When a 17-year-old girl in her seventh month of pregnancy was denied an abortion because her pregnancy was too advanced, she hired 24-year-old Arron Harrison to hit her in the stomach in order to induce a miscarriage. Harrison hit and bit the girl repeatedly, injuring her, but the baby survived. Now the little girl has been adopted and Utah’s judicial system has struggled to find a resolution in this unusual case.
According to 8th District Juvenile Judge Larry A. Steele, the 17-year-old in question could not be charged with a crime because Utah law states that “a woman who is seeking to have or obtains an abortion for herself is not criminally liable.”
Harrison was convicted of the attempted killing of an unborn child, a third-degree felony, and sentenced to zero to five years in prison.
In response to this case, Republican representative Carl Wimmer sponsored a bill that stated that “terminating a pregnancy” is a case of criminal homicide, which would be a second-degree felony. Legal abortion procedures are exempt from this law.
Harrison’s criminal case was reopened and, under the new law, Harrison received a second sentence. He has now been convicted of attempted murder, a second-degree felony, and sentenced to one to fifteen years in prison.
The new law creates a strange situation where the killing of an unborn child is illegal if done by a nonphysician or in a manner inconsistent with a typical abortion procedure, but no penalty is given to doctors who kill unborn children in abortion clinics. The inconsistency of the legal system in this case shows the conflict within society about the morality of abortion, and the ambivalence felt by many who are torn between wanting to protect unborn babies and being forced to make concessions for Roe versus Wade. In this case, the life of the baby was considered valuable by prosecutors even though the mother wanted an abortion.
The child’s adoptive mother was quoted saying that she is “so grateful that the attempt on her [the baby’s] life was unsuccessful. A pregnant woman is the steward of her baby. … She is a beautiful child with a strong future ahead of her.”
LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Terzo is a pro-life liberal who runs ClinicQuotes.com, a web site devoted to exposing the abortion industry.