John Weldon’s life changed when his girlfriend announced she was pregnant. He did not want the responsibilities of fathering a child, so he requested she abort the baby since it is the mother’s body that would undergo the procedure. His parental obligations were in her hands.
Unfortunately for him, the mother was excited about carrying and raising a baby. Instead of respecting her wishes, he tricked her into taking an abortion kill by claiming it was prescribed to fight infections. A couple of days later, the baby was gone and he was charged with violating the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a federal law carrying a life sentence.
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act protects unborn children from acts of violence by punishing those who harm them while engaging in federally prohibited acts of violence against the pregnant mother. The underlying principle is that the violent act has two victims, thereby creating a presumption of rights to unborn children.
To prosecute under the Act, the defendant must also be charged with a crime against the mother under any federal law pertaining to crimes of violence. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt intent to harm one of the victims resulting in the death or injury to the unborn child. The violent act must be the cause of the death or injury to the unborn child.
Mr. Weldon pled guilty to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in lieu of a life sentence under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Some commentators view this case as an example of the lack of fairness to men because only women maintain a choice to parent after conception. Furthermore, men cannot relinquish their financial obligations unless both parents agree to relinquish his parental rights. Although on the flip side, at least as seen on Teen Mom, women often bear more parental responsibilities than men. What do you think?