In a Miscarriage of Justice Women Are Being Sent To Prison For Their Right To Choose

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Black-woman-prisoner

According to adherents of the Christian religion, the entire bible is the immutable, unquestionable, and infallible word of god regardless it is rife with contradictions that are mysteriously invisible to its devotees. For America’s evangelical followers of Christ, the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus do not exist because his teachings are contrary to their worldview that aligns with the Hebrew Scriptures detailing god’s vengeance, anger, and strict demand of absolute obedience on pain of death. However, there is one particular concept in the so-called Old Testament that pro-life evangelicals refuse to acknowledge because it eliminates their sole reason to control women and dictate when they give birth. Over the past few years there has been a well-organized and frenzied crusade to define a human being as the instant a living sperm punctures and enters a living ovum, and the pro-life movement’s goal is banning abortion as well as most forms of contraception.

According to the Hebrew Scriptures evangelicals claim represent the “mind of god” and the basis for their belief system, the personhood and “life begins at conception” movement are wrong because god says life begins at first breath. The distinction of when a living being comes into existence is central to a criminal case in Mississippi where a 23 year-old woman faces a charge of “depraved heart murder” and life in prison because a discredited medical examiner (MA) determined she murdered the fetus in her womb when she prematurely gave birth seven years ago. According to the medical examiner’s autopsy report, the 16-year-old black teen committed murder because he claims to have found traces of a cocaine byproduct (benzoylecgonine) in the dead fetus’s blood leading him to rule death by homicide caused by “cocaine toxicity.”

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According to experts who examined the medical record, the stillborn fetus’s cause of death was “umbilical cord compression” (umbilical cord wrapped around its neck). Experts claim the toxicology results did not support the MA’s finding, and although there were traces of benzoylecgonine, cocaine was “not detected” according to the lab that did the tests. A forensic pathologist in Atlanta associated with Emory University, Kimberly Collins, said in an affidavit: “It is impossible to conclude from the very small amount of benzoylecgonine that the stillbirth was caused by cocaine toxicity” and two other experts concurred with her finding. Putting aside the folly and injustice of charging the then-sixteen year old teen of murder and possible life sentence if convicted, it is the ridiculous idea that a fetus is a human being that could be murdered. The pro-life movement hopes a conviction of the 23-year-old will set a precedent deciding the personhood question once and for all to allow their advocates to charge women across Mississippi with murder in cases of miscarriage and abortion.

This one case covers a wide range of issues that, although not unique to Mississippi, highlight the justice system’s disproportionate treatment of poor people of color, the evangelical push to strike down Roe v. Wade, and the religious right’s effort to establish “personhood” for fetuses to abolish abortion and most forms of contraception. According to PersonhoodUSA, it is a “movement working to respect the God-given right to life by recognizing all human beings as persons who are ‘created in the image of God’ from the beginning of their biological development, without exceptions.” It is apparent that the Personhood movement, like all pro-life activists, either have never read their precious bible, or they dispute god’s utterances and are blasphemers and heretics. According to their Old Testament,  god says despite how fully formed, or from the “beginning of their biological development, without exceptions” a collection of living tissue is, it is not a living being until it draws a breath.

For example, in Genesis 2:7 it says that god “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being” clarifying that although god fully formed the man in all respects, he was not a living being until after taking his first breath. In Job 33:4 Job said, “The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” In Ezekiel 37:5-6 the prophet wrote, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones:   Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.   And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live.” According to the bible, destroying a living fetus does not equate to killing a living human being even though a fetus might become a person after it breathes, it is impossible to murder a fetus that has not been born and taken a breath. It means the Mississippi 16-year-old’s stillborn could not be considered a human being according to god’s word and she should have never been charged with murder regardless if the fetus had high concentrations of cocaine, heroin, or opium in its blood.

There are “feticide” or “fetal harm” laws in several states in America that have been responsible for outrageous miscarriages of justice due to pro-life Christian legislators and rabid personhood advocates frantic to abolish Roe v. Wade and restrict contraception use. For example, in Indiana a distraught pregnant woman who attempted suicide spent a year in jail before murder charges were dropped last year. A woman in Iowa was arrested and thrown in jail after she fell down the stairs and suffered a miscarriage, and a New Jersey woman who refused to sign a preauthorization for a cesarean section ended up not requiring the operation, but she was still charged with child endangerment and lost custody of her baby after it became a living being when it emerged from the womb and drew breath.

It is an outrage of epic proportion that a 23-year-old woman is charged with murder and faces life in prison for delivering a stillborn fetus seven years ago, but that is the peril of being Black in uber-religious Mississippi where lawmakers do not know the difference between a collection of living tissue and a human being. However, Mississippi is not unique and there are states across America implementing “personhood” laws under the guise of fetal harm, feticide, fetal pain, and most recently in Ohio a pending “fetal heartbeat” law. It is still confounding that no-one in states like Mississippi, Ohio, or any other state pushing various iterations of fetus or personhood laws opposes them on the grounds they are founded on religion even though the religion’s deity clearly refutes their claim that a fetus is a living person. One would think the least Christian fanatics seeking to ban abortion and contraceptives could achieve was finding even one “utterance from god” that substantiated their claim a fetus is a living human being worthy of rights exceeding those of the woman carrying them, but they have as much knowledge of their god’s word as they do the Constitution they claim affords them dominance over America.

