UPDATE: Several folks in the comments, especially Portia and Radfem, read more closely than I did and noticed that there’s a disturbing pattern here; regardless of whether or not she really did want him to hit her to cause a miscarraige, the boyfriend is an abuser.
From the Houston Press:
“Later that morning, Davis and Lieutenant Mike Shapaka picked up Jerry at Lufkin High School for questioning. In the interview room, Jerry admitted to hitting Erica the night before, but only on the arms. He’d been out with friends, he said, and she tore into him about coming home so late. So he hit her a few times, just to get her to leave him alone.
Davis and Shapaka asked if he’d ever hit Erica before.
Yes, he said, but he always aimed for the arms.
As Thomas wrote:
If he was only attacking the fetuses there would be, at most, a strray bruise here or there. He’s a liar. His admitted abuse, and his likely pattern of abuse, also brings into question whether she really wanted to terminate the pregnancy, or was coerced into that by her boyfriend. (From my view on abortion, it follows that she had an absolute right to carry the pregnancy to term, and she’s entitled to be vindicated for the deprivation of that right as well.)
Like I said, if _all_ he did was help attack fetuses in her body with her consent, I have no problem with it. But that’s not what happened here. If he coerced her to terminate a pregnancy, threatened her or abused her (and he admits that he did), then he belongs in jail (for abusing her, not the fetuses, to which I concede no rights). The articles you supplied, Radfem, makes it clear to me that the latter is what happened, which totally alters my view of what ought to happen to this guy. He wasn’t trying to help her terminate an unwanted pregnancy. He was abusing her, and maybe forcing her to terminate a pregnancy that, whether planned or not, she had not freely chosen to terminate.
Clearly I posted too soon. My apologies to everyone for screwing this one up, and thank you Radfem and Portia for spotting my error.
Original post follows.
As far as I can tell – and it’s hard to know for certain – the story here is that a 16-year-old pregnant girl, Erica Basoria, and her boyfriend, Gerardo Flores, jointly agreed to abort her sixteen-week pregnancy by beating her around the stomach. None of the news stories I’ve read explains why they didn’t go to a doctor. Maybe they were just too stupid and scared and afraid of being found out; or maybe pro-lifers have succeeded in removing all practical access to abortion where these kids live.
Under Texas’ fetal protection law, a mother can never be charged for “murdering” her own fetus – but someone else can (there’s an exemption for health care providers). She was pregnant with twins, so the boyfriend has been found guilty of a double homicide and, unless the case is successfully appealed, will spend the rest of his life in prison.
This appalling injustice is what happens when pro-lifers control the law; and the prosecutor made it clear that if he could, he’d have sent the mother up for life, too.
From the Lufkin Daily News:
Nineteen-year-old Gerardo Flores of Lufkin was sentenced to life in prison Monday in a landmark test case of a state fetal protection law. An Angelina County jury deliberated just under four hours, finding him guilty on two counts of capital murder for his part in killing his unborn twins.
The case will be appealed, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court, defense attorney Ryan Deaton said after the verdict. [...]
Flores’ girlfriend, Erica Basoria, 17, was led sobbing from the Angelina County Courthouse by her mother and older sister. While her family testified against Flores, Basoria stood by his side, maintaining she was involved in causing the at-home miscarriage.
Flores’ mother, Norma Flores, stood in stunned silence, surrounded by family members for several minutes after her son was led away by Sheriff Kent Henson.
Under state law, a woman cannot be charged for causing the deaths of her own fetuses for any reason. A similar federal law went into effect in April 2004, a month before Flores was charged.
Bauereiss told jurors he was focused on Flores. He couldn’t help that Basoria was outside the reach of the law, he said. If the babies had been killed after being born, it wouldn’t have been so controversial, he said.
“Think what a horrible crime this would be,”? he said. “We wouldn’t hesitate to label it for what it is.”?
Another twist: It seems possible, and maybe even likely, that the fetuses were dead before Flores ever began participating in the amateur abortion attempt. From an earlier article:
Flores was first indicted for allegedly causing the babies’ deaths after assaulting Basoria the night of May 6, 2004. He admitted to beating her hours before the miscarriage, and to stepping on her pregnant belly several times the week before. His indictment was later amended after news of Basoria’s alleged involvement in the deaths.
Dr. Tommy J. Brown, forensic pathologist for the Jefferson County morgue, performed autopsies on the twins.
The babies had likely been dead in Basoria’s womb for days before the May 7 assault, Brown said Thursday. The cause of death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma, according to his autopsy report.
As a photo of the miscarried fetuses circulated among jurors, most of the seven-woman, five-man panel couldn’t seem to bring themselves to do more than glance at it, quickly passing it on.
Brown admitted under questioning by defense attorney Ryan Deaton that he wasn’t able to determine whether Basoria or Flores caused the deaths.
I really wish they had been willing or able to go to a doctor and have an abortion done. But abortion – whether it’s done by a competant medical professional, or by two stupid and scared teens – is not the same thing as murder, and life in prison for this is disgusting.
The defense attorney tried to blame the whole thing on the girl, of course. Didn’t fly with the jury.
Note that the mother’s wishes are – as always, with pro-lifers – entirely irrelevant. Really, I’m amazed that they didn’t go for the death penalty.