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Personhood laws for foetuses - risks for all women of child-bearing age

(284 Posts)
DebrisSlide Thu 06-Feb-14 22:36:30

I can't say much about this in text because I am frothing beyond coherence, but given the muted response in FWR, I thought I'd see what the wider MN community thought about this not a DM article

Rational response (imho) here

NiceTabard Thu 13-Feb-14 22:38:56

Oooh good post.

<reverse stalks>

Quangle Thu 13-Feb-14 22:58:57

finally, a stalker to call my own grin

woowoo I understand how frustrating it must be for those watch the suffering associated with FAS. But the solution is not to de-humanise women.

pointythings Fri 14-Feb-14 08:30:33

Can I reverse stalk you too, Quangle? grin That was an epic post.

JanePurdy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:33:56

Great post quangle

DebrisSlide Sat 15-Feb-14 21:31:36

I'll tell you what, it's a sad state of affairs when a SAHM/WOHM (I imagine, I can't bring myself to read it) thread approaches 800 posts and this one languishes.

Women are fucked. Literally and metaphorically.

Back to the topic. If this makes case law, where does that leave abortion law? Do any legal types know?

BackOnlyBriefly Sat 15-Feb-14 21:53:47

There is no way a woman's rights as an individual should be be subject to the 'rights' of a fetus which is still part of her. It needs to be clear in law that it has no individual existence until it is born.

I get why some people will be horrified and I'm all for educating people on the dangers of drugs such as alcohol and on all health issues, but to assign any rights to a fetus means making women less than human.

I don't see how this case could be successful, but the logical consequence would be that abortion would be murder and any pregnant woman could be arrested for drinking, overeating, not exercising enough, working when pregnant - if her job might cause stress or injury, and so on. There would be no end to the consequences if the principle were established and pressure groups could be formed to add more limits to what women can do.

Since there are already those who would like women to be kept in their place there'd be no shortage of suggestions for controlling women further 'for the good of the child'

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Sat 15-Feb-14 22:19:25

It wasn't barely a murmur, it was a hard fought victory to be able to change ones gender legally on paperwork without having to have invasive surgery. It still requires a long process of counselling and active living to do so and we still have only the gender binary recognised. When in some other countries getting any recognition or, for those who desire it, treatment requires one to be willing to be sterilized, it's wasn't a small thing & I recall it being discussed a lot at the time.

To give a fetus personhood is to give those pregnant less rights than a corpse who are not required to give anything to even improve someone's quality of life, let alone save it. No one can be forced to even give blood to save a life, let alone give over their bodies to another at the risk of their own lives. These things come up a lot, and many fight to get them shot down. Frustrating, but it is being fought, I doubt a forum is a good place to see how interested people are in an issue.

DebrisSlide Sat 15-Feb-14 22:33:18

There was barely a murmur. I lived here then, and was an avid newspaper reader. It only passed because the govt didn't think the populace was ready for gay marriage. So, bang goes the definition of man and woman.

So, now we reach an interesting position in legal terms. If this comes into case law, women who were born as women will finally have to sit up and take note.

A forum that is largely populated by women born as women who are of child-bearing age is not a good place to guage interest. What a bizarre statement. More bizarre is that there is little interest.

CouthyMow Sat 15-Feb-14 22:33:19

I am of childbearing age. I take heavy duty painkillers for arthritis. I also take epilepsy meds. If I fell pregnant, there is a chance that harm could happen to the foetus before I know I'm pregnant.

I don't intend to fall pregnant, in fact I am actively avoiding it . But it can still happen, given the fact that hormonal contraception is less effective when you take epilepsy medications.

Should I leave my epilepsy untreated and have no pain relief for my arthritis until I am outside of childbearing age (could easily be another 20 years, I'm only 32)?

If this made case law, that would be the potential situation for me, or I could be deemed as doing harm to the foetus if I fell pregnant.

And what about abortion? If it is harmful to take drugs that can affect a foetus, and is made illegal to do so, then surely that personifies the foetus, thus making abortion murder?

Ballsballsballs Sat 15-Feb-14 22:38:40

This is a very worrying development. It seems sometimes that women's rights are going backwards.

SoonToBeSix Sat 15-Feb-14 22:42:18

I totally agree , FAS is terrible and no one knows how much alcohol can cause it.
Being a mother involves putting your child first surely that should start in pregnancy.

DebrisSlide Sat 15-Feb-14 22:57:14

SoonToBeSix, are you of childbearing age? Do you drink alcohol/eat unpasteurised cheese/do "dangerous" sports?. Do you think you should stop those because there is a chance you might be pregnant and not know it?

SoonToBeSix Sat 15-Feb-14 23:13:23

I would be happy to take a test every month to make sure I was not pregnant and then abstain from those things yes.

horsetowater Sat 15-Feb-14 23:17:46

I would like to hear more about the legal implications of this. If it is a crime to drink when pregnant, is it a crime if you don't know you are pregnant? I'm fairly certain criminalising all women of childbearing age isn't going to do anyone much good.

