Fetus? Baby?

In this story – a “fetus” was taken from a slain woman’s womb. They refer to it as a “fetus” :

Earlier Friday, investigators put out an Amber Alert (search) for the missing fetus and had expanded their search outside Missouri, where 8-months-pregnant Bobbi Jo Stinnett (search), 23, was found slain in her house by her own mother Thursday afternoon. The fetus had been cut from her womb.

And yet, Scott Peterson killed Laci and “Baby” Conner.

Explain the difference?

This missing “fetus” wasn’t referred to as a “baby” until after it was found, alive.

“Baby” Conner was never found alive – and has always been referred to as a “baby” instead of a “fetus”.

I’m just sayin . . . is there a fine grey line I’m missing with this? Or is it just a matter of semantics.

Either way – this “Missing Fetus/Baby” story is a very disturbing one.

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16 thoughts on “Fetus? Baby?”

  1. I wonder if they were (initially) referring to the baby as fetus because they didn’t know if it had survived the extraction.

    But you raise an excellent question. I have always thought that with situations like Laci Peterson, people referred to her unborn child as baby and not fetus because she had every intention of carrying him to term. Whereas someone who was planning to abort might call it a fetus.

    I also tend to think that the general proliferation of medical jargon into society has something to do with this- I’ve noticed people tend to use the terms interchangeably at times.

  2. situations like Laci Peterson, people referred to her unborn child as baby and not fetus because she had every intention of carrying him to term

    It sounds like the lady in this particular story had every intention of carrying to term, as well.

    It is probably just a matter of semantics, however.

  3. I posted on RV about this, but according to the Sheriff, because it was not born(?) it did not qualify for the amber alert in the first place. It is not a baby until it is born. You and I both missed something. After pressure to screw the system (my words), they issued the alert which saved the babies life. And one of the cops did not mince his words. He told people the story I just relayed and told people to think about it next time they refer to something in the womb as a fetus. Thank god the baby is alive and safe. Expected to be released tomorrow.

  4. ‘Baby’ has a larger impact on people since the connotation with the word is alive and cute, whereas fetus is inhuman and seems medical. This makes Petersen seem more animalistic (don’t get me wrong- he’s a murderer and deserves the death penalty for his heinous crime), but the word ‘baby’ is used by the media to cast a spin of its own.

  5. No kidding. I wish they would just call a baby, a baby. Forget this fetus label…its only used to dehumanize the baby to make abortion more impersonal and back up the “just a simple medical procedure” BS that is regularly dished out to women. The truly sad part is that so many women have fallen for it…

  6. I agree. This story is VERY disturbing. When I read stuff like that it just convinces me even more that this world is heading to hell on roller skates. I wonder what the heck was going on in the mind of the culprit. Did he really believe that he could get away with such a horrible crime?

  7. I’m not sure what the standard is to distinguish between the two terms. I don’t think there is a media spin. It is still being debated whether Peterson’s baby was ever born before he died. Because no one knew whether the Stinnet baby was alive or dead it was more accurate to call it a fetus. The mother never gave birth to the baby, thus it came out of the womb as a fetus.

    I did notice that this story was written in an unclear way. “…was found slain in her house by her own mother…” makes it sound like Bobbi Jo’s mother murdered her.

  8. RICO- This isn’t a label we are talking about, it is a law. They found a woman, murdered, with stomach cut open. In the eyes of the law, this could have been a fetus, unborn child in womb.

  9. Donna- That is what the policeman was trying to get across. At 8 months it was able to sustain life, but because of the way our laws are written, they needed to follow the law. Thank god they did the right thing and issued the alert.

  10. I agree with Donna…a baby is a baby from the beginning of life inside the womb. Unfortunately, due to pregnancy complications, I delivered a baby at 20 wks gestation. He came out moving/wiggling his little toes and gasping for breath. He died shortly after. It saddens me that anyone would refer to my son as anything BUT a baby! He was bathed, dressed and buried with a proper funeral just like any other person who has died. We wouldn’t have done it any differently. You decide…baby or fetus?

  11. I think that people use the two words with out thinking. In my opinion there is time when a fetus becomes a ‘baby’, and though i don’t know when that time is i firmly believe it. It has been a trend as of late to screw the mother over when it comes to abortion. I am totally against partial birth abortion, or late term abortion, but at the beginning stages of pregnancy, the fetus is a grouping of cells. Just as an arm cell is not an arm, but an arm cell. I can’t say im an astronaut now, because someday i will be. I totally respect your right to believe that the cells are a baby and have a soul, but not only is there no scientific evidence to back it up, other people might not believe it. And thenkfully because there is a seperation between church and state, your moral/religious beliefs shouldn’t efdect everyones rights.

  12. Whether or not the BABY wasnt supposed to be born it should have been called a BABY from the time it was found not in its mothers body. Its not the BABYS fault it was cut out of his mother body god rest her soul. It sickens me to think that someone would do that to a woman just to get her child. I am a mother of 4 beautiful boys and I am glad I never had to worry about losing my BABIES like this poor woman did. But yes I feel it should have been called a BABY sinse day one of it being found missing like any other missing child.

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