 

13 Replies to “In a Miscarriage of Justice Women Are Being Sent To Prison For Their Right To Choose”

  1. The repubs constantly cloak themselves in christian values and religion. In fact they are the very antithesis of morals and values. The are like the movie Wizard of Oz. The all seeing and all knowing until you pull back the curtain. I suspect if you pulled their curtain it would be Dick Cheney at the controls. In this day and age all women of every political affiliation should ban together against these tyrants.

  2. The American Taliban wanna bees have been controlling women’s reproduction forever and refuse to give up. I dont know about now, but women’s wishes concerning giving birth were routinely ignored once they had them in the hospital. It is one reason so many women decided to have their children at home where they were able to exercise some control.

  3. I understand why people have different views about abortion. But being so strongly against abortion WHY are they at the same time against birth control? Providing free birth control would certainly minimize or ultimately eliminate the need for abortion in many cases. Will we ever get religion out of our government?

  4. “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”…….
    Florynce Kennedy
    Gloria Steinhem
    Old Lady Taxi Driver from Boston

    Whoever originally said it, it’s sure as hell is true.

    Democrats are true Pro LIFE
    Republicans/Conservatives are Pro BIRTH.

  5. The Bible is a book of myths (stories that tell greater stories), symbols, allegory … stories. The Bible is NOT a book of science or a book of history. The Bible was NOT dictated by God, but written by MEN who were trying to understand their relationship with God. It is NOT the inerrant word of God. (Consider the contradictions in this book.)

    Genesis was written during the Babylonian Exile. The creation myth was taken from a Macedonian myth and written by those in Exile as they understood creation.

    It is in the Constitution that it is a woman’s choice to do as she deems fit. To counter this law, is unconstitutional.

  6. While the mother may choose to end her pregnancy, shouldn’t another person who ends it against her will be sent to jail? Though a fetus is not a person, shouldn’t a mugger who knocks down a pregnant woman be charged with something more damning than Assault?
    Twisting legitimate laws intended to protect mothers in order to punish women seeking abortion, or even those who miscarry, exposes the fact that anti-choice activists don’t really care about the “unborn”; their only purpose is controlling women.
    We are pro-choice. But so-called “pro-lifers” are forcing us to choose which choice is more important.
    If we defend the right of a woman to have an abortion, the ability to properly punish those who violate another woman’s right to keep her baby may be taken away. At the same time, not defending both choices is to violate the notion that we are defending the ability to choose itself, not just one particular choice.
    Between a rock and a hard place…

  7. Really? they are “science” stupid and think Birth control is also “abortion”!
    When I first started blogging/commenting I was amazed at the RWNJ assertion that all LIB woman had 200 abortions?
    Then I figured out they were talking about “THE PILL”!!?!
    Even the RWNJ Talibani (so called) Doctors who testify to congress don’t know how the flip the plan B pill works or IUD’s!
    This people are flippin’ IDIOTS! Yesterday Sarah Palin posted a fb of “Brancy’s blog aka Bristol” about women wearing jewelry of “Death” aka coat hangers while she parades around the country wearing a crucifix? These people are insane.
    INSANE! We must ban religion as the basis for any law or legalities Religion has no place in laws, gov etc unless
    you are a Dictator country like the Taliban!
    I am really sick of this crap.
    Oh yea, but if you are a grown human they will kill you with their guns and claim they were “Standing their ground”!!!

  8. Old bear its not a rock, it religion.
    Religion has no place in politics unless we are to b/c the American Taliban which our Congress is pretty much there…
    And yes they are twisting the laws. Most of Congress should be fired.
    We need to fired them this Nov.

  9. Since medical science says that somewhere between 37-50% of all fertilized zygotes are rejected by women’s bodies, usually without them ever even knowing they were pregnant, God is the world’s number one abortion provider. So why don’t the anti-choice zealots do something about regulating their god instead of women’s reproductive systems? Because if God kills that “person,” it’s “his will,” whereas if a woman takes control of her own biology, she is supposedly acting against “his will.” But I don’t think their god is really a god at all. I think their god is an excuse: a justification for their narcissistic need to control the lives and wombs of other people.

  10. Having the right to choose is an individual choice for each woman as per her circumstances and conscience. There is nothing “cookie cutter” about it for all women. If a woman is pro-life in her beliefs, so be it. My position is that she not look to impose her faith or bar other women from making their own choices freely as their own personal beliefs and consciences dictate.
    In the case of some individual who would in the course of a crime injure a pregnant female or deliberately cause a miscarriage sentences should be applied accordingly. Depending on whether it is a 8month pregnancy or only 4 weeks a charge of aggravated assault might be more appropriate
    All of the rest…personhood, abortion restrictions is theocratic b.s. We’ve given far too much ground to these “christian bullies”.
    Enough is Enough! GOTV!!! 2014 is critical.

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