Criminalizing Miscarriage

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Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:57 pm

This strikes me as an offensive miscarriage of legislative responsibility. Georgia Governor said to be likely to sign law criminalizing miscarriage. I'm interested in Georgians' take on it and on how it is being presented locally. William? Neil? What sort of investigations are anticipated? Can smoking one cigarette be treated as negligent homicide? My mother had a miscarriage before I was born. If she were not dead I would advise her to steer clear of that state.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby William Thornton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:27 am

The 'fetal heartbeat bill' has been passed and is waiting for the governor's signature. It's the pro life legislative crusade du jour with several states considering or passing such bills. It will be challenged. The talk about miscarriage criminality is the usual leftist, pro-abortion scare talk. As we have come to expect, the debate is highly strident with uncompromising positions on both sides. I don't have a problem with the heartbeat bill. Hollywood doesn't like it, and Georgia is one of the top states for film production. Big Industry here in Georgia doesn't like it because they sell seats, cokes, and caulk and would rather not have any controversy.

Stacy Abrams, darling of the Democrats these days for VP, callsthe bill 'evil', etc. Not that she has much of a chance for pro life voters anyway but the idea that attempting to preserve a beating heart is 'evil' is striking and she may expect to be quoted on her statements during the campaign. Someone ought to find a prominent Democrat who will not favor strangling a living baby in the delivery room.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:21 am

One of the real problems with this issue is that there is never any dialogue about the questions of abortion. I am not in favor of abortions, but I have lived long enough to see situations in which it was the lesser evil. No one wants to discuss how these situations might evolve. Absolutism on either side does not lead to any lessening of the misuse of a medical procedure that should be very rare. It just offers ammunition for the next skirmish.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby KeithE » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:03 am

I am for the fetal heartbeat bill in GA or anywhere. I am for adoption that can be facilitated by paying mothers (who do not want their babies) some subsidies (medical care, delivery costs) if they are needy. Many families are standing in line for children they cannot have naturally. there are as many as 36 waiting families for every one child who is placed for adoption.

Fetuses are at the very least a potential human being and have value. This country is not “full”.

But I realize it will not have much effect - abortions will still happen. And I am not for strong penalties (e.g. murder or any felony) against mothers or doctors. It is simply too much of a divided issue (points on each side) to punish violators.

But just because it will not have much effect, does not mean the bill should not be passed, signed and implemented.

Where are any “leftists" calling miscarriage criminal abortion if this is enacted? Haruo or William or anyone.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Sandy » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:46 am

I'm opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, and that opposition is directly the result of my Christian faith and convictions. The problem with attempting to formulate any legislation to restrict the practice is that there are cases when it is a medically necessary procedure, and that doesn't necessarily fit into a political agenda. And in the case of laws like this, you're not talking about convictions, you're talking about how to use this issue to the political advantage of one side in attempts to get a Supreme Court ruling in order to get some kind of legal precedent set. So it becomes hypocritical for conservatives to throw around rhetoric about "strangling a living baby in the delivery room."

The fact of the matter is that in this country, at this time, a pretty substantial majority of the population, including some who claim to hold sincere Christian beliefs, do not hold the view that life begins at conception, and that it is a personal choice to abort a fetus prior to its viability outside the womb, not a matter of right or wrong. So the rhetoric and the battle has moved to abortion after viability, where almost all abortions are performed for medical, not birth control reasons. The claim that laws like this can have the kind of effect characterized as "criminalizing miscarriage" is not just "leftist, pro-abortion scare talk." It is a common problem anytime you have an attempt to legislate how a doctor can perform a medical procedure. Most of the people who support this kind of legislation are perfectly fine with gun laws that allow nut jobs to murder children in their classroom. End of that argument.

This country has churches everywhere which have invested trillions of dollars in comfortable facilities in which most of them rattle around like a b-b in a cannon. We have massive numbers of paid staff, professionally trained in multi-billion dollar colleges and universities, and spend multiple millions on high dollar praise music and the professionals who produce it for an hour of religious theater on Sunday morning. With all of that, we are losing ground in the battle to retain members and evangelize their children, and not making any real difference among the non-Christian population. Somewhere, in the expenditure of all of those resources, you would think that someone would have figured out that holding a perspective of the sanctity of human life that extends to conception requires life transformation, not a piece of legislation or a court ruling that is most likely never going to take place.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby William Thornton » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:06 am

Dave Roberts wrote:One of the real problems with this issue is that there is never any dialogue about the questions of abortion. I am not in favor of abortions, but I have lived long enough to see situations in which it was the lesser evil. No one wants to discuss how these situations might evolve. Absolutism on either side does not lead to any lessening of the misuse of a medical procedure that should be very rare. It just offers ammunition for the next skirmish.


