WTF OTD: stillbirths in USA lead to murder charges against the pregnant women

Lately in (some of) the USA: Stillbirth while a drug addict? Stillbirth following a suicide attempt? Well, you’re a murdering bitch.

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges

Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion…

At least 38 of the 50 states across America have introduced foetal homicide laws that were intended to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from violent attacks by third parties – usually abusive male partners – but are increasingly being turned by renegade prosecutors against the women themselves.

Something else I notice in this story – a certain class element about who is being charged with these crimes that seems to tie into the War Against (Some) Drugs, which always seems to be waged against the drugs that rich people don’t tend to use. This time it’s the War Against (Some) Women.

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, social justice

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6 replies

  1. South Carolina was one of the first states to introduce such a foetal homicide law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has found only one case of a South Carolina man who assaulted a pregnant woman having been charged under its terms, and his conviction was eventually overturned. Yet the group estimates there have been up to 300 women arrested for their actions during pregnancy.
    Those last two paragraphs make me seriously doubt that the law was intended for anything but the purpose it’s being used for now.

  2. How long can it be before women are being scrutinised because they had sex while fertile yet failed to produce a child? #bravenewworld

  3. I have no words. Really. Way to reduce a woman to a womb with legs.

  4. This is so very Handmaidens Tale.

  5. Horrifying. Totally WTF.

  6. A few years ago I remember the editor of Madison (or Cosmo?) in Australia weighing in on this, running a campaign within the magazine to get these laws brought in. She felt that women needed protection from partners/strangers/drink drivers, but I remember wanting to scream about how dangerous that was when I read the first article.
    I didn’t realise they’d brought the in the US. Its looking so bad for women there at the moment.

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