Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Shackled and pregnant: Wis. case challenges 'fetal protection' law

Posted by   + Show Post

When Alicia Beltran was 12 weeks pregnant, she took herself to a health clinic about a mile from her home in Jackson, Wis., for a prenatal checkup. But what started as a routine visit ended with Beltran eventually handcuffed and shackled in government custody – and at the center of a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state’s fetal protection law.

On July 2, Beltran, 28, met with a physician’s assistant at West Bend Clinic at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in West Bend, Wis., for her prenatal visit. When asked to detail her medical history, Beltran admitted a past struggle with the painkiller Percocet. But that was all behind her, Beltran said: She had been taking Suboxone, a drug used to treat Percocet dependency. Lacking health insurance and unable to afford the medication, Beltran had used an acquaintance’s prescription and self-administered the drug in decreasing doses. She had taken her last dose a few days before her prenatal visit. 

According to Beltran, the physician’s assistant recommended she renew her use of Suboxone under a doctor’s supervision. After Beltran declined, she said she was asked to take a drug test, which was negative for all substances except Suboxone. 

Two weeks later, a social worker visited Beltran at home and told her that she needed to continue Suboxone treatment under the care of a physician, said Beltran, who again declined. Two days later, Beltran found police officers at her home, who arrested and handcuffed her.

According to the police report, the officers took Beltran to a hospital, where she underwent a doctor’s exam. Her pregnancy was found to be healthy and normal, her lawyers say. Police then took her to Washington County Jail to await a hearing – hours later, she was led into a courtroom, handcuffed and shackled at the ankles, where a county judge ordered her to spend 90 days in a drug treatment center.

“Alicia had no idea she was giving information to the physician’s assistant that would ultimately be used against her in a court of law,” said Linda Vanden Heuvel of Germantown, Wis., one of Beltran’s attorneys. “She should not have to fear losing her liberty because she was pregnant and she was honest with her doctor.”

At the hearing, her lawyers say, the judge told Beltran that an attorney would not be provided for her at that time but that she could seek counsel for her next hearing in the case. And yet, a lawyer had been appointed to represent her fetus. “It’s wrong that an unborn child gets an attorney but Alicia Beltran, the mother of that unborn child did not,” said Vanden Heuvel.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/24/21117142-shackled-and-pregnant-wis-case-challenges-fetal-protection-law?lite


by on Oct. 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Replies (91-100):
masonmomma
by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM
I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:None of those cases are remotely like this.They wanted her to take a drug she didn't need, didn't want, and could be dangerous to her pregnancy.  As the mother, as a human, as an American, she has that right to make her medical decisions.There are hundreds of cases like this.  There are documented cases of women being placed in jails and NOT given prenatal care, or the tests they were supposed to get but didn't.  There are documented cases of pregnant women being forced to have vaginal exams, treatment and even surgeries they didn't want - in some cases, strapped to the damned table and screaming.When does a pregnant woman lose her rights as a citizen and become an incubator?Sorry, but there's no way to defend these personhood movements.
Quoting masonmomma:So when an alcoholic decides not to get an abortion but will put the baby up for adoption, does not stay clean, then we have a child with afs trying to be in a home. I'm sorry but situations like that warrant action. Or should we force the woman to have an abortion regardless of the stage of pregnancy? Issues like this effect the child forever and burden society, foster care and adoption systems, and child services. If a woman is not going to have an abortion but refuses to live a lifestyle that keeps that baby safe, then what?

Quoting jaxTheMomm:That's rediculous.  Deciding to keep your pregnancy doesn't mean the government gets to lock you up if you don't think you should have the treatment they decided.It doesn't even mean you can't change your mind and terminate as long as you are within the legal timeframe.Nothing about these actions make sense.
Quoting masonmomma:No. How far along was she? Hire kind had she been clean? Was she keeping thechild? There are many questions that would make these actions make sense and sorry but once you've decided to keep the pregnancy, you've already given the baby personhood.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:Well, there's more information here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/us/case-explores-rights-of-fetus-versus-mother.html?_r=0 but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.The group that's filed a federal case for this has documented hundreds of similar cases, which is also very disturbing.This is what's resulting from the push for personhood.
Quoting masonmomma:I think part of the story may be missing.


jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM
1 mom liked this

They might have their place.  I'm not sure about the law that was used here and would have to dig it up.

