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.
As ludicrous as Alabama’s law is, having lawyers for fetuses is not new—and they are not just appointed to try to stop girls from having abortions. In fact, they have been used for decades in state and judicial efforts to strip pregnant women of their civil and human rights.
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.
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.
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.
The tragic shooting death of an unarmed Missouri teenager by a police officer is a wake-up call for advocates that police brutality is a reproductive justice issue.
The hospital has threatened to perform cesarean surgery on Jennifer Goodall “with or without [her] consent.”
The Tennessee state legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that allows women to be charged with assault if they have a pregnancy complication after using illegal drugs. Advocates argue that the bill is so poorly written that it could subject any woman with a poor pregnancy outcome to criminal investigation.
Despite the fact that New Jersey promotes maternal methadone programs, state officials want to charge women who use methadone while pregnant with child abuse.
On Wednesday, National Advocates for Pregnant Women announced a lawsuit has been filed challenging a Wisconsin law that allows law enforcement to take pregnant women into custody against their will to “protect a fetus.”