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October 7, 2010

"Mom taken for abortion at gunpoint"

The title of this post is the headline of this remarkable local article that reads like an evil criminal law (or constitutional law?) professor's exam hypo.  Here are the details:

A Near East Side man pointed a gun at a pregnant woman and forced her to go to a clinic yesterday morning after she refused to go through with a scheduled abortion there, Columbus police say.

Dominic L. Holt-Reid, 27, of 579 Kelton Ave., was arrested and charged with kidnapping and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police found him about 9:45 a.m. in a parking lot behind Founder's Women's Health Center, 1243 E. Broad St., said Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Columbus police spokesman. Holt-Reid and Yolanda M. Burgess, the woman he forced to the clinic, have a child together, Weiner said. But they do not appear to share a home address, he said. State birth records show that child is a 4-year-old boy.

Burgess was in a vehicle with Holt-Reid yesterday morning after dropping their child off at school, according to a police statement. Holt-Reid became angry after Burgess refused to go through with an abortion that had been scheduled for 9 a.m. at the clinic.

Holt-Reid pulled a handgun from the glove compartment, pointed it at her and forced her to drive to the health clinic, according to police. The woman passed a note to a clinic employee, who called police. Burgess wasn't harmed.

So, dear readers, do you think prosecutors should be considering a charge of attempted murder for Holt-Reid? Do you think the motive for his kidnapping should be the basis for a severe sentencing enhancement? Or is this sad case to be viewed as merely an example of a misguided man trying to exercise his own procreative choice rights?

October 7, 2010 at 10:49 AM | Permalink


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First-degree/aggravated kidnapping (which this probably is in most states because of the gun and the threats) usually carries very harsh penalties -- mandatory LWOP in some states. It is not clear to me that the State would need to pursue any novel theories of the crime to send Mr. Holt-Reid away for a very long time, if not the rest of his life.

It would be interesting to see the defense pursue a novel defense of necessity or some such thing, referring to his reproductive rights. I think that would be a non-starter to say the least.

Posted by: Atty | Oct 7, 2010 1:35:08 PM

Being a man, I wouldn't normally weigh in on this, but my very independently-thinking fiance holds the same opinion, so I'll chime in:

As it stands, a woman can get an abortion without the father's consent, thereby ending future responsibilities the father may have. The father has just as much control over the likelihood of pregnancy as the woman. Therefore, if a woman becomes pregnant, the man should have the option of ending future responsibilities towards the children, unless they were married at the time or he made some sort of promise that he would.
In other words, a father cannot force a woman to give birth or have an abortion, but he should be able to (pre-birth) "abort" his interest in the child, just as a mother can. He cannot do this after the baby is born, however.

Posted by: JW | Oct 7, 2010 2:27:54 PM

If he didn't want any more children, then he used more preventative measure. Or maybe try abstinence. That there sounds like a plan.

Posted by: Meka | Oct 7, 2010 8:24:50 PM

Attempted murder should mean just that (and frankly it pushes too deeply into creepy anti-abortionist rhetoric about abortion being murder, which is gibberish).

However the dude needs to go down for it. Abortion is a womans choice. As is her choice not to. If he didn't accept that this would be one of those few biological choices nature doesnt give us guys, he was able to intervene much earlier in the process by not shagging her OR rubbering up.

But because he didnt rubber up, he needed to man up, and support her decision , and hope (but not expect) she takes into account his wishes. But if she doesn't tough ship, man up and aceept being a dad.

And I detest people who believe they shouldn't pay for their childrens upkeep because they didn't want it.

Posted by: Shayne | Oct 9, 2010 2:03:29 AM

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