It is a myth also that the first trimester is the most risky. More research is now coming out about teratogens having an effect at any stage.

It is absolutely horrendous that there is not more public information and research done, but hold on, there isn't 'because we can't do research on the foetus because it's a breach of human rights'. So pharmaceutical companies who add to the toxic chemicals our babies are exposed to have a grand excuse not to do more research and keep pushing them to pregnant women. Ignorance is bliss.

DebrisSlide Sat 15-Feb-14 23:20:31

How would that work? Surely you would have to abstain from all those things whilst there was a chance you might be pregnant? Otherwise, there's no point. You might have been doing that stuff and been a few weeks pregnant.

SoonToBeSix Sat 15-Feb-14 23:24:31

Possibly but I have always tested positive at before 4 weeks pregnant so its unlikely.
In terms of criminality I doubt anyone could be prosecuted for their actions before they could have realistically known they were pregnant.

horsetowater Sat 15-Feb-14 23:33:01

You could always add the disclaimer to say 'any women of childbearing age that have unprotected sex' or equally 'any man having unprotected sex with a woman who he knows has had a drink'. That would put a cat among the pigeons. Where will it all end?

It should never never had begun in the first place. Government guidelines have been absurdly wet and ineffective. In other countries it's an emphatic NO alcohol. Why faff about with the 'one or two units' nonsense?

I'm fairly certain that alcohol is probably the most toxic drug that anyone could put into their body when pregnant. The reason that you get drunk is because you are being slowly poisoned FFS. Not hard to put two and two together when you know the facts.

Opiates and nicotine work directly on the brain, a completely different mechanism and I would agree are far safer.

DebrisSlide Sat 15-Feb-14 23:40:00

No alcohol for whom? Any woman who may become pregnant?

nirishma Sun 16-Feb-14 00:12:47

I don't think we need to worry about this. The idea is so ridiculous that it will get quashed by the high court surely? Agree about the one to two units is safe guidelines stupidity. A ridiculous statement - each pregnant woman's metabolism is different from the next hmm.

Tories are going to lose the next election anyway and I'm sure Cleggers would do everything in his power to obstruct a bill being passed. Don't think there is time for a bill to be passed about this before the next election.

profilewithoutaname Sun 16-Feb-14 02:45:01

It's good to protect children, but this is scary. Because how can they prove that the physical problem comes from alcohol that the mother had during the pregnancy. And not something the child was just born with.

And did the mother really had alcohol and how much during the pregnancy? Only if someone has monitored her alcohol intake during the pregnancy they can say something about it.

And that these children have been taken away from their parents. Why? I'm pro protecting children, but against taking them away from their parents. Especially because the foster parents will get about 500 pound per child per week.

Most people will manage to solve their problems with that amount of money on a weekly basis.

It should be not accepted that a soon to be mother drinks alcohol, smokes and does other really unhealthy things during the pregnancy.

At the same time society should be more pregnant lady friendlier. Careful with a pregnant lady, giving up a seat and all of that.

During my last pregnancy some idiot walking right against me. Can happen, but I was high pregnant and all I got was a 'sorry' and that's it. He didn't check if I was ok, nothing. I was furious.

slightlyglitterstained Sun 16-Feb-14 02:59:42

I'd rather have to stand on the bus (even with SPD) than have my legal rights taken away.

There's a big difference between what's considered socially acceptable, and what should be legally enforceable.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 16-Feb-14 03:21:36

This sort of change to the law is not about 'protecting children' in the least. It's about removing personhood from women and placing them under men's control and ownership.
There will always be plenty of bleating fucknuggets going 'Waa, waa, but you don't need to have a drink when you're pregnant' and completely missing the point. If you really care about The Children you could start by campaigning for better-funded, more accessible maternity care - lack of it leads to lovely cuddly 'innocent' newborns suffering and dying. You could maybe direct some of your attention to the frighteningly high indicence of domestic violence which starts during pregnancy, and the plight of babies born to women who have no money and are at the mercy of violent men.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 16-Feb-14 03:26:45

And how much of 'Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder' is down to alcohol consumed by a pregnant woman rather than poverty, environmental pollutants such as car exhausts or overuse of 'antibacterial' household cleaners, or some sort of recessive-genes issue is completely unknown. Because it's easier and cheaper to blame women than to fund better maternity care and/or rein in the big coroporations peddling unholy chemical concuctions to wash your pants with.

horsetowater Sun 16-Feb-14 10:21:14

SGB alcohol makes you drunk because it pickles your liver, it is particularly harmful to the foetus by its mechanism. It really is a big problem, but not as big as sodium valprate, a drug used by hundreds of thousands of women of childbearing age despite having a neurological effects stastistic of around 50% when exposed in utero.

They are currently reviewing it (sv) in Europe, one of the questions is to look at the IQ of the mothers to assess whether that is a confounding factor. angry

horsetowater Sun 16-Feb-14 10:25:20

And 8.5% major congenital malformations, they probably think that's due to the mother's lack of gcses as well. That is about 600% the background average.

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