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Yes, Women Are Being Arrested for Having Miscarriages October 13, 2011

Posted by frrobins in Uncategorized.
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Regarding my previous post about the Personhood Amendment, some people would say that I’m blowing the consequences of it way out of proprtion. They say women won’t be prosecuted for having miscarriages. Then why is there legislation in Georgia pending that would require women to prove that their miscarriages happened naturally? Or why did Utah try to pass a law that would charge women with homicide if they miscarry?

So. Women who suffer miscarriages are guilty before proven innocent. This is a complete reversal of a fundamental principle of our justice system: that people are innocent before proven guilty.

Pretend that you’ve desperately wanted a baby. After months of trying you finally get that positive pregnancy test. You’re over the moon! You tell your spouse who is thrilled. You tell your parents who are dancing on the roof. You tell family and friends, all of whom are excited and happy. Everything is going fine. Until one morning a few weeks later when you start bleeding. You rush to the emergency room and hear the worst: a miscarriage is happening and there is nothing you can do.

You’re heartbroken. You realize that in 7 to 8 months time you will not be taking your beautiful baby home from the hospital. Your grief threatens to overwhelm you. You start wondering how you are going to tell your family and friends this devastating news when a police officer comes in and says he needs to take a report.

He inquires about every aspect of your private life. What you eat. What you drink. What drugs, legal or illegal, you take. What toxins you are exposed to. Without thinking you mention that you drink unpasteurized dairy products.

Before you know it you are charged with a felony. There’s no evidence that you caused the miscarriage by drinking unpasteurized dairy products, but there’s no evidence that you didn’t either. Sure, 60% of miscarriages are cause by chromosomal abnormalities. Sure, most of the rest of that 40% are caused by deformities in the uterus, fibroids, hormonal imbalance, severe mineral deficiency, but you can’t prove that any of those were the cause of this miscarriage. You’re seized with guilt, wondering if it was the milk.

You go to court, where the prosecutor paints a picture about how you never wanted to be a mother, you just wanted the attention a pregnancy draws without the responsibility, so you deliberately drank unpasteurized milk to cause a miscarriage. Your defense bring out family and friends who say you wanted the baby but the prosecutor says it was all an attention bid. You cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you wanted the baby. You cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not cause your miscarriage.

Think I’m blowing things out of proportion? Ask the woman in Iowa who was arrested for falling down the stairs while pregnant if I am.

Every woman who has suffered a miscarriage should be in an uproar over this. Every woman who plans to get pregnant should be fighting this tooth and nail. Every man who loves the women in his life should stand with her. Every women who does not plan on having children should fight this for the women in her life that she does love.

Here are the cases I’ve found where a woman has been charged with having a miscarriage or attempting to cause one, and this is just the tip of the ice berg. In South Carolina alone, an estimated 300 women have been arrested for actions taken during pregnancy. Still think this is not happening?

Christine Taylor of Iowa found herself arrested and sent to jail after she fell down the stairs while pregnant.

South Carolina’s Regina McKnight was sentenced to 20 years for having a stillbirth.

Rennie Gibbs of Mississippi age 15 faces life in jail after a miscarriage, Bei Bei Shuai of Indiana has been charged with foeticide and sits in jail without parole, and Amanda Kimborough of Alabama, mother of 3, faces 10 years behind bars if convicted of causing her miscarriage…and her three children risk losing their mother.

And for those saying Shuai deserves it because she tried to kill herself, may be you should read her story before being so damn judgmental.

Related:

Lynn Paltrow, heroine of our movement! Defender of the rights of women who have been charged with having miscarriages. It’s sad though that there are enough cases that a lawyer specializes in it!

So yes, women are being arrested for having miscarriages. This is an established fact, not a slippery slope argument.

Next up: If these personhood laws are so women and child family, then why are their effects so damaging? A thorough examination of the harm these laws will cause. And what would help women who are addicted to drugs or attempt suicide while pregnant? It’s certainly not jail time!

Lawmakers: Stay Out of My Uterus! October 11, 2011

Posted by frrobins in abortion, activism, Current Events, health, Politics, privacy.
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I am very concerned about something going in Mississippi, where lawmakers are trying to pass an amendment that would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a human being. This is something that should send chills through every woman and man. The consequences would included criminalizing abortion and BIRTH CONTROL! This could pave the way for criminalizing taking the pill as it prevents a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in the uterus. This bill will require criminal investigations when a woman suffers a miscarriage.

For those who say that people are blowing the consequences of this bill out of the water, women are already being criminalized for having a miscarriage or still birth.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the causes for most miscarriages ARE UNKNOWN! In most causes, CHROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITIES are most likely to blame. Meaning that there is nothing that the mother did or did not do to cause it! So, we’re going to put women who have suffered the emotional trauma of a miscarriage under investigation?

Last year, I was pregnant. Considering I have PCOS and was at a higher risk of miscarriage I was nervous all the time about it happening. Most women in the early stage of pregnancy are in the same worry boat. They worry about that one glass of wine they had before they knew they were pregnant. They worry that the pollutants they are exposed to at work will harm their baby. They worry that the tumble they took caused permanent damage. When a miscarriage does occur, some women feel intense guilt for something they probably did not contribute to! How is subjecting them to an investigation going to assuage that guilt? It is going to make them think of EVERY THING THAT THEY DID OR DID NOT DO THAT MIGHT HAVE CAUSED THAT MISCARRIAGE!

Moment of truth. I did not do everything “right” during my pregnancy. I had shrimp the week before I found out I was pregnant. Eating shrimp could have given my son listeria and killed him. It didn’t. When I was three months pregnant I was so sick and nauseous that everything I ate came right back up. I lost 20 pounds during my 3rd month of pregnancy. I stopped eating because even the thought of food made me sick. I lived off water, ginger ale, and a little bit of rice and mashed potatoes. I hate ginger ale but I drank it because it was the only thing that helped with the nausea. Ginger ale is not healthy and even contains a minimal amount of alcohol. I was definitely not getting the nutrients that I or my baby needed that month.

Later I petted and played with a stray kitten. I worried and worried afterwords that the kitten might have had some parasite and that I might have passed it on to my baby. I worried when the place I worked in was found to have mold. I worried during the weeks I was too nauseous to exercise. I took Tylenol for the mother of all headaches. I took benadryl to control a bad allergy attack. I worried.

I dare you to find the pregnant woman who went for 9 months without having one drink, went without eating shrimp/lunchmeat/things containing raw eggs such as Caesar salad dressing, never went into an area where there was dangerous fumes such as a freshly painted nursery, ate a perfectly balanced diet every day for 9 months, exercise moderately every day, never smoked, never used drugs (legal or illegal), never cleaned a cat litter box, never got a bit reckless and took a tumble, etc. People are not perfect. While you won’t find someone who did ALL of those things, most pregnant woman would have done one of those things at some point in their pregnancy.

So, what should we do? Put pregnant women in a bubble? What if they have a drink before they realize they are pregnant? Put all women of childbearing age in a bubble? I read an article once by someone advocating that every sexually active woman of childbearing age should take folic acid even if she’s not planning on having a baby. So, should every sexually active woman of child bearing age act as though they are pregnant when they aren’t? Can you see how ridiculous this gets?

What about cases where it is the health of the mother vs the embryo/fetus? Anti-abortion activists live in a world where women never die from complications related to pregnancy or birth. This is a fantasy world. In the US, 2 to 3 women die every day as a result of complications from pregnancy or childbirth! I went to a panel discussion on medically necessary abortions headed by an OB-GYN who told stories of women who desperately wanted children but encountered some severe health problem that would kill the woman, the child or both. What to do in such tragic cases should be a private decision between the woman and her doctor. The government should stay the hell out of it!

Need an example? Here. There are medical reasons for abortions! And for those who say that you should always hold out hope for a miracle, that’s YOUR choice to make for you, not them. And in their case, it would have been a wrong choice. No miracle happened. Their baby is dead.

With regards to abortions for non-medical reasons, I say I want to see the abortion rate decreased. Abortion is not a desired thing. Which is why we need to focus on preventing unplanned pregnancies. And the best way to do this is through birth control.

Telling people not to have sex if they don’t want to get pregnant does not work. And in countries such as Romania where birth control was outlawed they have a problem with unwanted children being put on the street. Do lawmakers REALLY want to see something similar happen in the US?

Further, there are medical reasons for using birth control. I was put on the pill before I was sexually active to control my PCOS. What right do legislatures have to say what medicine I can or can’t take to control a medical condition I have because it might prevent a fertilized egg from becoming implanted?

So, to prevent any harm from happening to potential fertilized eggs, should sexually active women of child bearing age be prevented from taking medicines that could harm/terminate an embryo? We wouldn’t want a woman taking medicine that could harm a “person” before she realizes she’s pregnant after all. Is this something that we really want to see?

Think. Really think. This isn’t about protecting fertilized eggs or embryos. This is about controlling every aspect of a woman’s reproductive self. This is something that the government should stay the hell out of.

I know that there is a lot of energy directed at the economic woes that our country is facing, and that needs to happen. However, I don’t want to see this very important issue swept under the rug as a result. We need to make noise over this issue, and we need to do it now.