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Editor's note: There is plenty of evidence to doubt Peterson's guilt (see Peterson Series), however this is an excellent indictment of Planned Parenthood


By J. Matt Barber
© 2004 by J. Matt Barber

The media latched on to the story like a pit-bull to a poodle – It’s been a perfect obsession. Coverage of the case has saturated the airwaves for over two years, with the Fox News Channel taking the lead…OK Greta, on the record – we get it – enough already!

As nearly everyone on the planet knows by now, former Modesto, California fertilizer salesman Scott Peterson was recently convicted of double murder for killing his 27-year-old wife Laci, and the couple’s unborn son Conner. It seems the jury concluded that Mark Geragos, Peterson’s illustrious, high-dollar defense attorney, was trying to sell them his own smooth line of fertilizer; but they weren’t buying – They recommended Peterson be put to death.

Although the mainstream media has fixated on the case ad nauseam, further discourse is warranted in light of its profound implications relative to the ongoing, and highly polarized abortion debate.

During the trial, for some inexplicable reason, the mainstream media generally abandoned its time-honored and typically unwavering "pro-choice" rhetoric, and began referring to baby Conner by such "egregious" terms as, "Scott and Laci’s unborn son," "the unborn child," and simply, "Conner."

After recommending the death sentence, Juror Richelle Nice told reporters: "Scott Peterson was Laci’s Husband, Conner’s Daddy – the one person that should have protected them."

But for Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and other militant abortion peddlers, the use of such language in reference to baby Conner has caused much gnashing of teeth – it’s left them seething – frothing at the mouth in a panicked frenzy.

They’ve struggled long and hard, and with much success, to dehumanize unborn children by placing upon them such euphemistic, innocuous, and clinical tags as "zygote," "embryo," "fetus," and my personal favorite, "non-viable mass of tissue."

Ironically, the word fetus is Latin for "young one," and what really has the "pro-choicers" up in arms is the fact that this particular young one’s high profile murder was treated as just that…a murder. When Scott Peterson (apparently) killed Laci, his criminal actions additionally resulted in Conner’s death; or, euphemistically speaking – another "terminated pregnancy."

Legal recognition that Scott Peterson murdered Conner, his unborn son, has unintentionally had the effect of bestowing upon Conner the precious, and heretofore judicially rationed status of "personhood." You can’t murder a "non-viable mass of tissue." But now, legally – and always, actually – you can murder an unborn person. Of course science, commonsense, and reality dictate that unborn children have always been persons.

Ultimately, the principles represented by this case pose a tremendous setback to the pro-abortion movement, and present a great step forward in protecting the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable of our citizenry. Those principles are further bolstered by ‘Laci and Conner’s Law’ (the Unborn Victims of Violence Act). President Bush signed the legislation last April. It mirrors existing laws in 29 states, and makes it a federal crime to harm an unborn child during an assault on the mother. It’s the first Federal law to give unborn children a status separate from their mothers. Additionally, it’s the first federal law to more accurately refer to the "fetus" as an unborn child.

Still, the battle that lies ahead is a daunting one. Obviously, the fight will continue, and only become more turbulent. There’s so much more that remains to be done in fostering a culture of life, and eliminating a culture of death. In her concise but cogent essay "Scott Peterson’s 'Choice'," Concerned Women for America Chief Council Jan LaRue points out the following:

"Simply put, the status of the unborn under the law and his right to life turns on whether the mother has him killed or someone else does so without her consent. It is the most egregious example of an incongruity in law that one can imagine."

LaRue goes on to explain:

"There would have been no murder charge if Laci Peterson had ended Conner's life by abortion on Christmas Eve, and Scott Peterson would have been powerless to stop it."

Consider for a moment – attempt to rationalize if you will, how it is that a father can kill his unborn child, be convicted of that child’s murder, and himself face the death penalty – while on the same day, a mother can elect to have her unborn child killed, spend time in a recovery room, go home to conceive again, and repeat the cycle as many times as she "chooses."

Under the guise of a phantom "Constitutional right," and with vigorous encouragement from Planned Parenthood, NOW, and their extremist ilk – millions of women per year do just that…have their unborn children killed. The "pro-choice" mantra: "It’s the woman’s right to choose!" – "get over your love affair with the fetus!" – "Keep your laws off my body!"

Well, sweetheart, it’s not your body we’re talking about – Conner Peterson, like so many millions of unborn children, had his own body, his own blood type, his own brainwaves, and his own heartbeat. Conner Peterson, like so many millions of unborn children, sucked his thumb, got the hiccups, cried, and smiled in his mother’s womb. Conner Peterson, like so many millions of unborn children, had his own life, his own dreams, and his own future to look forward to. But tragically…Conner Peterson, like so many millions of unborn children, was an inconvenient reality – an "unwanted pregnancy" to a selfish parent. And so, tragically…like so many millions of unborn children – Conner Peterson was murdered.

Copyright © 2004 by J. Matt Barber

J. Matt Barber is a non-practicing attorney, an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer (Matt "Bam Bam" Barber), and a jazz drummer in Chicago, IL. In addition to his Law Degree, Barber holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Regent University. Matt is a Contributing Editor for, and a Contributor to the Washington Times "Insight Magazine," as well as a number of other top conservative publications.

E-mail your comments to Matt, at