Tennessee Man Kills Pregnant Girlfriend, Unborn Baby After Abortion Refusal
by Steven Ertelt
September 29, 2009
Murfreesboro, TN (LifeNews.com) — A Tennessee man has been charged with two counts of murder for killing his pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child after she refused his request to get an abortion. Tarance Nelson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Tonya Johnson, 36, and her baby.
Nelson allegedly killed Johnson and her baby in Friday night and now the 26-year-old remains in custody without bond.
He will appear in court before Judge Lee Wilson, who heads the new Domestic Violence Court, on October 13 to say whether or not he can afford an attorney or needs one appointed for him.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, friends and neighbors told local police that Johnson and Nelson had been arguing about her pregnancy and that she refused his request to get an abortion.
Neighbor John Ingram described the shooting.
"There was a bullet wound in the side of her stomach, one in her chest, one it looked to be in the back of her head. There was so much blood you couldn’t tell," he said.
"They worked on her trying to keep the baby alive, but it was too late," Ingram told Action 5 News. "It looked like he was intent on killing both of them."
Johnson was a third-grade teacher at Brownsville Road Elementary School.
Tennessee law provides partial protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children.
The killing of an unborn child after viability is first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and reckless homicide depending on the crime. However, pregnant women and their babies are not protected throughout the earlier parts of pregnancy.
Joy Yearout of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, commented on the case.
"In an instant, one man took two lives. The heartbreaking story out of Tennessee confirms what we know and the abortion industry refuses to admit: abortion does not help women,"she said.
"The problem with legalized abortion is that it creates a culture in which life’s value is only in its utility and life itself is completely dispensable. Today, a woman can dispose of her unborn child in an instant. Sadly, what this man did is not too different. But abortion also devalues the woman," she said.
"Abortion does not empower women. Rather it provides an escape route of sorts for men who do not want to take responsibility for a child. Those men who see abortion as a way-out will try to obtain it at any cost," she continued. "The abortion industry argues that if abortion was illegal, women would die. Wake-up everyone. Abortion is legal and women are being killed now."
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