Questionable Motives

April 1, 2011

Why does the state of Indiana want to make pregnant mothers second class citizens?

Filed under: abortion,Catholic Church,Crime,Criticism,hypocrisy,Law,Priests — tildeb @ 12:25 pm

From the ACLU’s Blog of Rights comes this prosecution:

The facts of this case are heartbreaking. On December 23, 2010, Shuai, a 34-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from a major depressive disorder, attempted to take her own life. Friends found her in time and persuaded her to get help. Six days later, Shuai underwent cesarean surgery and delivered a premature newborn girl who, tragically, died four days later.

On March 14, 2011, Shuai was arrested, jailed, and charged with murder and attempted feticide. Had Shuai, who is being represented by National Advocates for Pregnant Women and local attorneys, not been pregnant when she attempted suicide, she would not have been charged with any crime at all.

Of course, no one would deny that what happened in this case is terrible and tragic, and probably no one feels that more than Shuai herself. But this case is about so much more than whether attempted suicide should be a crime — in Indiana it is not — and the death of her daughter; its implications go much further.

The state is misconstruing the criminal laws in this case in such a way that any pregnant woman could be prosecuted for doing (or attempting) anything that may put her health at risk, regardless of the outcome of her pregnancy.

Allowing the government to exercise such unlimited control over women’s bodies, decisions, and every aspect of their lives, and to send them to jail when they disapprove of a woman’s behavior, would essentially reduce pregnant women to second-class citizens by denying them the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by the rest of us.

So how are these constitutional rights exercised in each state? This map allows you quick access to determine each of the state’s and the legislation on the books. Check out Utah especially, a state that has passed legislation to allow criminal homicide charges against women if they should induce a miscarriage.

Of course, there is no such similar law nor advocacy for such a law against men who counsel and provide the means for women they have impregnated to get abortions… sorry… induce miscarriages. That would be too much equality in responsibility, I guess.

But wouldn’t it be a grand spectacle to put these men under the same law and on trial, like those priests who forced nuns into sexual relationships with them and who counseled those who became pregnant to get rid of the evidence of their dalliances? Why should these misogynistic pricks not enjoy the same legal privilege and be charged with aiding and abetting criminal homicide? But if they did charge them, where could I buy tickets? Not, apparently, in Indiana where only women are to be held criminally accountable when it comes to the health and welfare of fetuses.

13 Comments »

  1. tildeb

    If a man punched her in the stomach and she miscarried would he not be charged for assault AND the death of the fetus?

    Comment by Titfortat — April 4, 2011 @ 11:45 am | Reply

  2. You might think so… or not… depending on how much you have actually thought about the consequences of your answer. This is a good compendium of the issues at stake in your answer.

    Comment by tildeb — April 4, 2011 @ 7:17 pm | Reply

  3. I didnt give you an answer. I asked a question. Would the man be charged with the death of the fetus?

    Comment by Titfortat — April 4, 2011 @ 7:59 pm | Reply

    • Depends in the jurisdiction in which this might happen. The ‘death of a fetus’ means something different than the death of another person.

      If you ask me for my personal opinion, I don’t think the fetus is a person in the same legal sense as the mother. I agree with the following:

      If someone has a claim to a right to live, shouldn’t they have some sort of independent life of their own? A fetus is only able to live because it is attached to the womb of the mother; therefore, any claim to a “right” to live must necessarily be at the expense of the woman. The same isn’t true of anyone else — at most, a person’s claim might entail support and help from the community at large. It would not, however, entail being hooked up to the circulatory system of another human.

      I gave the link in the previous comment to show that the issue is far more complex in the matter of rights -and thus crime against those rights – than many may think.

      Comment by tildeb — April 4, 2011 @ 10:38 pm | Reply

  4. I think its this simple. If a man would be charged then she should be charged. If he isnt then she shouldnt.

    Comment by Titfortat — April 4, 2011 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  5. what a strange and depressing story. the law that follows seems to be blaming the victim for not seeking help for her depression or what have you. where’s the social program to help such people? oh yeah, cut to fund our growing military budget that comprises over 50% of the nat’l budget.

    what is your solution to this? what would have done for her?

