Death Penalty for Pregnant Woman

Horrific story...and a challenge to anyone who thinks that a fetus, early on, has no moral importance whatever.

A pregnant British woman who faces death by firing squad if she is convicted of drug smuggling could go on trial in Laos as early as Monday, a human rights group said Sunday.

Samantha Orobator, 23, has been in jail in Laos since August, when she was accused of trying to smuggle just over half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of heroin in her luggage.

It seems to me there's an awfulness here, beyond the basic awfulness of the death penalty. But it's tricky. How can it be wrong for a third-party to kill a fetus, as a side effect of killing the mother, yet permissible for the mother to kill it herself? I do think it's permissible; I'm adamantly pro-choice. However the explanation might go, I have the strongest intuition that executing a pregnant woman is appalling.

No comments: