All Articles Tagged "abortion"
Kenlissa Jones was charged with malice murder for the death of a 5 1/2 month old fetus. The 23-year-old East Albany, Georgian had been doing some research on the internet and found an abortion pill. She ordered and ingested it. Days, later she became very ill.
A neighbor learned of Jones’ illness and was attempting to drive her to the hospital when Jones delivered the child in the car. The baby was pronounced dead a half an hour later at the hospital.
Shortly afterward, Jones, who already has a 2-year-old son, was arrested and taken to the Dougherty County Jail. She is currently being held there without bond.
WALB-TV spoke with Jones’ brother and he said their family had no idea that Jones was expecting another child. He said that his mother and grandmother are grieving and coping with both the loss of the unborn child and Jones’ absence as best they can.
Under Georgia law, no abortions are authorized after the first trimester, except in a medical facility.
District Attorney Greg Edwards says he has never seen this type of crime before and says it will likely go before a grand jury.
This seems like yet another reason why we need to examine a woman’s reproductive rights in this country. The fact that Jones wasn’t able to make a decision about her own body, without being sentenced to jail time, is extremely unfair.
You can watch the full news story in the video below.
What do you make of this? Should Jones have been arrested and charged with malice murder for terminating her pregnancy?
If you think our country has only been arguing over abortion laws in the 20th century and onward, think again. This is an issue that has been rallied about and brought to court since the early 1800s. Here’s a brief overview of the history of abortions in the United States.
Recently, Girls star Jemima Kirke shared her harrowing abortion experience, saying she went through the procedure without anesthesia because she couldn’t afford the extra cost.
Kirke and other celebrity women who have had abortions believe that it’s important for women to share their stories, no matter their political views are. Here are just a few of the women who have done so over the years.
For the first time in America a woman has been charged for feticide – killing her own fetus. Purvi Patel, a 33-year-old Indiana woman, has many up in arms in the debate over whether Patel has the right to take her own fetus. However, Patel has stated she suffered from a miscarriage when she arrived to the hospital umbilical cord exposed, but no baby. According to the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Patel’s Monday sentence of 20 years in prison makes her the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced for “feticide.”
Read more on Patel’s story and see the details of this case that make it questionable. Let us know if you think the 20-year sentenced delivered on Monday is fair.
The Washington Post reports:
When Purvi Patel showed up in the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center’s maternity ward, bleeding and showing a protruding umbilical cord, Dr. Kelly McGuire immediately knew something was wrong.
“There should have been a baby at the end of the umbilical cord,” he testified in an Indiana court room.
McGuire, who is obligated to report cases of suspected child abuse, called the police, he told PRI. Informed that officials were heading to her home, Patel told her doctors that she’d had a miscarriage and had left her stillborn fetus in a dumpster behind a shopping center. Still in his hospital scrubs, McGuire followed police cars to the scene and examined the fetus, which he pronounced dead on arrival. Patel was charged with child neglect, and later with killing her fetus, and on Monday she was sentenced to 20 consecutive years in prison.
The verdict makes Patel the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced for “feticide” for ending her own pregnancy, according to the group National Advocates for Pregnant Women (“NAPW”). Though Patel said she had had a miscarriage, she was found guilty of taking illegal abortion drugs. The Indiana statute under which Patel was convicted bans “knowingly or intentionally terminat[ing] a human pregnancy” with any intention other than producing a live birth, removing a dead fetus or performing a legal abortion.
Monday’s sentencing brought an end to Patel’s trial, but it may be only the beginning of the public debate about the details of her case.
Patel’s conviction has many pro-choice activists alarmed that feticide laws, initially passed as a means of protecting pregnant women from providers of dangerous illegal abortions and other sources of harm, are now being used against them.
“Prosecutors in Indiana are using this very sad situation to establish that intentional abortions as well as unintentional pregnancy losses should be punished as crimes,” Lynn Paltrow, executive director for NAPW, told the Guardian in August of 2014. “… No woman should be arrested for the outcome of her pregnancy.”
