For as long as anyone can remember, the crackpot left
has controlled Maryland. A state founded by Catholics,
Maryland has “evolved” from
the first Roman Catholic Mass in the English colonies to
the state with the
radical abortion laws
That rating comes not from the National Right to Life,
mind you, but from the grandaddy of all abortion groups,
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
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 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
which is in Cecil County. Why finish the procedure in
The Washington Post, “Maryland’s
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
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
because they murdered “viable” fetuses, although
Maryland definition of “viable” is unclear.
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
try Brigham in June. Riley’s trial date is not set.
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
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.
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.
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,”
the Sun. “Abortion is illegal under any circumstance if
the fetus is viable.”
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
in its indictment. The pair murdered a “viable fetus,”
with murdering more.
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
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
fetal homicide laws, which permit the prosecution of a
Maryland passed its law after the murder of
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
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
As the Daily Record in Parsippany, N.J.
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
No, she couldn’t see that. As
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”,
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
for the Remnant about Catholic environmentalists and
their plans for a green Lent.