Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I'm not sure how much press coverage it got, since I was offline at the time, but last week, President Bush issued an executive order revising various aspects of the US Code of Military Justice. Among other things, it brought the CMJ in line with the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 by making it a separate, punishable crime to cause the death or injury of an unborn child while committing a violent crime against a pregnant woman. To avoid any confusion, the President was kind enough to add this handy definition:
As used in this section, the term "unborn child" means a child in utero, and the term "child in utero" or "child who is in utero" means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.
The order goes on to stipulate that punishment for the new crime shall not include the death penalty, and explicitly exempts medical practitioners, including those carrying out legal abortions, from prosecution, as well as women with respect to their own unborn children.
The same executive order, oddly enough, also made stalking a crime under military law.