    Comment by zero1ghost — April 5, 2011 @ 3:14 pm | Reply

    • Solution? I’m not sure I follow you here. Mental health is poorly served by medicine in general but here in Canada there are all kinds of services available even if they are not very efficacious in the short term (with notable exceptions). What I am sure of is the more alone and depressed a person is, the less likely they will seek help. When this is combined with a lack of services and access difficulties to what is available, the setting is ripe for tragedy.

      As for the result of the suicide attempt, it’s tragic all the way around… but not criminal.

      Comment by tildeb — April 7, 2011 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  6. Tildeb…you are going further and further in the wrong direction. I’m so worried about you.

    This woman had another life – she had no right to take it. What are you talking about with the priest/nuns – and abortions? You are seriously deluded.

    Comment by 4amzgkids — April 6, 2011 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

    • I have no right, 4ak, to reduce you and your rights to that of an incubator second in importance to a fetus if you are pregnant. I have no right to tell you how much to sleep, what your diet must be, how much exercise and of what kind you must undertake, and so on. But you seem to think I do if I categorize my demands as “in the best interests of that fetus”.

      The Church Of Pedophilia continues to unravel in sex scandals allowed to continue unabated and uninterrupted by church authorities… and oftentimes with their direct help. I can’t think of a pope in the last 50 years who wasn’t criminally guilty of aiding and abetting crimes by church members against church members and their children. But you are convinced the church itself – as an institution – played no part in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The sex abuse in many African dioceses is now coming to light but your refusal to grant it any importance merely allows more of it to continue and be covered up. One would think that you as a woman would be particularly outraged that so many priests would partake of this earthly delight knowing as you do how moral character is central to moral authority. The church – as an institution – has neither.

      Comment by tildeb — April 7, 2011 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

      • Of course I am TRULY disgusted by what has gone on in the church as well as all other denominations out there – don’t be crazy!

        There are SICK people everywhere – why do you continually blame the church? If they are truly covering up then YES, that is terrible but I don’t believe that to be the case as I have pointed you to many articles written from the other side of things. You must look to all information as we always say to make a decision. Not these one sided liberal haters!

        I still don’t understand how you feel for these people in the church that have been harmed (maybe because you hate religion) Yet you don’t care about the unborn whom are truly living human beings – we were ALL in the womb tildeb. This makes no sense to me.

        Comment by 4amzgkids — April 21, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

  7. @4amzg
    A woman is more than an egg-basket.
    What does “If they are truly covering up” mean? How can you ignore what happens in the CC?

    Comment by Gabrielle Guichard — April 24, 2011 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  8. Had Shuai who is being represented by National Advocates for Pregnant Women and local attorneys not been pregnant when she attempted suicide she would not have been charged with any crime at all..Of course no one would deny that what happened in this case is terrible and tragic and probably no one feels that more than Shuai herself. But this case is about so much more than whether attempted suicide should be a crime in Indiana it is not and the death of her daughter its implications go much further..The state is misconstruing the criminal laws in this case in such a way that any pregnant woman could be prosecuted for doing or attempting anything that may put her health at risk regardless of the outcome of her pregnancy..Thats right according to the ways the laws are being applied here the state of Indiana believes that any pregnant woman who smokes or lives with a smoker who works long hours on her feet who is overweight who doesnt exercise or who fails to get regular prenatal care is a felon. And the list of ways these laws could be construed to unconstitutionally prosecute pregnant women goes on and on..Allowing the government to exercise such unlimited control over womens bodies decisions and every aspect of their lives and to send them to jail when they disapprove of a womans behavior would essentially reduce pregnant women to second-class citizens by denying them the basic constitutional rights enjoyed by the rest of us..Moreover what does it say about our society about our obsession with incarceration and using the criminal justice system to treat public health issues and with controlling womens lives and treating women as if they were somehow separate from their own pregnancies that we would give a life sentence to a woman who tried to kill herself just because she did so in a moment of utter despair and distress at the end of a wanted pregnancy?

    Comment by offshore bank accounts — April 30, 2011 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  9. I guess the irony will be lost on many who see William Lane Craig as a defender of christianity. Now let us thank god for the slaughter of children and feel really bad for those poor abortion doctors carrying out god’s will.

    Comment by tildeb — June 4, 2011 @ 5:11 pm | Reply


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