According to local CNN affiliate WSBT, Patel, a 33-year-old from a family of Indian immigrants in South Bend, Ind., told a police detective she had been aware of her pregnancy for three weeks when she left work early because of cramping back in July 2013. Eventually the pain sent her into the bathroom, where “it all came out,” she said. Among the blood, she found her fetus, which looked lifeless. She tried to open the baby’s mouth and resuscitate it, but was unsuccessful.
When asked why she didn’t call 911, Patel said she was in shock at the amount of blood she was losing. Because she “didn’t know what else to do,” she put the body in a plastic bag and took it to a dumpster, then showed up at the emergency room of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
Later in her interview with the detective, Patel said she didn’t want her parents, who are strict Hindus, finding out.
“About the encounter with [the father] or about tonight?” the detective asked.
“All of it,” she replied.
Though Patel said her baby died in a miscarriage, prosecutors argued that she had attempted to induce her own abortion, basing their argument on text messages found on Patel’s phone in which she told a friend she was taking abortion drugs online. But a toxicologist was unable to find evidence of drugs in Patel’s or her baby’s body.
Meanwhile, prosecutors pursued a second charge of child neglect, arguing that Patel’s baby had been born alive. McGuire, the doctor who examined the fetus when it was first found by police, said that the baby was about 30 weeks old and could probably have survived after birth. A pathologist for the prosecution also testified that the baby’s lungs passed a “floating test” — the science of which has been contested — indicating that the baby had drawn breath.
Patel’s defense attorney, along with plenty of commenters in the media, argued that the prosecution couldn’t simultaneously accuse Patel of killing her unborn child and of abandoning a living one.
“It really should have to be one or the other. … That the jury convicted Patel of two crimes when only one was possible suggests that this was an attempt to punish Patel for failing to meet a social ideal of pregnancy more than any actual crime,” Amanda Marcotte wrote in Slate after Patel’s conviction.
But Indiana prosecutor Ken Cotter said that a person can be found guilty of feticide even if the fetus survives, and Judge Elizabeth Hurley ultimately rejected the defense’s argument. A jury found Patel guilty on both counts in early February, though Patel’s attorney plans to appeal the verdict.
At the sentencing Monday, Hurley said that Patel was in a position to legally end her pregnancy, but opted for an illegal method, and later “ensured that baby’s death by placing him in the trash can with the other bathroom trash.”
The decision has activists like Sara Ainsworth, director of legal advocacy at National Advocates for Pregnant Women, worried that women will be less likely to seek out doctors in cases of abortions or miscarriages.
“Indiana should not join these countries where young pregnant girls are committing suicide at alarming rates; pregnant women are avoiding medical care for fear that any problem in pregnancy will be reported to law enforcement; and mothers are not only going to jail for having abortions, but also for suffering miscarriages and stillbirths,” she said in a statement after Patel was charged.
David Orentlicher, a medical ethics specialist and former Indiana state representative, echoed that fear.
“Any time a pregnant woman does something that can harm a fetus, now she has to worry, ‘Am I going to be charged with attempted feticide?’” he told PRI. “If you discourage pregnant women from getting prenatal care, you’re not helping fetuses, you’re harming fetuses.”
MommyNoire, should the laws be changed? What do you think of Patel’s conviction?
Inaccurate prenatal testing results could be leading moms-to-be to unnecessarily terminate healthy pregnancies, a new study finds.
The study, which was conducted by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, found that some women are choosing to terminate their pregnancies based on the results of prenatal tests that scan fetuses for genetic conditions. Startlingly, this new report finds that these tests can be inaccurate up to 50% of the time.
Non-invasive prenatal testing, aka cell-free DNA testing, examines the DNA found in a baby’s placenta and tests for conditions such as Down syndrome and chromosomal disorders. The tests can be performed nine weeks into a pregnancy and it has been claimed that they have a 99% accuracy rate. However, researchers say that this figure is extremely misleading because it does not count false positives.
