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The W - Current Events & Politics - NOW worried about Peterson case
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1215 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Here is the link but the gist of it is this:

The head of the National Organization for Women's Morris County chapter is opposing a double-murder charge in the Laci Peterson case, saying it could provide ammunition to the pro-life lobby.

"If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder," Morris County NOW President Mavra Stark said on Saturday....

....Under California law, murder charges can result if the fetus is older than seven weeks.





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redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#2 Posted on
Thus, NOW's new motto: Men are evil. Unless they kill their pregnant wife and child.
The big question now is: Is NOW trying to out-idiot Martha Burk's group?



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Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2979 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Thus, NOW's new motto: Men are evil. Unless they kill their pregnant wife and child.
    The big question now is: Is NOW trying to out-idiot Martha Burk's group?



Only if you refrain from actually reading the article.

Stark said that despite her opposition to the double-murder charge, she is not sympathetic to Scott Peterson. "I'd like to see them string him up," Stark said, "any way they can."

The is-a-fetus-a-person issue isn't going away. Since it's the core of the abortion issue, it probably never will. Whichever side of the issue you stand on, you must agree that BOTH sides will use any tactic, any legal mechanism and any degree of rhetoric possible to support their points of view. Neither pro-life nor pro-choice supporters can afford to blink.

So Stark's concerned that a case completely unrelated to abortion's legality might be used as a "fetus == person" bludgeon against RvW. Coming from her point of view, can you blame her? Hardly. She's opposed by people who wouldn't have the slightest problem using this case as such a precedent. Mocking her concern is like pretending that the pro-lifers would gladly take the high road and leave this case alone, and if you buy that, I have some valuable bridge property up for sale.

But to make a logical leap from there to "NOW Official: 'Killing pregnant women is okay by me'" is ridiculous. This tangent is about semantics, not sympathy. Nobody at NOW is _rejoicing_ that a woman is dead, pregnant or not.



"You may be wondering why I have been making so many references lately to Fox News. The reason is that it is now my cable news network of choice -- because if Iím going to watch the news and be lied to, I want it to be ridiculously obvious that I am being lied to." -- Center for an Informed America, Newsletter #34
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Since: 26.6.02
From: New Jersey, USA

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#4 Posted on
I think this goes to show that NOW has absolutely nothing to do with what its letters actually stand for. They are less about serving women and more about serving their personal left wing agenda. How can anyone who believes in women's rights be against the double murder charge?

By NOW's definition, if a man does not want to support his child and be financialy responsible, all he has to is kick his girlfriend in the belly to kill the fetus and all they can do is get him on assault?



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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#5 Posted on
This really revolves around the two ideas of fetus = living human vs fetus != living human. For those who fall in the second camp, it wouldn't make sense to try someone for murder who kills a fetus. It's simply being consistent.

I personally sort of lean towards the first camp, and hence lean to not supporting abortion, but I truly need more evidence and more thoughtful thought that a fetus is a living human before taking a concrete stand.
Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 52 days
Last activity: 3 days
#6 Posted on
...Under California law, murder charges can result if the fetus is older than seven weeks.

Now, this is what I don't understand. If, under California law, someone can be charged with murder in this situation, then how can a doctor perform an abortion after the baby/fetal matter is older than 7 weeks? Isn't this murder according to California law? If you consider the partial birth abortion, then the case seems to be even more clear cut. I always thought the debate was if life begins at conception or at birth (or at some point in between). This state law seems to indicate that life begins at 7 weeks, so how could anyone perform an abortion after that point?

I follow NOW's point--they're as upset about the murder as anyone else, but are worried about the legal precedent that could be set. And, it would be an important legal precedent because it would be support what is already written in California's legal code. Furthermore, I follow why a pro-choice activist could argue that this case should be considered a double murder since the loss of the fetus is against the pregnant woman's wishes while an abortion is consistent with her wishes and her right for choice.

Mocking her concern is like pretending that the pro-lifers would gladly take the high road and leave this case alone, and if you buy that, I have some valuable bridge property up for sale.

And, VSP, you cannot take someone to task for politicizing something and then turn around and do the exact same thing. I thought your previous paragraph summed up each sides' position really well and explained why each side will politicize this tragedy and why 'taking the high road' is not really an option for either side of the abortion debate. Regardless, I don't think there is a high road to be taken in this situation.
vsp
Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2979 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Corajudo
    ...Under California law, murder charges can result if the fetus is older than seven weeks.

    Now, this is what I don't understand. If, under California law, someone can be charged with murder in this situation, then how can a doctor perform an abortion after the baby/fetal matter is older than 7 weeks? Isn't this murder according to California law?