But it's not just this law (improperly used or not) - it's others and the personhood movement is not done yet.  The ultimate goal is not to protect the child or it's mother - it's to slowly assign more and more constitutional rights to the fetus in an attempt to overturn RvW.

And it's hurting women in the process.

You simply cannot force someone to be a good mother.  And you can't force medical treatment on someone.

Quoting masonmomma:

I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:None of those cases are remotely like this.They wanted her to take a drug she didn't need, didn't want, and could be dangerous to her pregnancy.  As the mother, as a human, as an American, she has that right to make her medical decisions.There are hundreds of cases like this.  There are documented cases of women being placed in jails and NOT given prenatal care, or the tests they were supposed to get but didn't.  There are documented cases of pregnant women being forced to have vaginal exams, treatment and even surgeries they didn't want - in some cases, strapped to the damned table and screaming.When does a pregnant woman lose her rights as a citizen and become an incubator?Sorry, but there's no way to defend these personhood movements.
Quoting masonmomma:So when an alcoholic decides not to get an abortion but will put the baby up for adoption, does not stay clean, then we have a child with afs trying to be in a home. I'm sorry but situations like that warrant action. Or should we force the woman to have an abortion regardless of the stage of pregnancy? Issues like this effect the child forever and burden society, foster care and adoption systems, and child services. If a woman is not going to have an abortion but refuses to live a lifestyle that keeps that baby safe, then what?

Quoting jaxTheMomm:That's rediculous.  Deciding to keep your pregnancy doesn't mean the government gets to lock you up if you don't think you should have the treatment they decided.It doesn't even mean you can't change your mind and terminate as long as you are within the legal timeframe.Nothing about these actions make sense.
Quoting masonmomma:No. How far along was she? Hire kind had she been clean? Was she keeping thechild? There are many questions that would make these actions make sense and sorry but once you've decided to keep the pregnancy, you've already given the baby personhood.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:Well, there's more information here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/us/case-explores-rights-of-fetus-versus-mother.html?_r=0 but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.The group that's filed a federal case for this has documented hundreds of similar cases, which is also very disturbing.This is what's resulting from the push for personhood.
Quoting masonmomma:I think part of the story may be missing.




masonmomma
by on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Regardless of rvw there is a place for this law. Are you really willing to fight this law in general out of fear of rvw? Let's face it, no matter what side we are on, abortion is in fact legal and if you choose to not get one you have essentially chosen to be an incubator. Children , NOT fetuses, who will be born at the choice of the mother are suffering because some women are simply selfish assholes but who cares because the damage is done when they were a fetus. Right? This is not rvw right now, this is children we are taking about.Fight when it matters.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

They might have their place.  I'm not sure about the law that was used here and would have to dig it up.

But it's not just this law (improperly used or not) - it's others and the personhood movement is not done yet.  The ultimate goal is not to protect the child or it's mother - it's to slowly assign more and more constitutional rights to the fetus in an attempt to overturn RvW.

And it's hurting women in the process.

You simply cannot force someone to be a good mother.  And you can't force medical treatment on someone.


Quoting masonmomma:

I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.



Quoting jaxTheMomm:None of those cases are remotely like this.They wanted her to take a drug she didn't need, didn't want, and could be dangerous to her pregnancy.  As the mother, as a human, as an American, she has that right to make her medical decisions.There are hundreds of cases like this.  There are documented cases of women being placed in jails and NOT given prenatal care, or the tests they were supposed to get but didn't.  There are documented cases of pregnant women being forced to have vaginal exams, treatment and even surgeries they didn't want - in some cases, strapped to the damned table and screaming.When does a pregnant woman lose her rights as a citizen and become an incubator?Sorry, but there's no way to defend these personhood movements.

Quoting masonmomma:So when an alcoholic decides not to get an abortion but will put the baby up for adoption, does not stay clean, then we have a child with afs trying to be in a home. I'm sorry but situations like that warrant action. Or should we force the woman to have an abortion regardless of the stage of pregnancy? Issues like this effect the child forever and burden society, foster care and adoption systems, and child services. If a woman is not going to have an abortion but refuses to live a lifestyle that keeps that baby safe, then what?



Quoting jaxTheMomm:That's rediculous.  Deciding to keep your pregnancy doesn't mean the government gets to lock you up if you don't think you should have the treatment they decided.It doesn't even mean you can't change your mind and terminate as long as you are within the legal timeframe.Nothing about these actions make sense.

