Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pregnant Women Stripped Of Rights

A new study shows hundreds of women in the United States have been arrested, forced to undergo unwanted medical procedures, and locked up in jails or psychiatric institutions because they were pregnant.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women found 413 cases when pregnant women were deprived of their physical liberty between 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, and 2005.

At least 250 more interventions have taken place since then. In one case, a court ordered a critically ill woman in Washington, D.C., to undergo a C-section against her will. Neither she nor the baby survived. In another case, a judge in Ohio kept a woman imprisoned to prevent her from having an abortion.

Lynn Paltrow, founder and executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, is interviewed on Democracy Now

In her video interview Paltrow said, "We've had cases where lawyers have been appointed for a fetus before the woman herself, who's been locked up, ever gets a lawyer. We've had cases where they've ordered a procedure over women's religious objections, and one court said, pregnant women of course have a right to religious freedom -- unless it interferes with what we believe is best for the fetus or embryo."

RH Reality Check: Conservatives like to complain about judicial activism, which generally means, a judge issued a decision which they don’t like. I have grown to hate the term because it is used so frequently that it doesn’t mean anything anymore. Still, there are few alternative phrases that accurately describe the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision in the consolidated cases of Amanda Kimbrough and Hope Ankrom. Amanda and Hope are two women who were swept up in the Alabama judiciary’s zeal to promote an anti-choice personhood agenda at the expense of pregnant women, by redefining the word “child” in Alabama’s chemical endangerment statute, so that it now applies to pregnant women who use any amount of controlled substances, whether prescribed by a doctor or not.  Read the full article @ RH Reality Check.

This news comes on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision on the right to abortion -- a right that has been under siege ever since.


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