America prison threat for women who miscarry

Article in the Guardian today which would’ve sent me hopping mad if it hadn’t been so incredible horrifying and plain scary.

Women in America are being jailed on murder charges following the loss of their babies. The article gives several women’s stories. One was a teenage drug addict who had a late miscarriage and is now facing a life sentence. Another made a suicide attempt which was unsuccessful but again resulted in miscarriage. She has been charged with murder. Both women in very difficult circumstances but surely what they need is help not to be tried as criminals?

The report says that “Women’s rights campaigners see the creeping criminalisation of pregnant women as a new front in the culture wars over abortion, in which conservative prosecutors are chipping away at hard-won freedoms by stretching protection laws to include foetuses, in some cases from the day of conception.”

This terrifies me. It really does. Women do not transform to mere chattels for their unborn babies on conception. They should have the right to control over their bodies at all times. If they are desperate enough to be taking drugs or attempting suicide they need help, not prison! All this is likely to do is make women resist seeking assistance in the event of miscarriage which may ultimately end up in women’s deaths. But women’s health and well being never seems to matter much to those who seek to oppose abortion in all circumstances.

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