"Fetal homicide" laws make exceptions for legal abortions -- exceptions that the pro-life camp, obviously, want to get rid of.

Roe vs. Wade set up the now-famous "trimester" system, creating several degrees of viability and giving the fetus more "rights" as development progresses. I'm pro-choice, but I don't have a problem with this; an abortion in Month 8 should be much harder to justify than one in Month 2, and under current laws, it is. As the above indicates, different laws, situations and places draw different lines as to when "personhood" is granted, and THAT's what this side issue is concerned with.



    Mocking her concern is like pretending that the pro-lifers would gladly take the high road and leave this case alone, and if you buy that, I have some valuable bridge property up for sale.

    And, VSP, you cannot take someone to task for politicizing something and then turn around and do the exact same thing.



That was my point -- neither the pro-life nor pro-choice camps are the "good guys" here, because this case isn't ABOUT abortion. Laci Peterson is dead, as is her fetus, and playing Fetal Football over whether it was a "person" or not won't be a good thing for anyone -- but BOTH sides are ready to play, and those who think otherwise are kidding themselves. Both sides are just as willing to use "I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first" as a rationale for lashing out.




"You may be wondering why I have been making so many references lately to Fox News. The reason is that it is now my cable news network of choice -- because if Iím going to watch the news and be lied to, I want it to be ridiculously obvious that I am being lied to." -- Center for an Informed America, Newsletter #34
Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 52 days
Last activity: 3 days
#8 Posted on
"Fetal homicide" laws make exceptions for legal abortions -- exceptions that the pro-life camp, obviously, wants to get rid of.

Ahhh..thanks for the clarification. I've seen a couple of other similar cases and I always wondered how the law was actually worded because it seemed inconsistent to me. I wasn't sure if the law simply was not enforced when an abortion was involved or if there was an exception written into the law or if Roe v. Wade superseded the state law in the case of an abortion performed by a doctor or in a clinic.

That was my point -- neither the pro-life nor pro-choice camps are the "good guys" here, because this case isn't ABOUT abortion. Laci Peterson is dead, as is her fetus, and playing Fetal Football over whether it was a "person" or not won't be a good thing for anyone -- but BOTH sides are ready to play.

And I couldn't agree more on this point. I think there are more appropriate forums for this debate that don't involve the Peterson family and their grief.
Hairy Caray
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Since: 28.10.02
From: Wrigley Field hot dog stand

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#9 Posted on

    Originally posted by Corajudo
    "Fetal homicide" laws make exceptions for legal abortions -- exceptions that the pro-life camp, obviously, wants to get rid of.

    Ahhh..thanks for the clarification. I've seen a couple of other similar cases and I always wondered how the law was actually worded because it seemed inconsistent to me.



It is inconsistent. Basically, it determines whether a child is a "life" or not by the wishes of the mother. I wish they would be consistent in the laws, addressing and deciding on the philisophical/moral issue at hand rather than avoiding it by granting exceptions.

By the way, babies regularly do fine (with modern medical attention) outside the mother at 26 weeks (6 months) these days. I'd honestly like to hear from the pro-choice camp on why they believe it is not life at this point. (Those of you who are pro-choice, but don't go for abortions in the third trimester, you're excused.)




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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#10 Posted on
    Originally posted by vsp
    Both sides are just as willing to use "I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first" as a rationale for lashing out.


Hey, didn't we just go to war using that rationale?

EDIT: werds

(edited by OlFuzzyBastard on 21.4.03 1616)



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vsp
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Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2979 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00
    Originally posted by Hairy Caray
    It is inconsistent. Basically, it determines whether a child is a "life" or not by the wishes of the mother. I wish they would be consistent in the laws, addressing and deciding on the philosophical/moral issue at hand rather than avoiding it by granting exceptions.

    By the way, babies regularly do fine (with modern medical attention) outside the mother at 26 weeks (6 months) these days. I'd honestly like to hear from the pro-choice camp on why they believe it is not life at this point. (Those of you who are pro-choice, but don't go for abortions in the third trimester, you're excused.)



Ironically, Roe vs. Wade _provides_ some consistency, or at least a federal standard instead of fifty differing standards. As viability increases, so do the fetus's inherent rights; by the point that you specified (after six months, the end of the second trimester), RvW gives states the individual right to ban all elective abortions, except when the mother's life or health would be at risk. (Most do -- the last I recall reading were that 40 states and the District of Columbia ban them. Unlike where many issues in America are concerned, that _is_ a solid majority.)

