Tuesday, April 2, 2013

War on Women: Separate and Unequal Law for Pregnant Women

Snips from the  - - - - incomplete - - - - Truthout transcript, please watch the video:
By Laura Flanders, Truthout | Interview  
A case in point is Bei Bei Shuai, who has been incarcerated for more than a year facing charges of murder and attempted feticide in Indiana after she attempted to take her own life while she was in her third trimester of pregnancy.

"This is really is a national issue," Paltrow told GRITtv.  "Will Indiana become a first state to declare a system of separate and unequal law for pregnant women, a new Jane Crow?"


What we found is that both of those kinds of measures have been used to justify the arrests, the detentions of, and forced interventions on, pregnant women, most of whom who are not seeking to end their pregnancies. It's providing the legal basis for locking up and tying down pregnant women.

When you say forced intervention, you're talking about even surgery. Give us some examples.

Well, there are two pieces to this. Melissa Rowland in Utah gave birth to twins; one was stillborn. She was arrested under the state's feticide law under the claim that by refusing cesarean surgery two weeks earlier than she ultimately had it, she caused the loss of one of the newborns.

There are also cases like Laura Pemberton, a woman who had a previous cesarean, didn't want to undergo another one if she didn't need to (she wasn't opposed to them), but every hospital in her region said you cannot have a trial labor at our hospital. [They said, in effect:] "If you, as a pregnant woman, want services here, you have to agree to be cut open whether you need to or not." So she began labor at home, hoping she would deliver there without the need of [surgery]. The hospital found out and sent a sheriff to her house, took her into custody, strapped her legs together while she was in active labor, took her to the hospital, where she had no opportunity to talk to a lawyer or have any semblance of due process before they cut her open. They cut her open and forced her to have the surgery.


One of the earliest cases I worked on was one in which claims of separate rights of the fetus were used to justify four cesarean surgeries on a woman [who then] died, as well as the baby. That's [infringing on her] right to life!


 (as just happened two weeks ago in Florida) isn't going to send an email that says "If you don't show up today for your cesarean surgery (that you already have scheduled two days from now), I will send police to your house." He (a doctor ) literally wrote that to this woman,

We are seeing specific cases where state attorney generals, including the attorneys general of Indiana and Mississippi, are arguing that because women are not physiologically the same as men, they can be punished for things that men cannot be punished for. I'm talking about potential life sentences in prison.

The argument [the prosecutors are] making is that we don't criminalize attempted suicide for men, but we can criminalize it for Bei Bei Shuai and for pregnant women because they have the capacity to reproduce.

Separate and Unequal Law for Pregnant Women
By Laura Flanders, Truthout | Interview  

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