Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds homicide conviction for man who killed a full-term unborn baby by killing its mother

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Amid a raging public debate in the US over whether the unborn have personhood rights, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts last week upheld the first-degree homicide convictions of a man found guilty of killing not only his pregnant girlfriend but also her full-term unborn baby, the Christian Post (CP) reports.

Last Tuesday’s MA Supreme Court ruling concerns the case of Peter Ronchi, who was convicted of two first-degree murder charges for murdering his nine-month-pregnant girlfriend, Yuliya Galperina, and her unborn baby in May 2009, CP reports.

Asking the high court to overturn his convictions, Ronchi’s lawyers argued that it was not up to the MA Supreme Court to decide whether an unborn baby is a person who can be the victim of homicide, CP reports. Ronchi’s lawyers also tried to persuade the court that, as the baby was not hit directly by the stabbings Ronchi inflicted on Galperina, there should be no first-degree murder conviction for the unborn child, CP reports.

Dismissing Ronchi’s arguments as weak, the high court said that stabbing Galperina in her ninth month of pregnancy had resulted in the cessation of the blood flow needed to keep her unborn baby alive; the stabbing attack was the direct cause of the death of the viable fetus.

Noting that Ronchi stabbed Galperina in areas close to her vital organs, the court said: “The defendant committed an act of violence against a woman who was nine months pregnant, repeatedly stabbing her. By ending the mother’s life, he destroyed the viable fetus through the cessation of life-sustaining maternal blood flow.”

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