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Come On Georgia -- Don't Set The Women's Movement Back 100 Years!

Posted Mar 04 2011 12:00am
Okay so there isn’t many times that I am left with my mouth agape and at a loss for words but today I am.  The abortion debate is always animated and emotionally charged.  However, this week it took a turn down Crazy Street when  Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin (R) introduced a bill into the state legislature that would find miscarriage a criminal act, and a state mandate to investigate, track, and follow all pregnancies.

Do you remember last year when this same representative proposed to make rape and domestic violence victims into accusers? I thought this was nuts however, this year he’s upped the ante and  has introduced into legislature a bill HB1: Prenatal Murder” which makes it a crime for a woman’s body to end a pregnancy regardless of how it’s ended.  And furthermore if you suffer a miscarriage (Which I have-- nine (9) times) and they can’t prove it was truly a miscarriage, (which is what happens many times over in early early pregnancy) then the woman can be criminally charged.

This bill has truly catapulted into the upper atmosphere of the mysoginisim--women-hating--merry-go-round. 

In examining this bill further, this bill goes on to say that anytime a miscarriage happens, (doesn’t matter where you are:  in a hospital, or if you are with medical personnel) the patient is required to report this, a death certificate must be issued, and again if the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated.  In short this bill will criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia illegal under any circumstance.  What’s even scarier  is that both miscarriages and abortions could be potentially punishable by death.  The bill deems all of this “prenatal murder” which includes “human involvement”, and would be a felony and carry the penalty of life in prison or death.

Come on, really?

Can you imagine miscarrying, the doctor at a loss as to why you miscarried.  The miscarriage determined “unknown” and the police then have the right to question your friends, your family, co-workers, and neighbors to determine how it happened.

Hello?  Representative Franklin, (who is not a medical professional) did you know that 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage?  That’s one in four pregnancies. Again, not to sound like a broken record but I myself have experienced nine (9) miscarriages – and the grief process is brutal!  I blamed myself for each and every one.  Did I exercise too much?  Did I not stop drinking coffee soon enough?  Did I not eat right? Did I get over heated?  Was this because I smoked as a young lady?  I had sex!  Did that dislodge something? Was I too stressed out? Did that glass of wine before I knew I conceived cause the problem?  Was it karma?  I mean, I blamed myself for years about my miscarriages, all nine of them.  So would this mean that the government or the police should open a criminal investigation because my body decided it couldn’t carry a pregnancy?

Under this bill HB1, as it states a woman who suffers a miscarriage could indeed become a felon if she can’t prove there was “no human involvement whatsoever” in the cause of the miscarriage.  The scariest part of the language in this proposed bill is that there isn’t any sort of clarification whatsoever of what the term “human involvement” means.  

Our physicians don’t always know what causes a woman to miscarry.  It could be any number of things that we as women have no control over.  Again one in four suffers a miscarriage – and that number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur often very early in pregnancy.  For instance, chemical pregnancies or blighted ovum’s can cause miscarriages even before a woman really knows she’s pregnant.  And at the end of the day most all miscarriages are Mother Nature’s way of weeding out the fetuses that aren’t developing normally.  It’s our body doing what it’s supposed to do.  And this Georgia State Representative wants to penalize women for this?  Are you kidding me?  This is 2011, not the dark ages.  – I think.

Besides this bill being poorly written is cruel and unusual to hold a woman criminally liable for a completely natural biological process that again she has no control over.  I mean for crying out loud this bill is holding women responsible for protecting her pregnancy from the moment she conceives.  If we are to look at this logically we would how flawed the language in this bill is because we all know that pregnancy tests aren’t always 100% accurate until at least 3-4 weeks after conception.  

My hope is that this crazy bill that makes an already legal procedure illegal doesn’t pass.  What is even more bothersome is that this bill shows a huge lack of concern for the welfare and well-being for women’s health. ” Unless Franklin (who is not a health professional) invents a revolutionary intrauterine conception alarm system, it's unclear how exactly the state of Georgia would enforce that rule other than holding all possibly-pregnant women under lock and key.”

I like Jen Phillips have seen my share of anti-woman bills this year that threaten your reproductive rights and mine but this one – man this one’s over the top.  What I don’t understand is how this bill can make the logical argument that Georgia is exempt from upholding the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Roe v. Wade.
The whole bill is convoluted and dizzying at best.

My hope the bill won’t pass.  If you live in Georgia please send Representative Robby Franklin your thoughts about this ludicrous bill.
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