Chartres 2006
Photo Story

Remnant Tours

Click Here to visit
THE REMNANT Scrapbook!


See Remnant


Abortion Is Fetal Homicide:

Maryland Case Again Raises A Truth

R. Cort Kirkwood POSTED: 2/6/12

( For as long as anyone can remember, the crackpot left has controlled Maryland. A state founded by Catholics, Maryland has “evolved” from the site of the first Roman Catholic Mass in the English colonies to the state with the most radical abortion laws in the country. That rating comes not from the National Right to Life, mind you, but from the grandaddy of all abortion groups, NARAL Pro-Choice America, which used to be more frank about its purpose in its old name: the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Thus it is that Maryland is now the site of a legal clash involving two abortionists who, apparently, crossed the line in the Old Line State. Nicola Riley and Steven Brigham stand accused of murder under the state’s fetal homicide law. The “doctors” argue that the law exempts abortionists because abortion is legal.

Oddly, the case against the baby butchers is buttressed not by any legal legerdemain from the pro-life legal lobby. Rather, a cosponsor of the fetal homicide law’s left-wing pro-abortion, a Jewish delegate who represents parts of Baltimore, says the deadly duo may well have broken the law.

Yet the case does more than pit this pair against the law. It highlights the legal insanity of country that permits abortion on one side of the street while prosecuting fetal homicide on the other.

What, some might ask, is the difference?

The Case

The state’s case against the Drs. Scissorhands runs thusly: In August, 2010, an 18-year-old girl went to Brigham’s abattoir in Voorhees, N.J., for an abortion. Her cervix dilated there, but they sent her to their clinic in Elkton, Md., which is in Cecil County. Why finish the procedure in Maryland?

According to
The Washington Post, “Maryland’s abortion law, which is less restrictive than in nearby states, may explain why the procedure was initiated elsewhere and completed in Elkton. Other states require that later abortions be performed at a surgical center or hospital rather than at a doctor’s office. In New Jersey, pregnancies after 14 weeks cannot be ended at a doctor’s office.”

In Elkton, the woman’s uterus ruptured, news accounts said, whereupon Riley drove her to the hospital. After that, she landed at John Hopkins Hospital.

Articles about the case are not clear about the unfortunate child's death; i.e., whether the abortionists killed it in utero, or whether the child survived parturition. Whatever the answer, authorities discovered one ghastly piece of evidence at the clinic in Elkton that does not help the defendants: the remains of 35 deceased unborn children. Fetuses, the papers call them.

Cecil Country’s grand jury indicted the pair because they murdered “viable” fetuses, although Maryland definition of “viable” is unclear.

Prosecutors seek
to convict Brigham of five counts each of first- and second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Riley faces one count each on the same charges. Brigham was not licensed to practice medicine in Maryland, and both “doctors” lost their licenses to practice medicine elsewhere, the Post reported.

In using the state's fetal homicide law, the prosecutor in Cecil County admitted that his case ventures into “uncharted territory,” Baltmore’s Sun reported.

Prosecutors will
try Brigham in June. Riley’s trial date is not set.

The Defense

Maryland’s legal code says
“A person prosecuted for [fetal] murder or manslaughter ... must have:

(1) intended to cause the death of the viable fetus;


(2) intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus; or


(3) wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person's actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus.

The law is “inapplicable to the termination of pregnancy” and says that “nothing in this section applies to or infringes on a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.”

Thus, the abortionists argue that the fetal homicide law protects them because they kill fetuses for a living. The 29-page defense from Riley’s attorney argues that Maryland’s fetal homicide law was meant to protect women from domestic violence and does not apply to legal abortions; i.e. killing fetuses. It “expressly provides that a licensed physician performing an abortion is immune from criminal liability.” The brief also claims prosecutors are attempting to intimidate doctors into ceasing abortion in Cecil County and that laws regulating abortion in Maryland are unconstitutional.

Oddly enough, the man who helped write the law, Del. Samuel Rosenberg, a pro-abortion leftist, says the law may very well apply to the pair, the Sun reported.

“Our clear intent was that you could not take action under this statute for an abortion that was legal,” he told the Sun. “Abortion is illegal under any circumstance if the fetus is viable.”

The Sun also noted that “Maryland law generally prohibits abortions when fetuses have a reasonable likelihood of sustained life outside the womb, but allows exceptions when the mother's life or health is in danger.” Yet the law does not define “viability.” Doctors and mothers seeking to kill their children do that.

Even if the definition of viability is unclear, the grand jury was clear in its indictment. The pair murdered a “viable fetus,” with Brigham charged with murdering more.

While Rosenberg reiterated his support for abortion, he said his “intent when we worked on this bill was to ensure that the fetal homicide statute would be used in appropriate circumstances. The courts will judge whether this is the case here.”

Fetal Homicide vs. Abortion

Here then, is the legal puzzle of this case. Abortion is legal in all 50 states. Yet at least 38 states have enacted fetal homicide laws, which permit the prosecution of a “fetal” murderer.

Maryland passed its law after the murder of Laci Peterson in San Francisco, Calif. Scott Peterson, her husband, murdered Laci and their unborn son. Laci, who had been trying hard to conceive, went missing two days before Christmas, 2002. She washed up on the shore of San Francisco Bay four months later. Scott Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Laci. He was convicted of second-degree murder for killing the unborn child, who was to be named Conner Latham Peterson.

Unsurprisingly, the feminists and abortion lobby saw a threat to feminism’s great triumph in 1973: the right to murder an unborn child, granted in the Roe v. Wade decision. As the Daily Record in Parsippany, N.J. reported at the time, the feminists wept and gnashed their teeth about the prospect of authorities prosecuting Peterson for killing his son.

“If this is murder, well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder,” a spokesman for the local chapter of the National Organization for Women grumbled. “There’s something about this that bothers me a little bit. Was it born, or was it unborn? If it was unborn, then I can’t see charging [Peterson] with a double-murder.”

No, she couldn’t see that. As I wrote at the time, “If Scott Peterson is found guilty of murdering his unborn son, then it follows that doctors and nurses, as well as mothers and fathers and grandparents, who participate in or encourage abortion are guilty of murder as well.”

The state would not arrest anyone in the latter instance, of course, but abortion could be stigmatized as “fetal homicide,” which is exactly what it is.

Charging Peterson with two murders erects this paradox: A man can be convicted of double murder and sentenced to die if he tosses his pregnant wife into San Francisco Bay. Meanwhile, in an abortion clinic across the street from the courtroom where such a murderer is sentenced, a “doctor,” nurses and a mother can openly conspire to murder a child as it emerges from the birth canal.

This, of course, is what terrifies the feminists and the highly paid butchers who do their bloody work. Americans might just start to wonder about that paradox and begin enacting abortion restrictions, or some judge with a conscience might land on the Supreme Court and seek to repeal Roe v. Wade.

But back to Maryland, which, by the way, again seeks to legalize so-called  “gay marriages”, having failed in last year’s attempt. As Maryland Right To Life notes, the state’s laws are radically pro-abortion. The law there doesn’t even protect medical professionals who refuse to participate in abortions from civil lawsuits or dismissal from work. So the doctors charged under Maryland’s fetal homicide law might well prevail.

Be that as it may, they cannot change what police found in that freezer: 35 dead babies.

R. Cort Kirkwood last wrote for the Remnant about Catholic environmentalists and their plans for a green Lent.

  HOME    |    PRINT SUBSCRIBE    |    E-EDITION    |    ADVERTISE    |    NEWS    |    ARTICLES   |    RESOURCES    |    ABOUT    |    CONTACT
Web Format and Content   ©  1996-2010 Remnant Press