Friday, December 17, 2004

Bobbi Jo Stinnett's Law?

A 23-year-old woman named Bobbi Jo Stinnett was strangled to death yesterday in Missouri; but this is no everyday kind of murder. Bobbi Jo Stinnett was 8 months pregnant; and the murderer wanted her baby. After killing her, he or she cut her womb open and removed the fetus. The baby is presumed to be alive, and the Missouri police are searching for it.

Obviously, I have no idea if the individual who killed Stinnett and cut her open to get her fetus considers herself or himself to be "pro-life." But the first thought that struck me -- after the initial physical revulsion and horror -- was that this seemed like the ultimate in the de-humanization of women. I have argued abortion rights with so many people who tell me that a fetus is not part of a woman's body; that the woman's body and the fetus's body are two separate and different entities; and that a pregnant woman is simply the vehicle that facilitates the growth of a baby until it is ready to be born. Well, here is someone who took that view to the ultimate extreme: she or he killed the woman (who was just an incubator and not a living person) to get the fetus, which obviously was more real to her than the woman was. She opened the oven to get the bun.

So I'm thinking that, in light of "Laci and Conner's Law," which made killing a pregnant woman a double murder, we might need to pass legislation called "Bobbi Jo Stinnett's law," which would make it a specific, and more severe, crime to murder a pregnant woman for the purpose of appropriating her baby.

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