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American woman charged with murder after a stillbirth

(33 Posts)
Mibby Fri 24-Jun-11 21:24:31

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges

I really cant decide what I think about this. What do others think?

TheArmadillo Fri 24-Jun-11 22:17:35

I think it is absolutely appalling and terrifying. I think the quote from the civil rights lawyer sums it up

"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,"

The people trying to use these laws to prosecute women and to bring them in go on about the human rights of the foetus but none of them give a fuck about the human rights of the women involved.

"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."

I wonder if they see pregnant women as people even or just walking incubators tbh.

The woman who is essentially being prosecuted for attempting suicide is just horrendous (though to be fair the other cases aren't exactly better).

America land of the free apparently hmm

edam Fri 24-Jun-11 23:37:22

WTF? shock

Just when you think the world can't possibly get any more shittier... good grief.

madhattershouse Fri 24-Jun-11 23:38:32

Only in America!!! Really horrid tbh!

RitaMorgan Fri 24-Jun-11 23:42:13

You can't decide what you think about it OP? How could it possibly be anything but outrageous to charge teenage drug addicts and suicidal women with murder?

mathanxiety Sat 25-Jun-11 04:00:59

otoh, there is little outcry over prosecutions of dv offenders for killing a foetus while attacking its mother, or killing a foetus in the course of an armed robbery...

ChunkyPickle Sat 25-Jun-11 04:42:50

math - yet we do have different classes of causing wrongful death - your two examples of violence causing death are very different to a woman increasing the risk of stillbirth through her everyday life (even if that every day life includes taking cocaine)

If we took it to another extreme, how about we prosecute people who drink/smoke/take drugs and thereby ruin their lungs/kidneys/liver - any of which could be harvested to save the life of a recipient without killing the donor - or is enforced pregnancy OK, but not enforced organ donation?

TheRealMBJ Sat 25-Jun-11 05:55:49

OMG! This is awful, how terrible for them all. I can't believe that a woman who was advised to have a termination could be prosecuted for MURDER after an emergency c/section. Fucking hell!

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sat 25-Jun-11 06:30:09

Actually the title to this thread should be 'American child charged with murder after stillbirth' she's 15 ffs

CheerfulYank Sat 25-Jun-11 06:35:35

It won't stand.

Fuck this.

My beloved country is not going to be taken over by these crazy people, I won't have it.

PonceyMcPonce Sat 25-Jun-11 06:35:40

That is so awful.

One child has the protection of the law, the other is persecuted by it.

Something very weird is happening there.

thumbwitch Sat 25-Jun-11 06:39:41

It's only a short step from there to criminalising miscarriage, as happens in Mexico.

LoveBeing - she was 15 in 2006 - she's 20 now, so technically a young woman - but still, she was a child then.

I really hope that poor Chinese girl doesn't get found guilty of murder of her foetus as well through her own suicide attempt. Hideous scenario, that one as well. sad And the other one in that article, the mother of the baby with Down's that died minutes after birth - how is she guilty if she took no drugs? Why are they even accusing her of taking drugs?

It is lunacy of the worst sort - radical, far-right, Christian fundamentalist male lunacy.

TheRealMBJ Sat 25-Jun-11 07:00:26

thumbwitch I didn't know that about criminalisation of miscarriage in Mexico. shock How on earth does that even make any sense? Poor, bereaved mothers having to deal with being called criminals toosadsadsad

thumbwitch Sat 25-Jun-11 07:09:04

There is a feminist MNer who lives in Mexico who is involved in campaigning for women's rights there, TheReal - that's how I know about it. Not ALL women who miscarry are criminalised - but abortion is illegal there, a foetus has rights and the death of the foetus is therefore a potentially criminal situation sad. It's shocking - but it's the way some states in America are heading as well. sad sad

thumbwitch Sat 25-Jun-11 07:12:38

here is one case and some info on the rights of the foetus

octopusinabox Sat 25-Jun-11 10:48:50

There was an online article a few years ago talking about this kind of thing. It predicted women were going to be considered always 'pre pregnant' meaning you no longer are afforded the same rights as men or women over child bearing age. Hideous. I can't seem to find it anymore but think I first found the link on here.

It's very scary.

snowmama Sat 25-Jun-11 11:17:58

Scary, scary I remember the discussions of 'pre pregnancy', looks like some those concepts have not gone away.

Empusa Sat 25-Jun-11 12:56:54

This is disgusting sad I can't believe that in a supposedly civilised world this is allowed to happen

Riveninside Sat 25-Jun-11 12:58:57

sad

The whole point of this awful bullshit is that the religious right want to control women and remove their legal status as full adult human beings.

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 13:13:29

"otoh, there is little outcry over prosecutions of dv offenders for killing a foetus while attacking its mother, or killing a foetus in the course of an armed robbery..."

The main thrust of the prosecution is that the woman is hurt. You can't cause a pregnant woman to miscarry without doing something nasty to her.

Although the way it's looking with some of these prosecutions, we might get to a stage that the injuries to the woman are irrelevant, and all that is prosecuted is any injury to the foetus... Which is the way that post is worded - as if the foetus is a separate and independent entity with its own rights, and the woman carrying it is no more than a vessel.

So punch a pregnant woman in the stomach and "OMG you might hurt the baybeeee" with not a second thought for the woman who has actually been punched.

That is the perspective behind these prosecutions.

thumbwitch Sat 25-Jun-11 13:28:18

I do have trouble though with the idea that someone can punch or kick a pg woman in the belly hard enough to cause the foetus to die, but not the woman - and all they get done for is assault (on the woman). THAT bothers the hell out of me - but I can see that it would be hard to pin down a legal way to make that scenario murder, rather than any other form of foetal death. Makes me sick though.

OrangeHat Sat 25-Jun-11 13:40:00

Legally there is a conflict there, I agree.

mathanxiety Sat 25-Jun-11 19:21:33

OrangeHat, I think the injury to the foetus has been used as a way for prosecutors to keep DV offenders in prison for longer. Pregnancy is a time when women are, tragically, more likely to suffer domestic violence and there is a sense of outrage at this that most decent people share, prosecutors and jury members included.

I think the main thrust of cases where men have been prosecuted for killing a baby has been to send out a message about DV and the fact that it is unacceptable. Of course a lot depends on the culture that dominates in the prosecutor's office, and since county prosecutors are elected officials in the US this can vary by county and region. I agree that it is not right to only see the context of pregnancy as the one where this message should be hammered home, but maybe it's a start.

The trouble is, in a woman-hating, foetus-worshipping culture like the one that is growing up in the US, it won't be the violent man who is prosecuted, the woman will be the one arrested for 'murdering' her foetus by not leaving the violent man.

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