In March, an attacker in Colorado cut a fetus from the womb of a pregnant woman. Now, state Republicans have introduced legislation allowing an “unborn child,” from fertilization until birth, to be considered the victim of a crime.
The attack on Michelle Wilkins was an unfathomable act of cruelty. However, Colorado legislators must not use it as grounds for passing new feticide laws that will actually make pregnant women vulnerable to arrest and punishment.
A brutal attack on a pregnant Colorado woman ignited an effort to pass a fetal-homicide bill, which would allow a fetus to be considered a victim of a crime. Pro-choice activists say Colorado already has laws designed to punish perpetrators of crimes involving fetuses, and they say a new law could undermine a woman’s right to choose.
Since the 2010 midterm elections, when Republicans made massive gains across the country, hundreds of anti-choice bills have been introduced in state legislatures, and more of those bills have become law in that time than during the entire decade prior.
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.