Michelle Goldberg’s depraved, abortion-centric reaction to the Castro kidnappings

Newsweek Michelle GoldbergIf anyone still doubts that abortion culture warps the soul, look no farther than Daily Beast contributor Michelle Goldberg. In response to the nightmarish Ohio kidnapping case, she frets that charging Ariel Castro with capital murder for brutally inducing miscarriages in one of his victims would help “set a dangerous precedent” by “giv[ing] fetuses rights separate from those of the women who carry them”:

But if he is convicted of capital murder, it will ultimately be an injustice—not to him, but to the rest of us. That’s because it will mean that legally, ending a pregnancy is a greater crime than keeping three human beings locked in a squalid dungeon for a decade. Such a precedent will have implications beyond this terrible case.

Laws that allow for murder prosecutions in instances of fetal death often result from horrific crimes against women. Once they’re on the books, though, they can be used to prosecute women for ending or endangering their own pregnancies.

It’s not that Goldberg wants Castro to get away with it, mind you. Oh no, she just wants him prosecuted in such a way that treats it as “a crime primarily against the woman”:

“While there absolutely should be additional charges to causing women to lose their pregnancies, when we do it in a way that separates fertilized eggs, embryos, or fetuses from the pregnant women, it’s inevitably and always used as a mechanism for further dehumanizing and criminalizing pregnant women themselves,” says Lynn Paltrow, the National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s executive director. Castro’s abominations must be punished without turning into a pretext to punish other women as well.

Cry me a river.

The closest Goldberg comes to a legitimate concern is claiming that such precedent could be used against “even those with no intention of aborting,” but her supporting evidence doesn’t hold up. She cites a report claiming “413 cases between 1973 and 2005 of women who were arrested, incarcerated, or institutionalized because of harm or threatened harm to their fetuses” but apparently could find no more sympathetic name than Bei Bei Shuai, who attempted suicide by rat poison, leading to her baby’s death by brain hemorrhage upon birth at 33 weeks. I’m sorry for whatever turmoil would drive someone to take her own life, but the cause-effect relationship is pretty obvious here. Find us someone facing charges despite not being responsible for her son or daughter’s death, and we’ll talk.

It’s also revealing that for her example she chose a viable, nearly fully-developed, and born baby, who reached the third trimester, during which most states ban abortion, and we’re routinely assured that only the life or health of the mother is an acceptable reason to abort. Goldberg doesn’t bother to maintain even the illusion that some fundamental difference between born babies and unborn ones is what makes abortion okay. She all but admits that she just wants to pretend they aren’t there, and you’re the one with the problem if you dare to notice them and suggest they deserve compassion and justice for their own sake. Mom’s desire to dispose reigns supreme, and that’s that.

(Sick but not surprising, considering that the only thing Goldberg takes away from Kermit Gosnell’s crimes is that abortion access isn’t widespread enough.)

The fact of the situation is that multiple crimes were committed here, against separate victims. Castro committed imprisonment, assault, rape, and torture against Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, and he committed murder against their children. It might upset pro-aborts’ depraved priorities, but prosecuting each crime as such in no way treats the women “as only secondary victims.”

While the road from fetal homicide laws to criminalizing abortion is longer than Goldberg suggests, she’s right to see the potential seeds of a long-term paradigm shift. People should ask what the difference is between the abortions Ariel Castro performed and the ones carried out by the “respectable” hit men of Planned Parenthood. They should reconsider whether the finesse of a lethal injection or a suction tube is that much better if the result is the same. And they should ask if abortion is worth saving if this is what is required to save it. To hearts that aren’t as deadened as Michelle Goldberg’s, the answers are obvious.

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