Can somebody please explain the difference to me?


Today’s Guardian carries a report concerning one Kevin Wilson. Back in December 2015, Wilson was sentenced to life in prison for attacking his heavily pregnant girlfriend and killing their unborn baby. The paper reports:

At the Old Bailey in December 2015, teaching assistant Kevin Wilson, 23, was convicted of child destruction and causing grievous bodily harm to Malorie Bantala.

Wilson was later jailed for a minimum of 16 years after a judge heard that he took matters into his own hands after Bantala refused to have an abortion.

Judge Mark Lucraft said it was a “cowardly, vile, callous attack”, which resulted in the healthy 32-week-old boy being stillborn, and Bantala needing life-saving surgery.

The paper goes on to state:

They kicked and stamped on Bantala’s stomach as she lay curled up on the ground, desperately trying to protect her unborn child with one hand.

Bantala, who lost six pints of blood and had two fingers broken, immediately told police her child’s father was responsible, saying: “He doesn’t want the baby.”

She described her innocent son, Joel, as the “real victim”.

“The moment Joel died inside me I lost everything, literally. Life as I knew it no longer made sense.”

Whilst an attack on anybody is a horrible crime, the judge – and, indeed, the paper – were in no doubt that the life sentence handed down to Wilson was specifically a result of the purposeful killing of the unborn child.

The euphemistically titled ‘child destruction’ is infanticide by any other name. The crime is defined thus: ‘the crime of killing an unborn but viable foetus; that is, a child “capable of being born alive”, before it has “a separate existence”‘.

Following yesterday’s comments re Peter Singer (see here), can somebody please point out the difference between this and standard abortion? Whilst I recognise the phraseology of the law would permit the killing of a non-viable foetus – the tipping point of which would usually be viewed as 28 weeks – plethora of examples exist of children surviving earlier births. Can somebody explain how this issue is any different to the termination of those who, though under 28 weeks, have a perfectly good chance of survival?

In the case of the disabled, the issue is even more stark. The disabled can be killed in utero right up to birth. Given that the definition of ‘disabled’ incorporates a far greater number of people than ‘not viable’, can somebody explain how this example of ‘child destruction’ is any different to the daily destruction of children in the womb with disabilities as minor as cleft palates?

If Malorie Bantala, seemingly in accord with the reporting of the Guardian newspaper, ‘described her innocent son, Joel, as the “real victim”’, if he was indeed her son – not simply a foetus – and if this was the murder of a child (as sentencing suggests), is it just me or does anybody else sense the cognitive dissonance at play?