Mississippi aims to jail women for stillbirths, miscarriages | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Mississippi aims to jail women for stillbirths, miscarriages

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 9:38 AM

As a result of what Dr. Joycelyn Elders once memorably called a "love affair with the fetus," Mississippi has embarked on a path to prosecute some women in cases of stillbirth or miscarriage. The perverse effect — if the state is successful — would be to encourage more women to seek legal abortions.

The point — though not supported by medical authorities — is to punish women for using drugs while pregnant. What's next, a judge and critics have asked. Cigarettes? Unpasteurized milk? Obesity?

Mother Jones reports. Mississippi's effort is seen as a backdoor way to achieve "personhood" for even a fertilized egg. The article notes that laws nominally passed to allow prosecution of others for harming a woman's fetus have often been used against the pregnant woman.

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