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After Animal-Rights Group Sues on Behalf of San Diego Sea World's Orcas, Pro-Lifers Jump into Nonperson Lawsuit Scrum

BBB Head Matthews: "If someone can sue on behalf of a whale, then we can sue on behalf of a fetus."


TAKING IN THE MAJESTY OF THE KILLER WHALE WHILE MUNCHING ON CHURROS AND LISTENING TO SYNTH-POP, SEA WORLD: Sometimes, Martha Matthews wonders what it is about whales and the unborn. "I mean, I was never in Greenpeace or anything like that," says the head of the San Diego chapter of the Baby Burial Brigade, an organization devoted to collecting post-abortion fetal remains and giving them funeral services. "In face, I used to have one of those bumper stickers that read, 'Be a hero, save a whale; save a baby, go to jail.' But after that whole episode with the fin-whale fetus that got dumped in the Miramar landfill, and now this..."

"This" refers to her organization's followup lawsuit to the one filed by PETA alleging that Sea World's practice of holding killer whales and forcing them to perform is a violation of the United States Constitution's 13th Amendment - the one that outlawed slavery.

Recalls Matthews, "It started when [U.S. District Judge Jeffrey] Miller asked that PETA lawyer [Jeff Kerr] about the history of the 13th Amendment, and how it was intended to apply only to humans held in slavery. Kerr said the right to sue had never explicitly been granted to animals, but that the same had been true in the past for other groups, such as African-Americans and women. And I thought to myself - 'And the unborn!' The 13th Amendment outlawed slavery, but the 8th prohibited excessive bail. Couldn't we argue that unborn babies are held prisoner in their mother's wombs, with the bail being the life-sustaining sustenance that Mom provides? It's a bail that can't possibly be paid! It's true that a win in such a case might lead to more women deciding to abort rather than come under legal scrutiny, but it would also be the a foot in the door for getting fetuses recognized as persons. Or at least whales."

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