January 10, 2010
David Alan Carmichael
1748 Old Buckroe Road
Senator John Miller
Virginia Senate, First District Office
12284 Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, Virginia 23218
Dear Senator Miller:
Reading Rowe v. Wade in context with the history of law regarding any homicide,the Court did acknowledge common law principles. It acknowledged that the state has a compelling interest in protecting the life of the person, even when they are in the uterus. Termination of a pregnancy after quickening, but before viability, will logically result in the natural death of the person who is removed from the womb too soon in their development to survive. Deliberately removing a “person in being” from the womb, logically resulting in the “person in being’s” death, is homicide. If it is done as a matter of literal and factual self-defense, it is classified as excusable homicide according to common law. That standard was acknowledged by the Court in Rowe v. Wade. Based upon the Court’s commentary, a terminated pregnancy (by delivery of course rather than in utero homicide) after the point of viability is not excusable after the point of viability since the pregnancy can be terminated by delivery without the death of the infant person being a natural result.
Now that we have the technology of discovering quickening by means other than merely the sensory feeling of movement, we can know of a “person in being” living (synonym of quick) much earlier. We even have the science of chemical tests that indicate a “person in being” is in the uterus. Once a woman has that chemical test, there is no excuse for an abortive remedy unless it is truly in a mode of self-defense of the life of the mother according to principles of common law. The common law standard is loss of life or limb. The standard is not hypothetical stigma or psychological discomfort. I can’t kill my neighbor because of psychological discomfort or stigma. Compensatory relief for my discomfort or psychological stress can be had by due process and lawful remedy.
Since confusion in the law was introduced by the decision in Rowe v. Wade, the General Assembly has the obligation to codify the law indeed regarding homicide of a person in being. With regard to protection of the life in the uterus, in balance with the life of the woman, enact a requirement that two or more qualified witnesses be required to declare that the woman is in actual imminent danger of life or limb. Two or more witnesses is the standard for the capital punishment of treason in the U.S. Constitution, and it is the same minimum standard found in the revealed law with which the common law is consistent. The Rowe v. Wade Court cited a law in England that required the testimony of two qualified doctors to declare that unnaturally terminating the pregnancy was indeed necessary to save the life of the mother. Such a bill ought to be proposed for the enactment of sound law after carefully scrutinizing the related standards of the common law. The revealed, natural, and common law rights reserved in the Virginia Constitution, Art. I, Sect. 17, were not merely for the in situ founders. Those rights are reserved for their, and our, posterity.
Do not fail to act because of the actual or perceived threat of political consequences. Fulfill the solemn duty of a legislator. The General Assembly’s failure to act rightly on this matter has had tragic moral consequences. Those moral consequences affect economic consequences. Though Virginia cannot escape the consequences of the unlawful killing of our posterity throughout our generation, let us diligently fulfill our duty to protect life for the moral and economic preservation and blessing of our posterity to come.
David Alan Carmichael
cc: Interested Assembly Members, inter alia