allowing homicide and assault prosecutions in the death of embryos in the earliest stages of development.
As Robin Marty reports, the bill exposes women for possible prosecution if she miscarries or even has a period.
Tennessee law has long allowed prosecutors to bring two charges when a person kills or assaults a pregnant woman. The second charge of harming a fetus can be brought only as a second charge to harming the pregnant woman as well. The law further limited prosecutions to harming a “viable fetus” until last year when the law was amended to apply to any fetus.
The new bill would change all that.
To begin with the new law would embrace the idea that embryos can be crime victims, implicitly accepting as a matter of law the idea of embryonic personhood. It also disregards the established science that roughly half of all fertilized eggs die before reaching full term.
For law enforcement to properly enforce the law should it pass it would require investigation of each miscarriage to determine if a prosecution is warranted. Extend this logic and it effectively changes the law’s presumption of innocent for women in every case of a pregnancy loss.
But of course, the war on women is all a fiction, right?
Photo from lawmurray via flickr.