Bizarrely, the study also found a correlation between the rarity of certain conditions and the increased rate of false positives.
NYU Langone Medical Center obstetrics and gynecology professor Dr. Iffath Hoskins suggests that more invasive testing should occur before a decision is made to terminate a pregnancy once positive results are received from one of these tests.
“Nobody should do anything based on the screening test,” Hoskins warned.
There have also been incidents where moms have received false negatives after undergoing testing only to learn after birth that their babies have been diagnosed with some sort of disorder.
“You have to understand the limitations and you have to realize they’re screening tests and not diagnostic,” said Elizabeth Daley, a reporter with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.
A Missouri Republican recently introduced a bill that he hopes will curb access to abortion by requiring women to get the consent of the man who impregnated her before obtaining the procedure.
Rick Brattin, a state representative, filed the bill on December 3 and hopes to get it passed in the next legislative session. The father of five said his recent vasectomy inspired the proposed law.
“When a man goes in for that procedure—at least in the state of Missouri—you have to have a consent form from your spouse in order to have that procedure done,” he said. “Here I was getting a normal procedure that has nothing to do with another human being’s life, and I needed to get a signed form…But on ending a life, you don’t. I think that’s pretty twisted.”
Brattin’s proposed bill would require women to get written and notarized permission from the man who fathered her child before seeking a termination, except in the case of rape or incest…sorta.
The provision reads: “No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the father of the unborn child provides written, notarized consent to the abortion, except in cases in which the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced was the victim of rape or incest and the pregnancy resulted from the rape or incest. If the father of the unborn child is deceased, the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced shall sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the fact. No physician shall perform or induce an abortion unless and until the physician has obtained the written consent required in this subsection. The physician shall retain a copy of the consent or affidavit in the patient’s medical record.”
While Brattin’s proposed law would include an exception for rape victims, his stance on what actually constitutes a rape is extremely problematic.
“Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it,” Brattin told Mother Jones. “So you couldn’t just go and say, ‘Oh yeah, I was raped’ and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape.”
Although his comments were offensive, Brattin put his foot even further into his mouth when he compared reporting a rape to reporting a robbery.
“I’m just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you’re going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed,” the lawmaker said. “That’s just common sense.” And he didn’t stop there. Brattin added, “You have to take steps to show that you were raped…And I’d think you’d be able to prove that.”
While Brattin believes it’s “just common sense” to report a rape to the police, the statistics don’t bear this out. According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), approximately 60 percent of all sexual assaults are not reported to police because women are often blamed for their attack, and for many, the shame of being raped keeps them quiet. Additionally, sexual assault is extremely hard to prosecute and only three out of 100 rapists ever serve a day in jail.
Brattin’s proposed bill is unlikely to pass Missouri’s state government, but even if it did, requiring a woman to get permission from the man who fathered her child before obtaining an abortion is unconstitutional, thanks to the 1976 decision Planned Parenthood v. Danforth.
Like many states under attack by anti-abortion activists, Missouri’s Republican lawmakers have been trying to close the states only clinic. In 2014, Missouri’s GOP-led statehouse instituted a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking abortion, and they’ve continually tried to close the state’s only abortion clinic by proposing a slew of regulations.
M’Evie Mead, the director of statewide organizing for Missouri’s Planned Parenthood affiliates, criticized the bill and vowed to fight it.
“This bill is insulting and a danger to women in abusive relationships,” Mead said. “That’s very much our concern. But when it comes to abortion, Missouri legislators are always trying to outdo each other.”
If a law like this passed, what should be the rules around it besides rape? If the father does not consent should he then take full custody?
We want to hear your thoughts.
Abortion is a tricky, moral debate for a whole lot of people. Personally, it’s a decision I can’t see myself making; but I can say with certainty, judging someone else for making that very difficult decision is not cool.
Bringing a life into the world is not something to take lightly. And it’s not a decision someone should pressure you into or attempt to make for you. Which is the problem I have with people who protest and attempt to shame women in front of abortion clinics. It’s not just a problem in the southern, conservative states in the U.S.Apparently it’s an issue in London as well.
