The Criminalization of Pregnant Women

Pamela - posted on 08/01/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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In Georgia legislation has been introduced that seeks to criminalize miscarriages. The language of the bill currently being considered places the burden of proof on the woman to prove that there was “no human involvement” in her miscarriage. In other words if a mother is thought to struggle with a drug addiction and it results in her losing her baby, she can be charged with prenatal murder, a charge that can carry the penalty of death should this law pass.

Utah has a similar piece of legislation already. The state representatives wrote the bill in response to a 17-year-old girl who hired a guy for $150 to beat her up and cause a miscarriage as she was unable to get access to a legal abortion. Her boyfriend, an older man, had threatened to leave her should she continue the pregnancy. The state prosecutor attempted to bring charges of attempted murder against the girl but had to drop them...hence, the creation of this law. I believe there are other states that have similar laws in place.

The irony is some of these laws were put in place to protect pregnant women - in other words, if a woman is pregnant and a man beats her up (such as an abusive boyfriend or husband), charges can be brought against the man. Unfortunately, only one man has been charged for beating his girlfriend while she was pregnant - it was dropped. However, over 300 women are facing criminal charges for miscarriages...

Read the article below and tell us what you think.

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejust...

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Sara - posted on 08/01/2011

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I agree with Dyan. I think that since abortion is legal and you can chose to end your pregnancy by a certain time (i.e., 24 weeks) then it should not be criminal. Technically, they should never charge a woman for murder for a miscarriage because that's before a baby is considered viable. After it's considered viable, you've pretty much committed to birthing the baby and if you're doing something to end that pregnancy, or abusing drugs or alcohol that can harm the fetus, then I think that an intervention needs to be made, though I do not think it should be criminal prosecution. Perhaps counseling and addiction treatment would be more appropriate. Oh, but wait, that would be an attempt to actually help people and not vilify them, so that's probably out of the question.

Krista - posted on 08/03/2011

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The language of the bill currently being considered places the burden of proof on the woman to prove that there was “no human involvement” in her miscarriage.

This is absolutely ridiculous. So now women are supposed to remain bed-ridden during their entire gestation, due to being terrified to so much as fart, for fear of them being blamed should a miscarriage take place? If a woman continues to work, or exercise, or care for her other children, or travel, or LIVE during her pregnancy, and just happens to miscarry, then how the hell is she supposed to prove that her actions in no way contributed to the miscarriage?

This bill is beyond archaic. It tells women that they're supposed to just drop and neglect every single other need in their life, including their other children, in order to protect the fetus.

In other words, Jen Kowalto has it right. They don't give a crap about anything but the fetus, and even then, only up until birth.

ME - posted on 08/03/2011

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This makes me sick to my stomach...I don't even know what to say...I've had 4 friends and a sister lose babies past 25 weeks in the last 3 years...None of them did anything wrong; it happens A LOT! The people that sponsored this bill should be ashamed of themselves!!!

Karla - posted on 08/01/2011

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The language of the bill currently being considered places the burden of proof on the woman to prove that there was “no human involvement” in her miscarriage.



This is so wrong. What a sad state of affairs these people are creating.



“…she can be charged with prenatal murder, a charge that can carry the penalty of death should this law pass.

The Gods must be crazy, or at least these legislators/laws are crazy!



I appreciate this quote in the article: "If it's not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is," Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer asked the state supreme court.

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This is because the anti-abortionists don't care about pregnant women. Pure and simple. they only give a crap about a fetus and then only before it comes into the world.

Rosie - posted on 08/01/2011

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if there could be a way to word the bill to make it so it was after viability which medically speaking is 24 weeks, and there was actual proof that what this person did caused the death of their child, i would agree with manslaughter or something. however in most cases this won't be able to be proven, and will cause many many women extreme stress and heartache over an already horrid situation. as a woman who has had two miscarriages, i recoil in fear at what my mental state of mind would've been like if i had been arrested for the death of my babies.
overall i think the whole thing wouldn't work, and would be awfully hard to prosecute. and of course it's just another way for pro-lifers to have their say over my uterus. doesn't sit right with me.

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