[Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of news reports from the year 2016 based on Mitt Romney winning the Presidency and Republicans Taking control of the Senate and retaining control of the House. These stories are not a predictions of what will happen, but they are indications of what could happen. That in itself should be scary enough.]
Anti-Abortion Laws Successfully Target Women and Their Doctors When a Miscarriage Occurs – And Deaths from
Miscarriages Rise Sharply
Jackson, Ms (UPI.) Following the Supreme Court’s decision invalidating a woman’s right to an abortion and state laws prohibiting abortions, the number of women having miscarriages and being charged with abortion crimes has skyrocketed. In states that impose strict penalties for abortions, law enforcement has targeted miscarriages and the results have been increased prosecution of both the women and their physicians.
The issue of criminalizing miscarriages arose when after the retirement of Justice Ginsburg, federal appeals courts in several districts over-turned Roe v. Wade. In a 4 to 4 decision the Supreme Court refused to reverse those decisions. The legal result was that states were free to outlaw any abortion activities, and 17 states have done so. In all of those states a miscarriage was deemed to be an illegal abortion unless the woman and her physician could present proof that the miscarriage was indeed spontaneous.
The sixteen other states that prohibit abortion also have adopted
Mississippi type laws, but not as
harsh. All states however have permanent
police presence in hospitals and have given the police the right to interview
women immediately after the miscarriage occurs.
An unconfirmed report puts the number of women who have died after being
taken into police custody immediately after an abortion at over 6,700.
study has found
that over 18,000 women were arrested in 2015, and that 2016 arrests are running
at an annual rate of over 34,000. So far
13,227 women are serving prison time for miscarriages characterized as
abortions, and 2,287 physicians have also been sent to prison for their role in
treating women who suffered miscarriages. UCLA Medical
Linda Stephenson, a spokesperson for UCLA study said that “As disturbing as the numbers are, the more important thing is that we found over 11,200 deaths of women who suffered miscarriages and could not obtain treatment because physicians were afraid of legal consequences”. A spokesman for the leading group in promoting criminal penalties for women and health care workers, The American Life is Sacred Coalition, said “the loss of life is God’s way of punishing these women for trying to have an abortion”.
Many pro-life states such as
New York and California have set up shelters for women
fleeing states where immediate jailing takes place after a miscarriage, but
President Romney and the Republican controlled Congress are said to be studying
ways to stop this practices. “States
rights does not mean the right of a state to give shelter and health care to a
woman who suffers a miscarriage” Mr. Romney said recently to a group of
anti-abortion rights activists.