North Carolina legislators are moving forward with a proposal to allow charges be brought against pregnant people who engage in behavior deemed risky for the fetus.
The CDC suggested in a press release that women “of reproductive age”—pregnant or not—should face additional scrutiny when it comes to receiving prescription painkillers, simply because they are biologically capable of hosting a fetus.
Virginia lawmakers on Wednesday filed a handful of bills related to reproductive and sexual health—and they are almost all pro-choice, and could roll back anti-choice policies pushed through by Virginia Republicans in recent years.
According to Tamara Loertscher and her attorneys, unbeknownst to her, as hospital workers were preparing a prescription to treat Loertscher’s thyroid condition, they were also initiating unborn child protection proceedings on behalf of Loertscher’s then 14-week-old fetus.
Amendment 1’s proponents claim that it “neutralizes” the law on abortion; in reality, the measure would rob pregnant women of the full protections of Tennessee’s constitution.
If Colorado expands the definition of “person” and “child” in its criminal code to include “unborn human beings,” the results would be especially devastating for Latina women and other women of color.
Texas’ penal code explicitly exempts pregnant individuals from being punished for harming their own fetuses. But that hasn’t stopped prosecutors from charging them with child endangerment for using drugs while pregnant.
The prosecution of Jennifer Whalen for purchasing her daughter abortion-inducing medication is reminiscent of the way that hospitals, Child Protective Services, and law enforcement have historically responded to drug use during pregnancy.
A letter sent by 48 reproductive justice, drug policy reform, women’s rights, and civil liberties organizations called on Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to renounce a policy of enhancing a criminal sentence for crimes committed while pregnant.
“The fetus basically gets two lawyers to try and stop the minor from getting an abortion in a way that no other state’s law comes close to doing,” said Andrew Beck, one of the ACLU attorneys challenging the Alabama law on behalf of a Montgomery abortion clinic, arguing it is unconstitutional.