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 story of Purvi Patel’s prosecution, and the others lining up behind her, paint a bleak picture of life under the state’s ultra-conservative Republican reign and give a frightening look of what’s to come as increasingly draconian abortion restrictions force pregnant people to turn to other, sometimes illegal and often dangerous, means.
A leading supporter of Colorado’s “personhood” amendment disputes a Fox News story reporting that she believes the amendment could make criminals of women.
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.
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.
A measure on the Colorado ballot has been compared to “fetal homicide” laws in dozens of states, but the measure is more far-reaching, and could subject pregnant women to prosecution for everything from choosing abortion to driving without wearing a seat belt.
Amendment 67 is not a law designed to protect pregnant women; rather, it would give law enforcement officials grounds to potentially imprison mothers.
Studies find that women of all religious faiths and traditions, all political affiliations, and all races, classes, and backgrounds have abortions. Columnist Kevin Williamson believes all such women should be hanged.
If the election were held today, Colorado voters would approve a “personhood” amendment on the November ballot, say the measure’s opponents, who believe they can still win if their multi-faceted campaign raises enough money.