As usual, I'm a little bit late when it comes to recognizing cutting edge developments in liberal "thought". In the conversation below Al directed me to the California statute which codifies the "killing of ... a fetus, with malice aforethought" as no less than murder, except when "solicited, aided, abetted, or consented to by the mother of the fetus".
There are only two ways of understanding this convoluted law:
1. The killing of a person with malice aforethought is not murder if the killing is obtained with malice aforethought by the mother of said person.
2. The killing of a non-person may be legally prosecuted as murder.
Al's solution to this conundrum is option # 2: The killing of a non-person may be legally prosecuted as murder. And that's where he has to go with it, because option # 1 undermines the jurisprudence to which he's ideologically committed.
Now that's quite a precedent, isn't it? The killing of a non-person may be legally prosecuted as murder. Think about it. The radical environmentalists are going to have a field day with this one. Boliva is a few steps ahead of California, being set to grant constitutional rights to "Mother Earth" - including a generic "right to life". However, the Wiki article notes that the new Bolivian law "gives legal personhood to the natural system", so maybe it's just a matter of re-defining "person" rather than re-defining "murder". It doesn't really matter: the new liberalism is pretty flexible these days and can work with both kinds of sophistry, together or separately, either way. We're not far from a society where killing unborn human beings is a sacred right bestowed by Mother Earth ... and killing trees is murder.