February 26, 2011

Miscarriage During Pregnancy Is Murder Committed by the Mother (According to One Lawmaker)

I know... I know... I'm an ENT, so why am I doing a post on miscarriages? Well, I could not help myself given how outlandish this is... And I did put a picture of a pregnant woman who is smoking and smoking is an ENT problem!

In any case...

So most people in the United States would not bat an eye regarding how abortion can potentially be considered murder.

Most people also would agree with the idea of involuntary manslaughter if a person died due to acts of recklessness or criminal negligence committed by another individual.

Which now goes to the title of this post...

If miscarriage can be shown to be due to "recklessness" or "criminal negligence" of the mother committed against her unborn fetus, is that involuntary manslaughter? For example, if the mom decides to get up to go to the bathroom when told to be on bedrest and a miscarriage occurs, is that manslaughter?

Or what if an uninsured pregnant woman forgoes appropriate prenatal care or is caught smoking during pregnancy (reckless behavior) and miscarries, is that manslaughter?

Such actions can even potentially be considered voluntary manslaughter if it can be proven the mother deliberately committed acts that she knew may potentially by harmful to the fetus. Even if no harm ultimately came to the fetus, it could potentially be considered attempted "assault" and "battery" with the appropriate criminal charges dependent on the degree.

Well, Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican from Marietta, Georgia, has introduced a 10-page bill (HB 1) earlier this year, that would criminalize miscarriages, making abortion and miscarriage ("prenatal murder" in the language of the bill) potentially punishable by death.

In essence, according to this bill, women who miscarry could become felons if they cannot prove that there was "no human involvement whatsoever in the causation" of their miscarriage. The burden of proof is on the mother.

Furthermore, the bill holds women responsible for protecting their fetuses from "the moment of conception" even though I do believe pregnancy tests aren't accurate until at least 3 weeks after conception.

Now, I'm not an obstetrician, but I do believe most miscarriages occur because the fetus is not developing normally from inherent factors and not external acts.

I'm not exactly sure how the State of Georgia will enforce this legislation if it passes (which I hope won't happen).

The USA is in the midst of spiraling healthcare costs due to defensive medicine being practice by doctors to prevent lawsuits against them. Now think about what would happen if this legislation passes...

Read news article about this here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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