One woman was kidnapped, raped, and beaten to a pulp while being pregnant. While she survived, her unborn child did not. Now, Oklahoma City police are labeling the death a homicide.
The unnamed woman was six weeks pregnant when her ex, Christopher Whitfield, reportedly locked her inside a room, leaving her without food for three days. The 31-year-old repeatedly raped and sodomized her while brutally beating her “with his fists, a hard-soled sandal, and the buckle end of a belt” to the point she was unrecognizable by her own family.
On June 13, she went into the hospital and was given an ultrasound that showed a visible baby with a tiny heartbeat, despite the bloody violence. On the third day, however, a second exam was conducted displaying this inevitable. “On 6-16-14, an ultra sound showed no baby present […] hormone levels had returned to normal, indicating she was no longer pregnant,” notes the affidavit.
Had the woman been in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, or one of the 11 other states that have no fetal homicide law, the sudden absence of the baby and the accompanying heartbeat would not have been considered a violent death.
But she was in one of the 38 states that do have a fetal homicide law. And Oklahoma is one of 23 where it applies from the moment of conception. Title 21, Chapter 24 of the Oklahoma statutes holds that “Homicide is the killing of one human being by another…and ‘human being’ includes an unborn child.”
This law and similar provisions in other states were passed with the enthusiastic support of the right-to-life crowd and despite the misgivings of pro-choice folks. Both sides seem to view it as a possible first step toward outlawing abortion.
Whitfield, who’s gone missing, is now wanted for first-degree murder. Other charges include aggravated assault, four counts of rape, and three counts of kidnapping and pointing a firearm.
Question is, could this be a possible first step toward outlawing abortion? Leave your thoughts in the comments.