A Texas man who drugged his wife’s drinks in an attempt to induce an abortion was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years on probation.

Mason Herring, a 39-year-old Houston attorney, pleaded guilty Wednesday to injury to a child and assault of a pregnant person. He had initially been charged with felony assault to induce abortion.

Catherine Herring, who has filed for divorce, told the court the jail sentence was not long enough. She said their 1-year-old daughter, their third child, was born about 10 weeks premature, has developmental delays and attends therapy eight times a week.

  • @[email protected]
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    3 months ago

    To be fair, this is not “injury to a child.” Injury to the mother without a doubt, but a fetus is not a child.

    I can see how it would be justified to increase penalties for assault / etc. against pregnant people, but a fetus is not a child.

    Edit: I don’t care about the downvotes. This is an awful situation and the penalty he received seems way too low but consistency is important. A fetus is not a child. If you disagree, you don’t get to participate in the conversation.

    • @[email protected]
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      3 months ago

      The child was born premature and with developmental delays. Feels like harm. Kinda the same way if you shoot someone and they die 9 months later due to complications, that’s still murder.

      But I’d defer to a medical expert of course. Maybe they are unrelated.

      • @[email protected]
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        03 months ago

        If you want to go that route, then show me a mom that chain smoked through pregnancy getting in criminal legal trouble.

      • @[email protected]
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        -73 months ago

        I hear you. But the assault was on the mother.

        A fetus is not a human.

        That’s why I mentioned increased penalties for assaults against pregnant people

        • @[email protected]
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          153 months ago

          I also am skeptical about assigning any personhood to a fetus, but in this particular case the child was born, is an actual person, and (perhaps) suffered real harm as a result. That’s an important distinction that I think doesn’t threaten to blur the lines between a fetus and a person.

          • @[email protected]
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            3 months ago

            We can be consistent without saying that fetus’ are humans. Yes, it affected the baby that was born, which is why punishment should be more severe for assaulting pregnant women.

            But a fetus is not a human.

            Full stop.

            There is no line that can be blurred because a fetus is not a human.

            If someone kicks a man in the balls and it deforms his sperm production and his future baby is impacted the perpetrator is not guilty of hurting the baby

        • @SkyezOpen
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          113 months ago

          A fetus is not a human.

          We’re talking about a bastion of christofascism. If they were consistent, they would punish him the same they would punish a woman seeking an abortion. That is, severely.

        • @Stovetop
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          93 months ago

          If the fetus was never born, this argument might have merit, but it became a person and there were health consequences.

          • @[email protected]
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            3 months ago

            It was a fetus when the crime happened. If I kick someone in the balls and it causes their sperm to be deformed and hurts a baby ten years later I am not guilty of hurting babies born later.

            • @Burn_The_Right
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              23 months ago

              If you shoot someone while robbing them and they live, that’s aggravated robbery in Texas.

              If they die as a result of those injuries 10 years later, the crime is then upgraded to murder (possibly even capital murder) in Texas.

              • @[email protected]
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                03 months ago

                That’s very interesting and since posting this I’ve been thinking about it, you could probably sue someone in civil court for this kind of thing.

                But a fetus is not a human.

                I’m not a lawyer or a judge, but a fetus is not a human.

                • @Burn_The_Right
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                  3 months ago

                  Ok, I won’t disagree on your definitions. But the charge of “Injury to a Child” is still appropriate here. A child was eventually injured as a result of an assault.

                  • @[email protected]
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                    3 months ago

                    Now that would be a matter of the law. I don’t know if you can be accused of assaulting someone before they were a human. At the time of the crime, no child was injured.

                    I think the pregnant person was assaulted and the penalty was possibly way to low, but saying that a child was injured is incorrect. I don’t have the answer, but it seems like the mother should be compensated somehow for her assault, enough even to possibly help with the eventual child that was born. But a fetus is not a human is my main point.

                    I’m sure there is a moral solution to this, but claiming that fetus’ are humans is not that solution.

                    Edit: I would even argue we could penalize people for assaulting a fetus if that that is what we wanted to do. But calling a fetus a child is just plain incorrect.

                    Edit: I take that back. Assaulting a fetus is not a thing. Full stop. Assaulting a pregnant person is.

    • NoIWontPickaName
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      63 months ago

      Man can you rule on some other discussions for me?

      I didn’t know we could just tell people that they don’t get to talk because you disagree with them

      • @[email protected]
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        3 months ago

        Well, it’s just a fact, a fetus is not a human. I would say I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings, but I’m not.

        It’s just a fact.

        I’m not willing to dispute facts.

    • @[email protected]
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      03 months ago

      If the perp had harmed the post-zygote organism:

      1. One hour before delivery

      2. During delivery

      3. Just prior to umbilical cord being cut

      Would any of those qualify?

      • @[email protected]
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        3 months ago

        Qualify for what? Hurting a human?

        Could the mother have claimed tax benefits for the fetus at the time of the injuries? Could she have had the state recognize her fetus as a human in any other way besides being penalized had she decided to abort?

        If the fetus can not live on it’s own outside of the womb, that’s an interesting question.

        But a fetus is not a human. I’m pretty sure at the three points you mentioned it’s technically not a fetus anymore according to medical science.

        Edit: this incident pulls at our heart strings. I get that. He should be required to compensate and help with the care and medical assistance for the now human child. But no child was injured at the time of the multiple assaults on the mother. We need to be consistent and rational while also having empathy. Calling fetus’ humans does not accomplish this.