Quoting masonmomma:No. How far along was she? Hire kind had she been clean? Was she keeping thechild? There are many questions that would make these actions make sense and sorry but once you've decided to keep the pregnancy, you've already given the baby personhood.



Quoting jaxTheMomm:Well, there's more information here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/us/case-explores-rights-of-fetus-versus-mother.html?_r=0 but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.The group that's filed a federal case for this has documented hundreds of similar cases, which is also very disturbing.This is what's resulting from the push for personhood.

Quoting masonmomma:I think part of the story may be missing.








jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:39 PM
2 moms liked this

I think if a pregnant woman is facing an addiction of some kind that's dangerous to her pregnancy, she should be offered every bit of help she needs and wants during her pregnancy and beyond.

But nobody wants to pay for that.  Every single program that tries to is in constant danger of being defunded.  Benefits are cut, food is taken away, health care is often substandard for the poor.

I do not think a woman should be forced to take drugs against her will, forced into a jail or hospital, or forced to have a surgery she does not want.

Quoting masonmomma:

Regardless of rvw there is a place for this law. Are you really willing to fight this law in general out of fear of rvw? Let's face it, no matter what side we are on, abortion is in fact legal and if you choose to not get one you have essentially chosen to be an incubator. Children , NOT fetuses, who will be born at the choice of the mother are suffering because some women are simply selfish assholes but who cares because the damage is done when they were a fetus. Right? This is not rvw right now, this is children we are taking about.Fight when it matters.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

They might have their place.  I'm not sure about the law that was used here and would have to dig it up.

But it's not just this law (improperly used or not) - it's others and the personhood movement is not done yet.  The ultimate goal is not to protect the child or it's mother - it's to slowly assign more and more constitutional rights to the fetus in an attempt to overturn RvW.

And it's hurting women in the process.

You simply cannot force someone to be a good mother.  And you can't force medical treatment on someone.


Quoting masonmomma:

I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.



Quoting jaxTheMomm:None of those cases are remotely like this.They wanted her to take a drug she didn't need, didn't want, and could be dangerous to her pregnancy.  As the mother, as a human, as an American, she has that right to make her medical decisions.There are hundreds of cases like this.  There are documented cases of women being placed in jails and NOT given prenatal care, or the tests they were supposed to get but didn't.  There are documented cases of pregnant women being forced to have vaginal exams, treatment and even surgeries they didn't want - in some cases, strapped to the damned table and screaming.When does a pregnant woman lose her rights as a citizen and become an incubator?Sorry, but there's no way to defend these personhood movements.

Quoting masonmomma:So when an alcoholic decides not to get an abortion but will put the baby up for adoption, does not stay clean, then we have a child with afs trying to be in a home. I'm sorry but situations like that warrant action. Or should we force the woman to have an abortion regardless of the stage of pregnancy? Issues like this effect the child forever and burden society, foster care and adoption systems, and child services. If a woman is not going to have an abortion but refuses to live a lifestyle that keeps that baby safe, then what?



Quoting jaxTheMomm:That's rediculous.  Deciding to keep your pregnancy doesn't mean the government gets to lock you up if you don't think you should have the treatment they decided.It doesn't even mean you can't change your mind and terminate as long as you are within the legal timeframe.Nothing about these actions make sense.

Quoting masonmomma:No. How far along was she? Hire kind had she been clean? Was she keeping thechild? There are many questions that would make these actions make sense and sorry but once you've decided to keep the pregnancy, you've already given the baby personhood.



Quoting jaxTheMomm:Well, there's more information here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/us/case-explores-rights-of-fetus-versus-mother.html?_r=0 but that's pretty much it in a nutshell.The group that's filed a federal case for this has documented hundreds of similar cases, which is also very disturbing.This is what's resulting from the push for personhood.

Quoting masonmomma:I think part of the story may be missing.










Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM
It would seem so.

