Monday, 27 June 2011

A Rumbling Thunder

Can you hear it?

Outcry in America as pregnant women who lose babies face murder charges

Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

Gibbs is the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby. But her case is by no means isolated. Across the US more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.
In this instance, it's the religious right in the US criminalising women who suffer unsuccessful pregnancies which authorities solely - and without proper substantiation - attribute to the mother's behaviour.

[Robert McDuff, a civil rights lawyer] told the Guardian that he hoped the Gibbs prosecution was an isolated example. "I hope it's not a trend that's going to catch on. To charge a woman with murder because of something she did during pregnancy is really unprecedented and quite extreme."
Well, that's a battle for the future, one suspects, and it's not difficult to imagine the new religion of public health proudly at the helm when it inevitably arrives.

We've already seen a few rumblings, and I'm sure we've all heard the "it should be classed as child abuse" line many times already with regard to parental lifestyles. So why not just go that little extra step and push for the prosecution of women who have problematic pregnancies while also being obese, consuming cigarettes, or drinking in excess of guidelines, eh?

We'll just have to take it on trust that those currently taking the opportunity to rail against the religious right on the criminalisation of pregnant mothers will be consistent when the idea is picked up by the predominantly left-leaning health lobby.


19 comments:

George Speller said...

Unforseen consequences will kick in. Women simply won't register their pregnancies with healthcare authorities.
That's gonna help!

Curmudgeon said...

Now that is sinister - if you are pregnant, your body is no longer your own, it belongs to the State Collective Baby Farm.

Sue said...

OMG, that´s horrific! As if it´s not bad enough to be addicted to a drug and go through nearly a whole term pregnancy and give birth to a still born child.. she is charged with murder? Don´t they think the poor girl has been punished enough?

Lysistrata said...

What Sue said.
I find this deeply sinister. And very very scary.

SadButMadLad said...

There is a reason women don't announce their pregancies until at after least three months. It's because of the number of miscarriages in the first trimester. 80% of all miscarriages occur in this period. Nature can be very cruel. It kills more babies than abortions do.

The next step after all the drinking and smoking bans will be that pregnant women will be forced to lie in bed 24/7 and be force fed an approved diet to minimise the risk to the baby. Risk has not got be minimised it has to be brought down to zero.

Belinda said...

Don't think the top link is working.

Anonymous said...

I take it, then, that abortion is not permitted in Mississippi? Or is this just a back-door means of the anti-abortion lobby bringing prosecutions against women who seek or obtain terminations, for the heinous crime of not living up to the Religious Right’s rose-tinted vision of blooming, happy motherhood by daring to not want to have a baby?

JuliaM said...

"We'll just have to take it on trust that those currently taking the opportunity to rail against the religious right on the criminalisation of pregnant mothers will be consistent when the idea is picked up by the predominantly left-leaning health lobby. "

Oh, good luck with THAT!

Anonymous said...

We,ve been waiting for this kind of technology for 200 years said a prossecuter from Salem.

James Higham said...

In this instance, it's the religious right in the US criminalising women who suffer unsuccessful pregnancies which authorities solely - and without proper substantiation - attribute to the mother's behaviour.

You have to wonder if the religious right are not shills for the other side because much of this would get people's backs up.

I'm not for abortion but would certainly not support something like this.

Chalcedon said...

And those that prescribe abortifacients or use a machine to macerate the developing embryo/baby must also be prosecuted.

Michael Fowke said...

Bizarre!

I saw that Witchfinder General film on TV recently.

Little Black Sambo said...

"... being obese, consuming cigarettes, or drinking in excess of guidelines."
And excessive sitting; don't forget that.

Anonymous said...

How long before I'm found guilty of causing lung cancer to someone somewhere from smoking my first woodbine 40 years ago?

Junican said...

I wonder how long it will be before any mother having a still-birth must, by definition, have done something wrong and caused the still-birth? Next logical step?

But I suspect that this is another propaganda trick - very much working to the master tobacco eradication plan.

Roger Thornhill said...

Yes, very sinister AND BY "INTELLIGENT" DESIGN.

Some thrive in an environment of lurking punishment and retribution by "a power" for "their sins" and want everyone to fear.

Abortion is a complex issue, but the human body does abort for many reasons. Here, there is NO WAY this can be proven. It is circumstancial - correlation is not causation. There is no mens rea as far as I can tell.

Next, they will accuse pregnant women fallign down stairs of attempted murder.

Shinar's Basket Case said...

WTF????!!!11

I'm about as violently Pro Life as it gets and to the right of David Koresh but even I can't see the justification here. Have the Ameritards finally taken total and utter leave of their senses?

churchmousec said...

'Depraved-heart murder' -- interesting. Not a well-known US crime.

Very sad, indeed. An aberrant health or lifestyle history could easily -- and inadvertently -- lead to this type of thing. This is what happens with the 'zero-risk' notion -- innocent people become criminals. What happens if a 'normal' woman miscarries too many times? (I know of some who have, through no fault or past history of their own.) For them, these are deeply sad events, tantamount to deaths in the family.

Tomrat said...

My own musings here; we might not like it but if the law allows these kind of questions then they need to be asked.

For the record state "child protection" rackets are as evil in my eyes and as guilty of a worse kind of human sacrifice than those few poor souls who engage in abortion not realising what it really is: that of the slow lingering murder of the soul in their vast "social care networks"; I've seen enough kids emerge from them to know they are nothing but evil.