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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:33 PM

Study finds widespread 'criminalisation of pregnancy' in US institutions

Study finds widespread 'criminalisation of pregnancy' in US institutions

Study cites misinterpretation of Roe v Wade in array of cases where women were denied rights based on pregnancy status

Karen McVeigh in New York
guardian.co.uk, Monday 14 January 2013 21.00 EST

Hundreds of women have been arrested, convicted, jailed, detained in mental institutions or forced to endure medical procedures as a result of the "criminalisation of pregnancy" over the last four decades, a new report has found.

In the first study of its kind, to be published on Tuesday, researchers from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) identified 413 criminal and civil cases across 44 states involving the arrests, detentions and equivalent deprivations of pregnant women's liberty between 1973 and 2005. NAWP said that it is aware of a further 250 cases since 2005. Both figures are likely to be underestimates, it said.

The report, which will appear in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, found that women were denied a wide range of basic human rights, including the right to life, liberty, equal protection and due process of law "based solely on their pregnancy status".

It found a wide range of cases in which pregnant women were arrested and detained not only if they ended a pregnancy or expressed an intention to end a pregnancy, but also after suffering unintentional pregnancy loss


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Reply Study finds widespread 'criminalisation of pregnancy' in US institutions (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Squinch Jan 2013 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:57 PM

1. This is bizarre. 413 cases over 32 years amounts to 12.9 cases per year in the whole U.S.

While even one of these cases should not happen, it really doesn't qualify as a widespread criminalization of pregnancy. It seems more like a few wing-nuts mistreating pregnant women.

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