A woman who was allegedly driving recklessly (i.e. she may or may not have been speeding) lost control of her car and is being charge with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide over the deaths of a couple of newborns — her own newborns. Oh, and one count (?) of child endangerment. Can I get a “what the fuck?!”
First of all, despite what media outlets such as The Daily Mail are alleging, investigators have not yet determined whether excessive speed was a factor in the accident. Considering that the speed limit for the area was 55 mph and the woman was driving over train tracks when she flipped her car, it’s entirely possible that she may not have even been speeding. (Common sense would tell you to proceed with caution over train tracks.)
Second, in spite of further dishonest statements from both The Daily Mail and sites like NorthwestOhio.com, investigators have not yet said whether the babies were securely fastened into their seats. Daily Mail is claiming that they were, but that the appropriate (newborn) car seats were not being used; Northwest Ohio claims that “officials have confirmed seatbelts had not been secured.” Both publications claim to have received their “special information” from authorities, yet according to multiple local news sources, the babies were in car seats, but police have yet to say whether they were properly restrained and the correct car seats were being used. Ah, the media at its finest. (The fact that there are dead babies involved means this woman will most likely be found as guilty by a jury as she has been by the press.)
It’s not clear why there has only been one child endangerment charge, but a second charge is pending. But regardless of the details — which may seem trivial now, though I guarantee they’ll matter come the time of her trial — the fact remains that this woman was responsible for the deaths of her own babies. Isn’t that enough? It ought to be.
What right does society have to punish her over the deaths of her own babies? After nine months of pregnancy and six weeks top-side, this woman has most likely made a pretty hefty investment of time, effort, money, and emotion into these babies — and now all of it is gone in a flash over something she did. To punish her any further would be both excessive and cruel. To slap this woman with two counts of vehicular homicide (and uno child endangerment) isn’t justice — it’s revenge.
But the core of the issue here is whether or not it is ethical to charge someone with vehicular homicide in the motor vehicle death of an infant. The answer is a flat-out NO. Homicide — vehicular or otherwise — entails the killing of a person. A six-week-old has no more claim to personhood than a human fetus; it fact, it essentially is a human fetus. To charge this woman with homicide over the deaths of either one or both of these babies is tantamount to saying that a person’s life is of equal (or lesser) value to a non-person’s. It’s like saying her rights to life and liberty are worth no more than a chiwawas — less even, because even chiwawas (unlike six-week-old humans) have personalities. It’s evil and it’s insulting. You may as well claim that a fetus is a person and begin criminalizing “fetal homicide,” with penalties as severe as life imprisonment. Oh, wait… *facepalm*
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we need infanticide laws in this country. But that’s never going to happen so long as abortion is being threatened by ignorance and religiousity — and by those fucking innane feticide laws.