Do you think, Dave, that a baby may be killed up to the moment of birth?
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby KeithE » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:32 am

Sandy wrote: The problem with attempting to formulate any legislation to restrict the practice is that there are cases when it is a medically necessary procedure


Sandy, the law does have exceptions.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/201 ... 330072002/
The bill's exceptions include cases that involve rape or incest on the condition that the victim files a police report or someone files one on their behalf.

Lawmakers say the Department of Community Health and the State Medical Board will determine the process for getting an abortion after a police report is filed.

Other exceptions include when a doctor determines the pregnancy would cause death or bodily harm to the mother or the fetus would not be able to live after birth.


Sandy wrote: and that doesn't necessarily fit into a political agenda. And in the case of laws like this, you're not talking about convictions, you're talking about how to use this issue to the political advantage of one side in attempts to get a Supreme Court ruling in order to get some kind of legal precedent set. So it becomes hypocritical for conservatives to throw around rhetoric about "strangling a living baby in the delivery room.”

Amen to that. To many evangelicals (like my sister, for one) that is the only reason she voted for Trump as if that is the only life/death related policy there is (how about wars, gun laws, nuclear buttons, food stamps, climate change, health care, mass incarceration to name a few where Trump seems to have little regard for life/death except his own political life)

Sandy wrote: Most of the people who support this kind of legislation are perfectly fine with gun laws that allow nut jobs to murder children in their classroom. End of that argument.

Amen to that.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:35 am

William Thornton wrote:
Dave Roberts wrote:One of the real problems with this issue is that there is never any dialogue about the questions of abortion. I am not in favor of abortions, but I have lived long enough to see situations in which it was the lesser evil. No one wants to discuss how these situations might evolve. Absolutism on either side does not lead to any lessening of the misuse of a medical procedure that should be very rare. It just offers ammunition for the next skirmish.


Do you think, Dave, that a baby may be killed up to the moment of birth?


You proved my point exactly, William, by sloganizing. In answer to your question, "Of course not!" I would not favor 99.44% of the abortions done, but I would like to strangle any Christian who says to the victim of rape, incest, or other sexual violence, "God has blessed you with this life." Seems to me that the Devil had more to do with that.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:06 am

Dave Roberts wrote:One of the real problems with this issue is that there is never any dialogue about the questions of abortion. I am not in favor of abortions, but I have lived long enough to see situations in which it was the lesser evil. No one wants to discuss how these situations might evolve. Absolutism on either side does not lead to any lessening of the misuse of a medical procedure that should be very rare. It just offers ammunition for the next skirmish.


Well said Dave!

I object to legislators, who often don't know their arse from their elbow, voting through sweeping bills related to medical issues that should be between a woman and her doctor. Most of these bills are one dimensional and don't take into account the varied and complicated circumstances of life.

Before my daughter was born my wife had pre-eclampsia. If things had gone less well than they did we might have been faced with the decision of choosing to lose either my daughter or my wife. I don't want a legislature making those kind of decisions for my family. And I'm sick of the holier than thou attitude by legislators who are pro-birth but after the kid is born, the same legislators don't seem to much care if the kid gets fed, clothed or educated.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:35 pm

Interesting case in New York State of a woman sentenced to nine years in prison for failing to wear a seatbelt. When I'm at a computer where I can cut and paste I'll provide more detail.

Here we go: Warning William! NYT! ;-)

When Prosecutors Jail a Mother for a Miscarriage

Even New York is no stranger to these types of prosecutions. In 2008, a car driven by a 28-year-old woman named Jennifer Jorgensen crossed the double-yellow line of Whiskey Road in Ridge, on Long Island. The head-on collision that ensued cut three lives short. The driver of the car Ms. Jorgensen hit, Robert Kelly, 75, died at the scene; his wife, Mary Kelly, 70, died of her injuries three weeks later. The infant that Ms. Jorgensen, eight months pregnant, delivered via emergency cesarean section shortly after the accident died five days later.

In 2012, a Suffolk County jury acquitted Ms. Jorgensen of two counts of second-degree manslaughter in the deaths of the Kellys, one count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.

The jury found Ms. Jorgensen guilty of a single manslaughter charge, holding that she recklessly caused the death of her daughter because she had not been wearing a seatbelt. She was sentenced to up to nine years in prison.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:45 am

Leland, there are a few questions I would have about the whole incident, like whether or not she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol -- since they acquitted her of that.

