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Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 61(3) August 2011, 47

Unborn children killed in car crashes

As a health care librarian, I have been researching into those road tragedies involving unborn children killed or injured by so-called careless drivers and how the law deals with these. The ensuing road scenario is similar to the abortion scenario in that the foetus is often ignored as a human being and treated as worthless.

At present, British motoring laws fail to recognise unborn children as separate living persons and so drivers who kill or injure them are given low punishments. When the courts deal with road crashes, the death or injury of a foetus cannot legally be taken into account as a separate offence.

The Home Office states, “A court’s duty is to sentence the offender for what he has done, namely careless driving, and not for the consequences, however tragic they may be”. The Crown Prosecution Service says, “It cannot be a murder or manslaughter charge because the baby has not taken an independent breath”.

Thus the unborn child is not regarded as a human being in his or her own right. This can cause great distress for the child’s family, who do not consider that justice has been done. I should like to hear from anyone who has had experience of this or wishes to comment upon it. Please write to Mr. A. Porter, P.O. Box 1580, London, W7 3ZP.

Antony Porter