Help for Christine Taylor: Victim of Iowa’s Feticide Law


Last week I wrote about Christine Taylor, a young mother in Iowa, with two daughters and pregnant with her third, who found herself arrested and jailed after committing the cardinal sin of expressing uncertainty about her pregnancy at the ER of a local hospital. Taylor was at the emergency room because she had accidentally fallen down the stairs at her home, after a particularly distressing call with her estranged husband and she wanted to make sure her fetus was still healthy.

Instead, Taylor found herself arrested and jailed.

Taylor was arrested under Iowa’s “feticide law” for attempted feticide:

One section of Iowa’s law criminalizes any act by any person who attempts to intentionally terminate a pregnancy “without the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person” at any stage of pregnancy.  

Another makes it a felony to intentionally terminate a pregnancy “with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person after the end of the second trimester,” unless a pregnancy is terminated for the reasons of the life or health of the mother.  In short…a willing effort to terminate a pregnancy.  This is the section of the law under which Christine Taylor was charged.

Though she was released two days later and the charges against her were dropped, her life has been deeply affected. The National Advocates for Pregnant Women has taken on her case and advocates from around the country have rallied to assist Taylor as she works to put her life back together for herself, her two daughters and, soon, a new baby.

Led by the efforts of Monica Brasile, Certified Childbirth Educator and Doula, and a leader in the midwifery community in Iowa, the web site Help Christine Taylor has been set up to accept donations for Christine Taylor and her family. From the site:

Christine is under an enormous amount of stress, with no real support network. Her apartment was robbed shortly after she was released from jail, and her tax return was stolen. That money was to go directly toward housing, transportation, child care, and other necessary expenses associated with the birth of her third child.

In regards to her desire, as a birthing rights advocate, to get involved Brasile tells me,

“I am passionately committed to recognizing the connections between birth advocacy and larger reproductive justice issues…I was moved to set up this donation site for Christine after I’d spent time talking with her and became aware of just how little support she has in the aftermath of this recent injustice. She was robbed shortly after her release from jail, and she is really struggling as a single parent. I want to do what I can to help her move forward with her life, and with the birth of her third child, in dignity.”

If you can help, please visit the site and donate.

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  • marysia

    Amie, thank you for posting this. Although I oppose abortion I don’t think criminalizing women especially women in such difficult situations is the way to go about it.  I have donated to the help fund and encourage others, whether prolife or prochoice, to do the same, if they have the wallet power to do so.

  • amie-newman

    Yes, it’s good to know we’re on the same page when it comes to fighting efforts to criminalize women for their right to seek care, discuss their emotions about a pregnancy and even express doubt. We are now, in this country, enacting laws that are being used to JAIL women under “suspicion” of maybe, possibly, considering their options when it comes to a pregnancy,  entering a terrifying realm of human rights abuses.