Quoting Pink.Frosting:

So she got sent to a drug treatment facility against her will because she *stopped* taking drugs??  Am I reading that right??

jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Furthermore, there's this:

http://tinyurl.com/bn3jpqk

Executive Summary: Paltrow & Flavin, "Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women's legal status and public health," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

January 25, 2013

Executive Summary: Download file.
Published Full Article: Download file

National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s one-of-a-kind study identifies hundreds of criminal and civil cases involving the arrests, detentions and equivalent deprivations of pregnant women’s physical liberty that occurred between 1973 and 2005, after the decision in Roe v. Wade was issued. In each of the 413 cases, pregnancy was a necessary element and the consequences included: arrests; incarceration; increases in prison or jail sentences; detentions in hospitals, mental institutions and drug treatment programs; and forced medical interventions, including surgery. Data showed that state authorities have used post-Roe measures including feticide laws and anti-abortion laws recognizing separate rights for fertilized, eggs, embryos and fetuses as the basis for depriving pregnant women – whether they were seeking to end a pregnancy or go to term – of their physical liberty. The findings make clear that if so called “personhood” measures are enacted, not only will more women who have abortions be arrested, such measures would create the legal basis for depriving all pregnant women of their status as full persons under the law.

______________________________________________________

Lynn Paltrow & Jeanne Flavin, 2013, "Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women's legal status and public health," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

OVERVIEW The new National Advocates for Pregnant Women study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, and authored by Lynn M. Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin, reveals a disturbing range of punitive state actions directed at pregnant women. The study found:
  • Arrests and incarceration of women because they ended a pregnancy or expressed an intention to end a pregnancy;
  • Arrests and incarceration of women who carried their pregnancies to term and gave birth to healthy babies;
  • Arrests and detentions of women who suffered unintentional pregnancy losses, both early and late in their pregnancies;
  • Arrests and detentions of women who could not guarantee a healthy birth outcome;
  • Forced medical interventions such as blood transfusions, vaginal exams, and cesarean surgery on pregnant women;

Pregnancy was a necessary element in all of the cases reviewed in the study. The data revealed that pregnant women were denied a range of fundamental rights normally associated with constitutional personhood, including the right to life, physical liberty, bodily integrity, due process of law, equal protection, and religious liberty, based solely on their pregnancy status. (See summaries at p. 5).

FINDINGS
Analysis of the legal claims used to justify the arrests of pregnant women found that such actions relied on the same arguments underlying so called “personhood” measures – that state actors should be empowered to treat fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses as completely and legally separate from the pregnant woman. Specifically, police, prosecutors, and judges in the U.S. have relied directly and indirectly on:

  • Feticide statutes that create separate rights for the unborn and which were passed under the guise of protecting pregnant women and the eggs, embryos, and fetuses they carry and sustain from third-party violence;
  • State abortion laws that include language similar to so called “personhood” measures;
  • Misinterpretation of Roe v. Wade as holding what personhood measures propose – that fetuses may be treated as separate legal persons.

This study is the only comprehensive documentation and examination of cases in which a woman’s pregnancy was a necessary factor leading to attempted and actual deprivations of pregnant women’s liberty in its most concrete sense: physical liberty.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women reports:

  • 413 cases in 44 states, the District of Columbia and federal jurisdictions from 1973-2005, a number that is likely a substantial undercount and does not include more than 250 known cases that have occurred since 2005;
  • Cases occurred in every region of the country and to women of all races;
  • The women subjected to deprivations of physical liberty were overwhelmingly economically disadvantaged;
  • African American women were found to be significantly more likely to be arrested, reported to state authorities by hospital staff, and subjected to felony charges;
  • Although every pregnancy in this study involved a man, in 77% of the cases, the father or the woman’s male partner was not even mentioned in any case document;
  • One in ten cases mentioned violence against women.

The study found in a majority of cases, no adverse pregnancy outcome was reported and that where an adverse outcome was alleged, state authorities were typically not required to provide expert testimony or scientific evidence to prove that the pregnant woman’s actions, inactions, or circumstances would or in fact did cause the alleged harm.

The study documented cases in which fear of arrests and forced interventions deterred women from seeking help for themselves and in some cases for their newborns. These findings are consistent with the medical and public health consensus that punitive measures, and the legal arguments supporting them, will undermine rather than further state interests in child, fetal, and maternal health.

This study found that far from protecting patient privacy and confidentiality, professionals in the health care system were often the people gathering information from pregnant women and new mothers and disclosing it to police, prosecutors, and court officials.

  • In 112 cases, the disclosure of information to the police or other state authority that led to the arrest, detention, or forced intervention was made by health care or other “helping” professionals;
  • In some states, the majority of cases came from just one or a few hospitals.

