Pregnant? Be Careful Or You Could End Up In Jail…October 30, 2009 1 Comment
Pregnant women in America are in danger.
Everywhere there are judges ruling that the life and welfare of the fetus are more important than the free will and human rights of the mother.
For example, Quinta Tuleh was sentenced to jail, not for a crime (she had already been in jail long enough waiting for the court hearing to cover the time her sentence would have been), but because the judge wanted to ensure that she would be monitored to take HIV medication to protect her unborn child.
The ironic part about all of this is that
Tuleh had already arranged with a case worker from a local AIDS service organization to receive housing, medical care from a high-risk obstetrical practice, an in-home support worker, and a public health nurse. Given the medical care in most jails, it’s a pretty good bet that this plan was better than Judge Woodcock’s.
Women have also been prosecuted for homicide for taking drugs leading to stillborn children. And one woman was court-ordered “to submit, against her will, to any and all medical treatments, restrictions to bed rest, and other interventions, including cesarean section delivery”. All this because when her doctor told her she needed bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy she simply explained that it might not be possible with children at home to take care of.
Yes, it is tragic that women take drugs that can kill their unborn children. Yes, HIV is a serious virus and should be monitored in a fetus. And yes, these women’s behaviours might be questionable in some circumstance.
But there is no way the free will and human rights of these mothers is less important than that of their unborn child.
Women should not be treated like children, but respected as adults and educated to make the best choices they can in their given situations.
In the case of the bed-ridden woman, why not order a social service to go to her house to help with the other children? In the case of the HIV positive woman, why not help her set up doctors appointments and educate her about the virus she has and how best to prevent it from passing to her fetus? And for the drug dependent women? Offer drug counselling and support to help them if they should ever become pregnant again.
If living under a democracy and allowing people free will and to be in charge of their own destiny means that others will make choices I disagree with, perhaps even compromising a few fetuses along the way, then so be it, that’s their choice and they have to live with the consequences, not me or any court judge.
It may not be ideal, but no society is perfect and living with freedom is far superior to living under the police state that America is quickly becoming.