Miscarriage bill an attempt to rescind rights

By: Brooklyn Middleton / Staff Writer

The issues of women’s freedoms and the myriad of ways in which it is under attack is often an esoteric, abstract issue that is difficult to articulate. Not so with Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin’s newest proposal.  His bill HB 1, would not only make abortion illegal from the moment of conception but also criminalize miscarriages that could have potentially had “human involvement.”   The blatant and total disregard for women’s health detailed in this bill is so obvious and unapologetic that there need be analysis as to why a bill like this would even be given the smallest amount of credence.

The overview of the ten page bill introduces the idea of  ‘Prenatal murder’  which is defined as, “the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus. Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a ‘spontaneous abortion’ and popularly as a ‘miscarriage’ so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.”  The last sentence is the one that is incredibly worrisome.  The idea of “human involvement” is extremely subjective and puts women in a time of crisis at the pinnacle of a legal investigation. What exactly is “human involvement in the causation” of a miscarriage? In this regard, the bill lacks specificity. Perhaps it is drug and/or alcohol use or perhaps the wording is intentionally vague, further opening up women to the potential for serious invasions of privacy.

In addition to the bill illustrating Representative Franklin’s lack of concern for privacy, it demonstrates his lack of understanding of miscarriages and conception all together. As Mother Jones Blog points out, it is estimated that a quarter of pregnancies end in miscarriages and doctors stress that a myriad of factors contribute to miscarriages.  If doctors are not sure what cause miscarriages, I don’t think criminal investigators will be able to figure out if humans had “involvement”.

The bill is especially outrageous because it lacks constitutional backing.  Under Roe vs. Wade, states cannot place limitations on access to abortions in the first trimester. The bill specifies that “prenatal murder” would be from the moment of conception, which is, obviously, in the first trimester.  The personal lives of women and specifically the uterus have become the stage for the political theatrics of politicians who lack insight on how to deal with issues that actually affect the public health of American women.  Representative Franklin should use his concern and fascination of the inner workings of women uteruses as the impetus to propose initiatives that could perhaps help eliminate the high infant and maternal mortality rates in this country.

Though it is not new that women’s reproductive freedoms have been challenged, this new bill is demonstrative of a strategic move by supporters of the anti-choice movement.  The more hyperbolic it is, the more attention will be generated to question and challenge the constitutionality of Roe vs. Wade. While it is easy to dismiss the bill as simply a bill that will fail to pass, it is important to not let this idiocy go without criticism.  There should be no allowance for Representative Franklin to gain even the slightest momentum for this crusade against women’s health and privacy.

Be the first to comment on "Miscarriage bill an attempt to rescind rights"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.