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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:30 AM
Original message
Have a miscarriage, go to jail
VA Legislative Sentry: Have a Miscarriage, Go to JAIL?
by Maura in VA
Thu Jan 6th, 2005 at 16:44:34 PST
Imagine the following scenario. You are at home alone at 8:00 on a Friday night. You are 8 weeks pregnant. All of a sudden, you begin to experience heavy cramping and bleeding. You realize with shock and sadness that you are probably experiencing a miscarriage. You are overwhelmed with grief and surprised by the intensity of physical pain involved. When your partner comes home, you break the sad news to him. Over the next few hours, you suffer pain, cramping, and intermittent bleeding. Exhausted, you finally fall asleep in your partner's arms around 4 AM. You sleep until noon.



Guess what? You just earned yourself up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Why? Because you failed to call the cops and report your miscarriage within 12 hours.


True? Not yet. But if Delegate John Cosgrove (R-78) has his way, HB1677 will become law in a few short months, and this scenario will be reality for many women in Virginia. Incredulous? Outraged? Read on below the jump for more information on this odious bill.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/6/194434/1328

link to bill:
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+sum+HB1...
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like a miscarriage of justice
Ok... tacky... but we were all thinking it. :evilgrin:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. That's a good one
I honestly hadn't thought of that.
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MarianJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Another Bit of Ammunition...
...for me to use on the "I had to vote for bush 'cuz I'm scared" crowd
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jackster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. OMG
i just finished reading A Handmaid's Tale.... this is just too scary for words

it's not abortion or even birth control their after you know

it's women - they want us controlled
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. FUCK THIS!
I am with you ladies! The time is neigh for a HUGE civil rights demonstration in DC in support of the right to choose and medical privacy!!! :mad:

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femme.democratique Donating Member (969 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. Just another reason not to live in Virginia. eom
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. Unenforceable
Almost all sexually active women have had at least one early spontaneous abortion (also called miscarriage) without realizing it (Williams Obstetrics, other sources). What they thought was a heavy period that was a day or so late may have actually been a failed pregnancy. To enforce this law, every sexually active Virginia woman would have to submit tissue for testing each month to make sure it was just a period and that she did not violate the law by not reporting a spontaneous abortion. Although it is tempting to hope that EVERY sexually active Va women would submit tissue samples every month to see the uproar created by the financial strain that would cause the state.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Of course. There are many such instances.
Some of these cases are not even known about at all.

That would turn many into criminals.
(Ignorance of the law is no excuse, how about ignorance of incidence?)

It is fairly well established that the embryo becomes a fetus as early as the eighth week of pregnancy.

"This is well established by the end of the seventh week, and this is when the transition from embryo to fetus is made."
http://www.gynob.com/concepti.htm (quick search)

This will be a VERY difficult law to enforce.

It is an obvious step towards the institution of more far-reaching laws.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. So you have to call the police if you have a miscarriage?
I'm not a lawyer, but unless I'm mistaken police reports are publicly available unless sealed.

I can't imagine too many women would want such a thing to become public knowledge without their consent.

This bill would preclude women from deciding who could and could not know about their misfortune.

In my professional opinion... this bill is a crock of shit.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. Quite amazing....
This doesn't even address issues of enforceability or selective enforcement. And, it would seem to violate certain tenets of the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and violations of 14th Amendment equal protection clauses (woman required to report, but conceiving father not), beyond all the obvious arguments about privacy rights and potentially criminalizing acts of nature.

If this passes, I hope there are swift court challenges to strike it down--there certainly seem to be multiple grounds for doing so.

One more indication that the religious right believes they have the clout to strike down the Constitution and two hundred years of legal precedent. Without legal intervention, this is what the future of this country will look like. Fundamentalism is diametrically opposed to democracy and the rule of secular law.

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HamiltonHabs32 Donating Member (465 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick
How did this happen? how has it come to this? how can people (let alone people in power) even think that this right? Sad day if this ever happens
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
12. Why on earth would you have to report
having a miscarriage? What would be the point? Or are the powers that be going to start looking into reported miscarriages to see if someone has had an abortion? Neither of them are anyone's business. Unbelievable.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:58 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. This should explain it:
"What I have learned, through initial research, is that the legislative agenda of numerous anti-abortion groups includes increased reporting of fetal deaths and issuance of death certificates for miscarriages. The point is to advance the legal recognition of "personhood" for all "products of conception".
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amjucsc Donating Member (195 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
14. Is there any chance that this will actually pass...
Or is it just the work of a lone nutjob legislator.
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