Epistles of Thomas

October 23, 2008

To kill a fetus is not to kill a human, was that the question?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Thomas @ 14:26
Tags: , ,

Canada is currently considering whether or not to make it a separate crime to attack a woman and kill her unborn child. Currently, a fetus is not considered to be a human and therefore the perpetrator can only be charged with assault against the pregnant woman. I was just reading the laws of Hammurabi written circa 1726 BC and came across this section:

209 If a seignior [freeman] struck a(nother) seignior’s daughter and has caused her to have a miscarriage, [fn Lit. “caused her to drop that of her womb (her fetus)”] he shall pay ten shekels of silver for her fetus. 210 If that woman has died, they shall put his daughter to death. 211 If by a blow he has caused a commoner’s daughter to have a miscarriage, he shall pay five shekels of silver. 212 If that woman has died, he shall pay one-half mina of silver. 213 If he struck a seignior’s female slave and has caused her to a have a miscarriage, he shall pay two shekels of silver. 214 If that female slave has died, he shall pay one-third mina of silver.

Pritchard, James Bennett (Hrsg.): The Ancient Near East an Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1958. 175.

I think we can conclude that 3500 years ago killing an unborn child was considered a separate crime from attacking a pregnant woman. I don’t think we can let the abortion debate dictate whether or not we enact this type of law because there is certainly a precedent.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: