March 14th, 2015

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

The War on Woman: Criminalizing Spontaneous Miscarriage

The so-called "Pro- LIfe" movement (which should be more accurately called the "Pro-Fetus" movement, since the lives of women are considered less important--even negligible--in comparison with a fertilized egg) has resulted in changes in the law that increasingly criminalize spontaneous miscarriage and put all pregnant women at risk of unjust arrest, confinement, and punishment.

A few years back, a pregnant woman in Missouri fell downstairs and went to a hospital to see if the fall had injured her fetus.  She was arrested on suspicion of having thrown herself down the stairs to achieve an (illegal by then) abortion and jailed to "protect" her fetus from her.   New laws in some states have made it a crime for a pregnant woman to do anything that anyone anywhere thinks might harm the fetus.--and women have been put in prison to prevent this harm.  Because women's civil rights are nothing compared to a fetus.

And now a woman has been sentenced to 70 years in prison because...she had a spontaneous miscarriage of a tiny fetus that was dead on arrival.   On the basis of unscientific "evidence".  On the basis of unscientific assumptions (any woman who has a miscarriage must have been trying to end her pregnancy.)    On the basis of unscientific pressure from certain religious and political groups whose war on women has been a consistent, fanatic attack on women's freedom in multiple areas, but most stark when it comes to medicine and reproduction.   Ms. Patel's life--her essential human rights--have been taken to punish her for killing (for which there is no evidence) a fetus so premature that--had it been delivered alive  in a hospital--would not have lived, and had it come out dead would not have been cause for any legal action whatsoever.  Miscarriages happen.

Why do I care?  Because miscarriages--spontaneous miscarriages--and stillbirths are part of my personal history.

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