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.
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.
Earlier this year, a team of Swedish doctors announced the successful transplant of uteruses into nine women who hoped to become pregnant. Now, the first baby to be carried in one such womb has been born.
This week, new estimates suggest almost two million cases of chlamydia, there’s more evidence that HIV therapy cannot eradicate the virus in babies, and a study finds that less pubic hair may mean fewer pubic lice—though they won’t be extinct any time soon.
In an effort to reduce unintended pregnancy and improve birth outcomes, some states are working to make intrauterine devices easier for Medicaid patients to access.
Though abortion is legal in Kenya in certain circumstances, many women and health-care providers remain misinformed about the law—and some corrupt police forces are reportedly taking advantage of this confusion.
Morris Turner grew up hearing whispered stories of the women who had died from childbirth and unsafe abortion in his rural Georgia town. At the age of 10, he vowed to become a doctor to prevent such suffering.