Also makes me wonder if the devout sacrosanct “religion” that many people seem to have concerning seat-belts played into the decision.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:57 pm

Rvaughn wrote:Leland, there are a few questions I would have about the whole incident, like whether or not she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol -- since they acquitted her of that.

Also makes me wonder if the devout sacrosanct “religion” that many people seem to have concerning seat-belts played into the decision.

The question raises those and many other questions in my mind. Among others, the seatbelt issue may be a lot more complicated than just good v. bad idea. If she was eight months pregnant, she may have been configured so that wearing her seatbelt might have been physically impossible and/or itself a danger to her fetus, especially if she was in an accident where it did its job. So she *may* have been not wearing it for the benefit of the daughter who died as a result. My guess is that the evidence of drugs and alcohol in her system was inconclusive or the level low enough that it couldn't be proven to have been significantly contributory to the accident. But if there was significant evidence that she was chemically impaired, then why did they let her off on the deaths of the two adults killed?

And the article's title is wrong, I think: Prosecutors don't jail people for anything. That's the work of judges and juries. Prosecutors may argue for jailing someone, but they don't actually make it happen.

My mother had a miscarriage before I was born. If he had been carried to term, my name would be Graham. (And, of course, the universe would be significantly modified in unimaginable ways; I might even have been miscarried, myself. My sister Peggy might never have been born, or if she had been, she might have been a boy named Stanley.) I hate to think what kinds of invasive busibodyisms might be employed to determine whether a miscarriage was maternally caused or not.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:17 pm

Haruo wrote:But if there was significant evidence that she was chemically impaired, then why did they let her off on the deaths of the two adults killed?
Yea, one of the questions going through my mind is if she was guilty of the one death, why wasn't she guilty of the other two? Doesn't make sense.

Re seat-belts, I get weary of the self-righteous seat-belters. Here it is common practice to announce in news reports that someone who died in a car crash "was not wearing his seat belt." Of course, if the person who got killed and was wearing a seat belt it, they go silent as a mouse.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:44 pm

Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:But if there was significant evidence that she was chemically impaired, then why did they let her off on the deaths of the two adults killed?
Yea, one of the questions going through my mind is if she was guilty of the one death, why wasn't she guilty of the other two? Doesn't make sense.

Re seat-belts, I get weary of the self-righteous seat-belters. Here it is common practice to announce in news reports that someone who died in a car crash "was not wearing his seat belt." Of course, if the person who got killed and was wearing a seat belt it, they go silent as a mouse.

I almost always wear my seatbelt, but more to avoid a ticket than to be (or feel) safe. The statistics I've seen indicate wearing one actually does reduce your mortality odds in a major/high-speed collision, but anecdotal counter-evidence weighs heavily in my mind to the contrary. I have been in one collision involving fatalities in my life; hopefully no more to come. In that collision there were seven people in our car and just the driver in the other. Of the eight occupants of the two cars, two died. Two of the eight were wearing seatbelts. One of those—50%—died, my dad. Of the six not belt-secured, one—~17%—died, my mom. I was the only one of the eight physically uninjured; I was not wearing a seatbelt. Of those most seriously injured, one was the second seatbelt wearer.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Neil Heath » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:34 pm

To get back to the topic at hand and provide some further info, I understand that the topic's title may come from the fact that the Ga. bill criminalizes abortions done after there is a fetal heartbeat, approx. 6 weeks in, with some exceptions. Before that change it was allowable until 20 weeks.

Many women do not even know they are pregnant at that early stage, and thus have not been to a doctor. They may therefore be engaging in activities harmful to a fetus, such as alcohol and drug use, reckless activities like extreme sports, etc. that might cause a miscarriage. Said woman could be subject to criminal prosecution if the law was pushed to its logical conclusion. And then there are the spontaneous abortions that nature does on its own. I've heard the numbers but don't know what they are at the moment. A person could be blamed for causing that too by her actions, and held legally liable for the "death".

