When murder isn’t murder at all

Last month, a Santa Fe man killed his girlfriend Sarah Lovato, their unborn child, and Lovato’s father. Even though the baby was full term, due any day, and he shot his girlfriend in the belly multiple times, Mariano Leyba, Jr., can’t be charged with the baby’s murder, because the baby wasn’t a human being, you see. At least in New Mexico. Read the rest of the story in my New Mexico Independent column.

Comments 5

  1. Foxfier wrote:


    So, all you have to do to avoid being charged with killing your fully born child is make sure no air gets into their lungs.

    Hard to be charged with strangling a fetus, no?

    Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 2:57 am
  2. Brigette Russell wrote:

    Pretty much. I found it ironic that the same week people here were outraged over this story, my fellow Santa Feans were having a memorial service for the late-term abortion doctor who was shot last week, and calling him a hero. So Dr. Tiller’s a hero for killing full-term babies, but Mariano Leyba’s a murderer. I guess if you have an M.D. that makes it okay.

    Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 3:10 am
  3. MIT Mommy wrote:

    Hmm. Is this the male version of abortion – and Sarah was merely interfering with his rights? Sure. Abortion and involuntary manslaughter. So much in this world is a matter of perspective.

    How about I get technical and merely say ‘yuck.’

    Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 3:59 am
  4. JT wrote:

    Interesting story. I don’t like abortion but I don’t know that I would make it illegal, though I would absolutely say it should be accompanied by forced sterilization in all cases that are not due to the health of the mother or severe birth defects. If you can’t handle birth control and require someone to kill your child for the sake of convenience, I think the state has a right to see that you don’t do it twice.

    I don’t think the murdered doctor was a criminal but he was certainly no hero under any definition. CNN had some friend of his on who basically said that it (performing abortions) was his mission in life. He said a lot of other things that even Anderson Cooper didn’t know how to respond to. If that is your mission in life you have no business being a doctor. If it is being done pursuant to your practice as an OB/GYN or something that is one thing, but if you are in the sole practice of providing abortion I think you need to have your head examined. “First, do no harm!”

    The fact that it isn’t murder to kill a fetus is a direct result of the lie underlying abortion rights. Everyone apparently believes it is wrong to kill an innocent person, so the way around it is to call the fetus a non-person. Pretty simple math and some morons will even refuse to call it killing anything, though that is taking the lie one step further.

    Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 7:37 pm
  5. Brigette Russell wrote:

    For a lot of people, it depends on whether you’re talking about a full-term or nearly full-term baby, or an embyo a few weeks or even a few days old. Most people, I think, agree that aborting late-term babies as Dr. Tiller did is wrong. I have a friend, for example, who is completely in favor of keeping abortion legal — but only in the first trimester. She considers aborting a third term immoral.

    The problem is where to draw the line, of course. From what I’ve seen of polls on the subject, I think a lot of Americans agree, but it really creates a problem in that most of them don’t have a coherent standard on where to draw the line.

    I think that’s what Obama was talking about when he said, “That’s above my pay grade.” Unlike a lot of conservatives who were furious and thought that statement arrogant, I understood it perfectly. It seemed a blunt, honest admission. The problem is the way he deals with it: drawing the line arbitrarily at the moment of birth, denying rather than affirming humanity to all babies in utero.

    Posted 10 Jun 2009 at 8:24 pm

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