Is a 27th-week fetus viable, and alive? Much more so than a seventh-week fetus, and that's why it's substantially protected by law -- by that point, its life can only be aborted to save another life (its mother's), and it's no longer the mother's sole decision as to whether it's "life" or not. I think you'll find that most rational pro-choicers do see the difference, and aren't total "Abortion on demand" zealots as they're sometimes accused of being. It's when someone else comes along wanting to ban abortions completely, usually on religious grounds, that the tempers flare and the screaming begins.

The trimester framework set up by RvW is far from the final and definitive statement on fetal viability -- it was merely a reasonable attempt at regulation, based on available medical fact, and it's held up pretty well over the years. Whether the California seven-weeks law in question is a more or less accurate standard is open for debate.

EDIT: If pro-lifers are infuriated by third-trimester abortions (as rare as they are), the case they need to attack is not Roe vs. Wade, but Doe vs. Bolton, its companion case. The latter expanded the scope of the "health" clause in RvW's language, allowing a variety of factors (physical health, psychological health, emotional health, family issues, age) to be considered when triggering third-trimester health exemptions.

(edited by vsp on 21.4.03 1406)


"You may be wondering why I have been making so many references lately to Fox News. The reason is that it is now my cable news network of choice -- because if Iím going to watch the news and be lied to, I want it to be ridiculously obvious that I am being lied to." -- Center for an Informed America, Newsletter #34
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#12 Posted on
The coyote goes...

NOW is concerned with the death of Laci Peterson, not her child, which she intended to have, as opposed to abort. Isn't it illegal for somebody to give an abortion against their will?

I think we deserve a coalition that says the death of Laci was acceptable, but not the fetus, along with coalitions that say Laci's and the child's deaths were acceptible and that Laci and child were murdered as result of lifestyles of the Urban Sprawl.

For the love of all things holy, what do America's Dairy Farmers think of all of this?



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Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#13 Posted on

    Originally posted by Lexus


    NOW is concerned with the death of Laci Peterson, not her child, which she intended to have, as opposed to abort. Isn't it illegal for somebody to give an abortion against their will?

    I think we deserve a coalition that says the death of Laci was acceptable, but not the fetus, along with coalitions that say Laci's and the child's deaths were acceptible and that Laci and child were murdered as result of lifestyles of the Urban Sprawl.

    For the love of all things holy, what do America's Dairy Farmers think of all of this?



Disclaimer: This is in bad taste.

America's Dairy Farmers are upset because of the loss of two milk drinkers. PETA is outraged at the ADW because
drinking milk is EVIL~! and we should all eat tofu bacon and wheat grass juice for breakfast.




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Andouille








Since: 3.1.02
From: Philly

Since last post: 2979 days
Last activity: 193 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.00

    Originally posted by Lexus


    NOW is concerned with the death of Laci Peterson, not her child, which she intended to have, as opposed to abort. Isn't it illegal for somebody to give an abortion against their will?



There's a huge difference between "NOW is not concerned with the death of the fetus" and "NOW does not agree that the death of the fetus meets the legal definition of murder, and is concerned that some will use this case as a precedent towards redefining legal abortions as murder." You can deeply regret the loss without automatically agreeing that what was lost was _legally_ a person. If nothing else, there are plenty of wrongful-death laws on the books (both civil and criminal) that stop short of homicide.

What was lost was a ninth-month fetus, which is thoroughly protected under RvW. Was it, for all practical purposes, a viable child? Yes, and RvW agrees with that definition. No one at NOW is saying "The fetus hadn't come out yet, so it was meaningless"; there should be substantial penalties for intentionally snuffing someone ELSE's fetus, and California's fetal homicide law is a deliberate step in that direction. If the law followed RvW's standards for "personhood," it _still_ would have applied in this case. But it doesn't; it applies a ridiculously early standard for personhood, seven weeks.

Are there lots of groups ready to point to this law and demand that RvW be overthrown, because any fetus over seven weeks of age is therefore a "viable person?" Yes, there are. And THAT's why NOW's Stark said what she did, not because she was callous or unconcerned about the murder of a pregnant woman.



"You may be wondering why I have been making so many references lately to Fox News. The reason is that it is now my cable news network of choice -- because if Iím going to watch the news and be lied to, I want it to be ridiculously obvious that I am being lied to." -- Center for an Informed America, Newsletter #34
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This is a few days old, but I just found it: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2983 There is a link to a pdf file in the story, containing a memo detailing a list of advertisers that want to be balcked out of Air America programming.
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