And one woman, who happened to be very much pregnant herself, had had enough of it. She told the protestors who were filming the women entering the clinic that they were wrong on so many different levels. And even called one protestor, who admitted that she had had an abortion herself, a hypocrite for attempting to deride others for a decision she had made herself.
The woman happened to be an advocate for girls and women who have been molested and abused. So she knows the complexities of the issue.
She went IN. And the group was left speechless afterward.
The video is compelling, no matter what side of the argument you’re on. Take a look and let us know what you think.
Last week, Missouri legislators passed a law that will now require women to take a 72-hour reflection period after consulting a healthcare provider about getting an abortion, Al Jazeera reports. The law was enacted after Republican lawmakers banned together to override a veto presented by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, who pegged the 3-day wait period as “extreme and disrespectful,” as it made no exceptions for incest or rape victims.
Nixon’s veto, however, was overturned my Missouri’s House by a 117-44 vote.
“[If] you get a couple of more days to think about this pregnancy, think about where it’s going, you may change your mind” about terminating your pregnancy, said Rep. Kathie Conway, a Republican from St. Charles.
Abortion advocates, on the other hand, feel that the law is insulting to women who have more than likely already done their share of “soul-searching” before taking the steps to have their pregnancies terminated.
“It’s designed to demean and shame a woman in an effort to change her mind,” said Rep. Judy Morgan, a Democrat from Kansas City.
The new law will take effect 30 days after the veto-override. Currently, approximately half of the states in the U.S. (including Missouri) have abortion waiting periods of 24 hours.
What are your thoughts on Missouri requiring a 72-hour waiting period?
Nearly a third of Detroit pregnancies end in abortion, according to a report from the Detroit News.
The paper reports that in 2012, there were an estimated 18,360 pregnancies in Detroit and 5,693 ended in abortion, a rate of 31 percent.
“We’re seeing a picture that looks more like some Third-World country than someplace in the United States,” said Dr. Susan Schooley, chairwoman of the Department of Family Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.
Detroit’s abortion rate has climbed in the last decade, despite decreases state and countrywide. The United States’ abortion rate in 2011 was the lowest since the procedure was nationally legalized in 1973.
The abortion rate among women age 15 to 44 in Detroit overall — including women who did not conceive — is 37.9 per 1,000 women, compared to 27.5 per 1,000 women in 2001. The national abortion rate in 2011 was 17 in 1,000 women.
Read more on BlackVoices.com.
You’re probably familiar with the rates by now: One in 10 women will have an abortion by age 20, one in four by age 30 and three in 10 by age 45. It makes it very likely that someone you know has had an abortion in their lifetime.
Toni Braxton is the latest to reveal that she has had an abortion in the past. In an exclusive Entertainment Tonight interview, the singer revealed more than ten years ago she became pregnant by her then boyfriend, Keri Lewis. At the time she was in the middle of a six-month prescription for Accutane, a prescription acne medication which can cause serious complications in pregnancy.
She decided to terminate the pregnancy, but admits in her new memoir “Unbreak My Heart” that she would’ve have come to the same conclusion even if she weren’t on the medication. The singer admits her decision was caused more by the refusal to inconvenience her lifestyle than any fear that her fetus had been harmed.
She confesses that the decision was followed by a huge amount of guilt from being raised in a strictly religious home that did not support abortion. She also admits that when her youngest son Diezel was diagnosed with autism, at times she felt that was God’s way of punishing her. She writes in her memoir,”Is God punishing me for that abortion?” The singer confesses she questioned if her lupus diagnosis and her parents’ messy divorce were God’s payback for her decision.
We are happy to see more and more women breaking their silence about such a very personal experience so that other women don’t feel so guilty and ashamed. Toni has had a lot of setbacks in her life so it’s nice to see her busy working again.
You can see what else the singer has to share on Entertainment Tonight on Monday. Check out a clip of the preview below: