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Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:43 PM

Pregnant, and No Civil Rights

Pregnant, and No Civil Rights


WITH the success of Republicans in the midterm elections and the passage of Tennessee’s anti-abortion amendment, we can expect ongoing efforts to ban abortion and advance the “personhood” rights of fertilized eggs, embryos and
fetuses. It is not just those who support abortion rights who have reason to worry. Anti-abortion measures pose a risk to all pregnant women, including those who want to be pregnant.

Such laws are increasingly being used as the basis for arresting women who have no intention of ending a pregnancy and for preventing women from making their own decisions about how they will give birth.

How does this play out? Based on the belief that he had an obligation to give a fetus a chance for life, a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered a critically ill 27-year-old woman who was 26 weeks pregnant to undergo a cesarean section, which he understood might kill her. Neither the woman nor her baby survived.

In Iowa, a pregnant woman who fell down a flight of stairs was reported to the police after seeking help at a hospital. She was arrested for “attempted fetal homicide.”
In Utah, a woman gave birth to twins; one was stillborn. Health care providers believed that the stillbirth was the result of the woman’s decision to delay having a cesarean. She was arrested on charges of fetal homicide.
In Louisiana, a woman who went to the hospital for unexplained vaginal bleeding was locked up for over a year on charges of second-degree murder before medical records revealed she had suffered a miscarriage at 11 to 15 weeks of pregnancy.

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Solutions? The authors suggest we ‘stop focusing on abortion and start working to protect the personhood of pregnant women.’ Respectfully, I disagree with the former. The focus has never been about abortion, itself. The pro-choice focus has been on a woman’s right to choose to have and/or not have children. If abortions become illegal, if we lose that reproductive choice, we will not only see more injustices against pregnant women – we will see more deaths. And those deaths will be dark, cruel, and horrific as they were for the generations of our mothers, grandmothers and all those who came before them. Without the right to abortion, women will be forced to have children, unable to work, and many will be forced into poverty. And when their children are born, especially if the newborns are girls, they will mean nothing to these anti-choice, anti-women Republican lawmakers. Pro-Life? What about the life of a mother? What about the life of a child, once born?

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http://samuel-warde.com/2014/11/dc-judge-forces-woman-to-have-cesarean/

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