USA – Fetal Personhood Is Maternal Punishment

Fetal Personhood Is Maternal Punishment
When society values the life of a fetus over that of a living person, women pay the steepest price.

By Katha Pollitt
Dec 2, 2019

We often talk about abortion as if it’s a thing unto itself. If we connect it to anything, it’s usually to sex education, contraception, and other contested ways of preventing unwanted births.

What gets much less attention is the removal of everyday rights from willingly pregnant women. For opponents of abortion, who grant personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses, it’s not a stretch to go from saying “You have to have that baby” to “You have to produce a healthy baby, therefore your wishes, needs, and constitutional rights are of no account.” Moreover, if anything goes wrong, they’re going to assume it’s your fault alone.


USA – A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach. She was charged in the death of the fetus.

A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach. She was charged in the death of the fetus.

By Michael Brice-Saddler and Alex Horton
June 28, 2019

A 27-year-old Alabama woman was indicted on manslaughter charges Wednesday in the loss of her pregnancy, even though, police say, another woman pulled the trigger.

The moment quickly became a flash point in the broader debate over abortion, particularly in Alabama, and raised questions over how fairly manslaughter charges can be applied in the state.


USA – A Woman’s Rights

More and more laws are treating a fetus as a person, and a woman as less of one, as states charge pregnant women with crimes...

A Woman’s Rights
By The Editorial Board
Photographs by Damon Winter

DEC. 28, 2018

You might be surprised to learn that in the United States a woman coping with the heartbreak of losing her pregnancy might also find herself facing jail time. Say she got in a car accident in New York or gave birth to a stillborn in Indiana: In such cases, women have been charged with manslaughter.

In fact, a fetus need not die for the state to charge a pregnant woman with a crime. Women who fell down the stairs, who ate a poppy seed bagel and failed a drug test or who took legal drugs during pregnancy — drugs prescribed by their doctors — all have been accused of endangering their children.


BOLIVIA – Seven women arrested for abortion this month; doctors plead compliance with the law

BOLIVIA – Seven women arrested for abortion this month; doctors plead compliance with the law

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Sep 1, 2017

In August seven women accused of abortion in five cities were arrested, compared to two cases in the past seven months. Five other people were also arrested as accomplices. Doctors, who filed the complaints in the majority of cases said they were complying with the law in order to avoid being seen as accomplices. But they are also failing to respect the confidentiality of their patients and stop women with abortion complications seeking care, said Guadelupe Pérez on behalf of the Pacto de Despenalización del Aborto.

The Bolivian Criminal Code punishes abortion with up to six years in prison, except in cases of rape, incest or where the woman’s life is in danger. The draft bill to amend the Code, still under discussion, extends the grounds of legal abortion during the first eight weeks if the woman is in extreme poverty, does not have the resources to support her family, or is a student. Since it was tabled, the anti-abortion movement has called several large protests throughout the country, which may have sparked more women to be denounced.

Until last year, although there were some 775 arrests, according to Ipas Bolivia, only two women went to prison for having abortions. One, who was 23 weeks pregnant when she caused an abortion, spent eight months in prison in 2012 and the other one, only three days in 2016.

On 2 August, “Lizbeth B” was hospitalised for complications of abortion with pills that caused her to haemorrhage. She is 28 years old and a mother of two children, ages 1 and 2 years. She was treated while in police custody. Her husband admitted that he had pressured her to have an abortion for economic reasons. He was also arrested, accused of complicity.

On 4 August, “Reyna C”, aged 20 years, was arrested along with her boyfriend, accused of having an abortion with pills in a motel room. On 16 August, in a third city, a young woman aged 21 years was apprehended in a clinic that provided abortions. According to the doctors who denounced her, there was abortion medication in her system.

On 20 August, a woman was denounced by doctors for an abortion at five months of pregnancy. She required an emergency curettage and was then taken into police custody and arrested, along with her husband. On the 21 August, the police apprehended a teenager aged 16 years, who was denounced by staff of La Paz Hospital, where she went with serious haemorrhage and said the decision was because her parents rejected her pregnancy. She was accused for causing a risk to her own life by using abortion pills.

These cases were made public through the media, but the Pacto de Despenalización del Aborto knows of two other arrests in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, one of whom was handcuffed to her hospital bed.

Abortion is the third leading cause of maternal mortality in Bolivia. The most recent death was a woman who was 33 years old, who died at home as a result of an abortion with pills purchased in a pharmacy and herbs purchased elsewhere. She left three children aged 4, 12 and 15 years. She was about four months pregnant.

SOURCE: Página Siete, by Liliana Carrillo V, 28 August 2017.


Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion:

El Salvador: What Happens When Zika Hits the Country With the World’s Strictest Abortion Laws?

Abortion is illegal in El Salvador—even in the midst of a public health crisis. But some feminists and doctors are fighting back.

By Madeleine Schwartz
Dec 14, 2016, The Nation

The Zika virus arrived in El Salvador in November of last year. It moved slowly at first, but by January at least 5000 cases had been confirmed, and the government was monitoring hundreds of pregnant women for possible fetal problems. (The first baby with microcephaly in the country was born in June.)

For feminists and activists, the virus brought along with it a sliver of hope: the possibility that Zika might provide a long-awaited challenge to the country’s ban on abortion. Abortion is illegal in El Salvador.

[continued at link]
Source: The Nation