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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fetal Rights Make Women Wards of State, Criminals

Promoted from the comments (and from my wonderfully intelligent wife): a powerful video that explains why measures purporting to give rights to fetuses, like South Dakota's Initiated Measure 11 and Colorado's Amendment 48, will do all sorts of harm to the rights and health of women and fetuses. Note the woman highlighted in this video are staunch opponents of abortion, but they recognize that bad laws like IM11 are not the solution to this intensely personal issue.

...and while you're protecting women by voting against IM11, vote against John McCain, too, who thinks "mother's health" is just a buzzword and whose health care "plan" would push more women onto the individual insurance market, which already treats women as second-class citizens by charging them hundreds of dollars more than men for coverage.


  1. So now the buzz words are "giving rights to fetuses." That's your opinion and spin on this issue. Those against abortion simply believe that life is life, just because it is unborn life does not mean it is not life.

  2. When people have an agenda and want to do the thinking for you, they often present information black and white when it is often more gray. For example, a quick search on Melissa Rowland:

    "Rowland, from the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan, was warned numerous times between Christmas and Jan. 9 that her unborn twins were likely to die if she did not get immediate medical treatment, charging documents alleged. When she delivered them Jan. 13, a baby girl survived but her twin, a boy, was stillborn."

    "Prosecutors had charged Rowland with exhibiting "depraved indifference to human life" in avoiding the C-section. One nurse told police Rowland said she would rather "lose one of the babies than be cut like that."

    "(Judge) Fuchs denied a request by the prosecution that Rowland be barred from contacting the surviving twin, a girl who was adopted shortly after birth. The child was found with cocaine and alcohol in her system, and Rowland's drug use while pregnant was the basis for the child endangerment charges." (Charges were reduced)

    (In a) 2000 conviction of Melissa Rowland stemmed from a supermarket incident in which she punched her daughter several times in the face after the toddler picked up a candy bar and began eating it, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. Witnesses said Rowland screamed, "You ate the candy bar and now I can't buy my cigarettes."

    John Hess

  3. Oof -- not pretty, John. But the argument reamins valid: Pass laws like IM11 and Colorado's Amendment 48, and you create a situation where the sheriff can come to the door, cuff your pregnant wife, bind her legs together, and haul her off to a state-approved facility for a state-approved surgical procedure. If the sheriff came out here to do that to Erin, I'd probably end up in jail or shot, since I would physically resist the sheriff to keep his hands off my wife. You cannot pass a law that forces any person to have his or her skin sliced open. That's horrifying. From now on, my mantra against IM11 is simple: Keep your damn hands off my wife.

    And Anon 8:44: "opinion" and "spin" appear to be your buzz words: attach them any statement you disagree with, and it goes away, proving you are right. I could say the same thing about your line: "unborn life" is just your opinion and spin on this issue. But that's a completely empty statement that avoids dealing with the concept. Read the proposals. They give rights to fetuses, and in real-life situations where those rights have been tested and applied, the state has used its power in horrible and harmful ways.

    And yes, unborn life is life, but that doesn't change the practical fact that IM11 gives the state a power that it cannot exercise effectively without doing far greater harm to the constitutional status of women as equal citizens (unless, of course, you believe the Constitution is just a buzzword).

  4. Perhaps a person can see it wasn’t just out of the blue the sheriff’s office went to her home. She first went to the emergency room in distress and asked for selective care. Can you see the difficult situation they were placed? Letting her go would be similar to driving by an accident victim and not stopping.

    It was difficult to find a news article on Laura Pemberton. This was written by the Association of Risk Management of NY: http://www.ahrmny.com/docs/SPRING_2007.pdf

    “It’s 11:30 p.m. Laura Pemberton presents to the Emergency Room in active labor since 2:00 a.m., dehydrated, requesting an IV which she can take with her to deliver her baby at home. Upon examination, it is discovered that she had a prior cesarean delivery 15 months ago which utilized a
    vertical incision extending up into the thickened myometrium. However, Ms. Pemberton does not
    want another cesarean delivery, and has been proceeding with a home birth attended by a midwife since no obstetrician in the state would agree to deliver her by VBAC. When advised that she is facing a significant risk of uterine rupture and her term fetus will most likely die without a
    cesarean section, Ms. Pemberton states that she does not believe in unnecessary cesarean sections
    and reiterates that she only wants an IV to bring home. The obstetrician treating her notifies
    hospital officials who seek an emergency court order to compel Ms. Pemberton to proceed with a
    cesarean section. A healthy baby boy is surgically delivered the following day.”

    My point is many people thoughtfully see both sides of the abortion issue and are close to the middle one way or another. But it's people with a rigid agenda that pull us off track of a more reasonable way of looking at the issue. John Hess

  5. PS: You would probably find the rest of that article written in 2007 quite interesting. Note it appears the surgery happened in 1999. It's concluding paragraph:
    "The rare case wherein an obstetrical patient
    refuses to consent to necessary treatment presents a
    complex ethical and legal situation for the doctor and
    hospital charged with her care. Although in the past, courts were quick to intervene in an attempt to save the life of the mother and/or the fetus, the current
    trend is away from court-ordered obstetrical interventions. Nonetheless, the law in this area
    remains inconsistent and unsettled, and provides limited practical guidance. For those unfortunate cases where a refusal cannot be avoided, the
    practitioner’s last recourse is documentation.”

  6. Cory says,

    And yes, unborn life is life, but that doesn't change the practical fact that IM11 gives the state a power that it cannot exercise effectively without doing far greater harm to the constitutional status of women as equal citizens (unless, of course, you believe the Constitution is just a buzzword).

    This is largely why I voted "No" to IM11.

  7. I read the court case of Pemberton v. Tallahassee, and didn't see the unborn child having its own attorney like the video tried to say, but clearly a case of forced medical care with consideration for an unborn child.

    With her in labor, a healthy unborn child should have no rights?

    Not understanding the finer points, I think the courts have to set a precedent on forced medical care on one hand, as well as how it overlaps with the rights of an unborn child. It will ultimately end up in the courts anyway, which would be best to clarify the issues. jh

  8. This video wants us to think these are reasonable examples of what could happen to reasonable people, like you. On Amber & Johnny Marlowe:
    - According to the hospital's lawsuit, doctors said that Amber Marlowe had complications during other deliveries and her baby was expected to weigh 13 pounds, factors that they feared could result in the death of the baby if she were to go through a natural delivery.
    - (Johnny) pled no contest to assaulting his wife and neglecting all 12 of his kids by his legal wife, Amber Marlowe, and his secondary wife, Sarah Fleming. Now he’s being charged with more counts of child abuse for circumcising two of his infant sons with a household utility knife.
    - After (this court case) Johnny Marlowe issued a new family rule: nobody goes to the hospital. So in 2005 and 2006 when Amber and Sarah gave birth to sons, Johnny delivered the babies himself. And when the boys were eight days old, Johnny gave each of them an exacto-knife bris.
    - Marlowe represented himself in court and pleaded no contest. Dallas Police say he lived a polygamist lifestyle. He had been charged with assaulting his wife, neglecting all eleven of his children, and resisting arrest. Police say his second wife lived in the home as well. In October, Dallas police initially went to his home after Amber Marlowe accused her husband of abusing her. A few days later, officers returned to the home possibly for a welfare check and found eleven children, ages one to eleven, alone. That is when Marlowe was arrested.
    Let's not forget civil liberties, but Cory and Erin, is this what you are trying to protect? John Hess

  9. Oh, have to ask Cory cause I'm so dang irked. Is this video still authentic? Or is authenticity just for the other guy.


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