Stretching Cuccinelli’s Record
[...] Harvard Law School Professor I. Glenn Cohen, co-director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, told us in an email that Cuccinelli’s support for “personhood” legislation isn’t necessarily inconsistent with a life-of-the-mother exception.
“I would say it is unclear, or at least Cuccinelli has some wiggle room,” Cohen stated. “His support of the 2007 and 2012 bill is akin to his saying fetuses are just like born persons, such that killing them is the same thing as murder. That much is common ground. That, though, is not necessarily inconsistent with a life of the mother exception. Even though murder is a crime, we do have defenses to being convicted of murder, one of which is self-defense. Cuccinelli could think that the life of the mother exception to criminalizing abortion is like the self-defense exception to murder, in that the fetus is threatening the life of the mother and she has an abortion to stop it much like I might shoot an assailant in self-defense if that assailant was about to kill me. That is at least a possible interpretation of his position that would leave open an exception for the life of the mother.” [...]i. glenn cohen personhood reproductive rights