All ur uteri are belong to us

25 06 2011

Can’t say I’m at all shocked by this:

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.

“Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”

Bei Bei Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in a prison cell in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby. On 23 December she tried to commit suicide by taking rat poison after her boyfriend abandoned her.

Shuai was rushed to hospital and survived, but she was 33 weeks pregnant and her baby, to whom she gave birth a week after the suicide attempt and whom she called Angel, died after four days. In March Shuai was charged with murder and attempted foeticide and she has been in custody since without the offer of bail.

In Alabama at least 40 cases have been brought under the state’s “chemical endangerment” law. Introduced in 2006, the statute was designed to protect children whose parents were cooking methamphetamine in the home and thus putting their children at risk from inhaling the fumes.

It’s only the logical extreme of a movement which counts fidelity to extremism as a marker of integrity.

Anyway, read the whole thing, by Ed Pilkington at the Guardian.

h/t The Slog




5 responses

27 06 2011

*sigh* How many more steps do we (as a society) go down this road before we end up sanctioning public stoning again?

27 06 2011

I have some sympathy for those who think abortion kills a child (tho’ very little for those who equate an ex vivo embryo with a person): if you do think the fetus is a person, it must be horrifying to think that a woman would kill her own child.

(Of course, there are many who think that any woman who has an abortion is either evil or deluded, but I ain’t going into that, here.)

In any case, it is not impossible to think that the fetus is a person and to have compassion for women. These kinds of legislative and police actions, however, have nothing to do with compassion for either a woman or her fetus, and everything to do with punishing that woman for thinking that her life matters.

I have no sympathy for that.

27 06 2011

I agree with you. It’s interesting in the context of history, when a fetus wasn’t considered viable until “the quickening” which happened, as I recall, around the 4th of 5th month? Now, of course, it’s considered to happen at the moment of conception. Before long, it’ll be considered to happen at the moment of “so, what’s your sign”?

There are no easy answers, and I do see both sides of the issue (thanks to my Mom for teaching me that), which may be why I have a difficult time with late-term abortions. Of course, those are my personal feelings, and should in no way dictate what another citizen’s full rights and medical options are. That is, or should be, one of the basic tenets of a free society.

But, as the old argument goes, it would be a whole different ball of wax if men were the one’s who got pregnant…

28 06 2011

for anyone who thought that social progress is inevitable this is hopefully a wakeup call to continuing vigilance and action.

30 06 2011

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