There are similar laws and even more extreme ones in other states. I feel sure this law will be challenged in court, as they have been in other states passing similar bills. And that's really the goal of these laws. They know the laws are too extreme to be accepted and will be challenged. They want that, hoping to go to the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. That's pretty much the bottom line.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Tim Bonney » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:02 pm

And, I would suspect, that most of the people making this decision are people who can't carry babies, don't have uteruses and as usual seem to think it is important to spend their time policing women's bodies.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:03 pm

Haruo wrote:I almost always wear my seatbelt, but more to avoid a ticket than to be (or feel) safe. The statistics I've seen indicate wearing one actually does reduce your mortality odds in a major/high-speed collision, but anecdotal counter-evidence weighs heavily in my mind to the contrary. I have been in one collision involving fatalities in my life; hopefully no more to come. In that collision there were seven people in our car and just the driver in the other. Of the eight occupants of the two cars, two died. Two of the eight were wearing seatbelts. One of those—50%—died, my dad. Of the six not belt-secured, one—~17%—died, my mom. I was the only one of the eight physically uninjured; I was not wearing a seatbelt. Of those most seriously injured, one was the second seatbelt wearer.
Leland, so sorry to read of your family experience with seat belts and car wrecks. This must be a hurt that continues on forever. May the Lord bless you.

I always wear a seat belt, since it is the law (in addition, it is a policy of my employer as well). Years ago I wore it under mental protest, but I have long since gotten used to it (i.e., as a habit to put it on). I am still opposed to it as a law. Partly my Libertarianism kicking in, I suppose, but also just as a practical matter. The statistics prove seat belts to be safer percentage-wise, to wear them than not, but who cares about percentages if you (or your loved one) are the one stuck in a seat belt, can't get out, car catches on fire, and burn to death because of the seat belt.

Anyway, back to the New York incident. I can wrap my mind around it, and have no problem with it, if it were a case of the lady driving drunk, she killed her 8-month old child and two adults, and were convicted of manslaughter in all three cases. Maybe I'm missing something, but what I see in the report linked makes no sense.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:31 am

8-month-old child? Normally in my experience that means a child born eight months ago, not one conceived eight months ago and born five days ago. I think the scriptural rule was you weren't quite a full human being till you were eight days old.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:10 am

Haruo wrote:8-month-old child? Normally in my experience that means a child born eight months ago, not one conceived eight months ago and born five days ago. I think the scriptural rule was you weren't quite a full human being till you were eight days old.
In the story under consideration which you linked, the woman was eight months pregnant, which was her child. Surely you get what I am referring to. If you don't agree with my point, that is your prerogative, but I wouldn't think it is that hard to comprehend of whom I was speaking, in the context. Following your own "scriptural rule" would you advocate that it is alright to kill a child before it reaches 8 days old, after his or her birth?
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Sandy » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:15 am

Neil Heath wrote:There are similar laws and even more extreme ones in other states. I feel sure this law will be challenged in court, as they have been in other states passing similar bills. And that's really the goal of these laws. They know the laws are too extreme to be accepted and will be challenged. They want that, hoping to go to the Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. That's pretty much the bottom line.


I agree.

Like most issues in which the religious right has played a major role, sincere conviction has given way to political expediency and the political win has become the objective, not protection of the "sanctity of human life." If life begins at conception, which once was the core conviction of the pro-life position, then a law which allows abortion up to the point of detecting a fetal heartbeat is just as evil as any law allowing abortion at any point. The "lesser of two evils" approach has been used by Republican politicians as bait to keep stringing along religious conservatives because they need the votes. The stringing along started with Reagan, who promised religious conservatives that abortion would end before his term did, but when he had the opportunity to appoint the decisive vote on the Supreme Court, picked a pro-choice justice instead, as did both of his successors. The acceptance of Trump is a demonstration that deeply held moral values have been abandoned by most of the religious right for political expedience, so this is really a minor niggling point now but it still makes it hypocritical for a pro-life conservative to support it.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:30 am

Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:8-month-old child? Normally in my experience that means a child born eight months ago, not one conceived eight months ago and born five days ago. I think the scriptural rule was you weren't quite a full human being till you were eight days old.
In the story under consideration which you linked, the woman was eight months pregnant, which was her child. Surely you get what I am referring to. If you don't agree with my point, that is your prerogative, but I wouldn't think it is that hard to comprehend of whom I was speaking, in the context. Following your own "scriptural rule" would you advocate that it is alright to kill a child before it reaches 8 days old, after his or her birth?

From your use of the term, I actually thought that maybe you had misunderstood and thought there was a dead 8-month-old into the bargain (in additional to the child that died at 4 or five days of age whose death she was convicted of causing).
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:00 pm

Sorry for the confusion. I assumed a reference to the only eight-month old referenced in the situation would be clear, and did not account for your thinking I misread it.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Haruo » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:59 pm

My understanding is this was not a miscarriage. The baby was born by emergency delivery.
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Re: Criminalizing Miscarriage

Postby Rvaughn » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:09 pm

No miscarriage. Here is what the article reports:
The infant that Ms. Jorgensen, eight months pregnant, delivered via emergency cesarean section shortly after the accident died five days later.
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