This study also found that:

  • Medical misinformation and ignorance about science and evidence-based research, particularly regarding drug use and pregnant women, played a major role in fueling the arrests, detentions, and forced interventions of pregnant women;
  • In nearly one in five cases, not adhering strictly to medical advice was cited as a factor in justifying the arrest, detention, or forced medical interventions;
  • In nearly one in five cases authorities viewed a woman’s history of prenatal care as a consideration in their decision to arrest or otherwise deprive the pregnant woman of her liberty;
  • Thirty of the cases involved efforts to force women to undergo medical interventions including forced surgery and/or examinations that could include internal vaginal exams.

CONCLUSION
This study provides a basis for building a shared public health and political agenda that includes all pregnant women. The public debate and public policies overwhelmingly focus on the issue of abortion and interference with one kind of right – reproductive rights. However, this study confirms that if passed, personhood measures would: 1) provide the basis for arresting pregnant women who have abortions; and 2) provide state actors with the authority to subject all pregnant women to surveillance, arrest, incarceration and other deprivations of liberty whether women were seeking to end a pregnancy or not. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that there is no way to add fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses to state constitutions or to the United States Constitution without removing all pregnant women from the community of constitutional persons. These measures create a “Jane Crow” system of law, establishing a second class status for all pregnant women and disproportionately punishing African American and low-income women.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on its findings, National Advocates for Pregnant Women offers five policy recommendations:

  1. “Personhood” measures that treat fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as completely separate legal persons will deprive pregnant women of their status as constitutional persons and should be rejected.
  2. There should be a moratorium on new feticide laws and anti-abortion measures that recognize separate legal status for eggs, embryos and fetuses. There should be a fair and open inquiry into whether feticide laws passed with the promise of protecting pregnant women and fetuses have actually reduced violence against pregnant women.
  3. Health care providers should provide pregnant women the confidentiality, respect, and dignity afforded other patients and, as suggested by the ACOG Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, challenge the state reporting laws that undermine maternal, fetal and child health.
  4. Legislators should adopt policies that promote women’s health and remove barriers to family planning and contraceptive services, abortion services, birthing options, and effective and humane drug treatment. Legislators should also address the stark racial and economic inequalities that exist in the U.S. that are perpetuated by the war on drugs and our system of mass incarceration.
  5. Legislative authorities should confirm that upon becoming pregnant, women retain their civil and human rights through all stages of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

SAMPLE CASE SUMMARIES (1973-2013)

LOCKED-UP IN JAILS AND PRISONS

  • A pregnant woman accidentally falls down a flight of stairs and is arrested on charges of attempted feticide;
  • A woman who obtained the contraceptive Depo Provera later experiences a miscarriage. She is held in jail for year on murder charges;
  • A woman who obtained the contraceptive Depo Provera later experiences a miscarriage. She is held in jail for year on murder charges;
  • Prosecutors use the fact that a woman had an abortion in the past to show it is likely that the woman had demonstrated a disregard for life and in fact murdered her boyfriend;
  • A pregnant woman about to be released from prison is re-incarcerated when the judge learns she is pregnant and HIV positive;
  • A pregnant woman who is awaiting sentencing that mandates probation is held in jail to prevent her from having an abortion;
  • A pregnant woman who attempts suicide survives, but because she lost the pregnancy she is arrested on charges of murder;
  • A woman is convicted of homicide by child abuse after she suffers a stillbirth and tests positive for an illegal drug. All agree she had no intention of losing the pregnancy. She serves 8 years in prison before a court decides she received ineffective assistance of counsel in which her trial attorney failed to call experts who would have testified about "recent studies showing that cocaine is no more harmful to a fetus than nicotine use, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, or other conditions commonly associated with the urban poor;”
  • A woman refuses fetal monitoring and cesarean surgery at which point medical staff call the police. She is charged with attempted homicide of her fetus based on the claim that her use of alcohol during pregnancy could have caused her fetus to be stillborn.

LOCKED-UP IN MENTAL HOSPITALS

  • A woman goes to her nearby hospital voluntarily seeking help for her opiate addiction. Despite the fact that her addiction posed no significant risk to the health of the fetus, she is reported to the state, sheriffs take her into custody and she is sent to a locked psychiatric ward away from her husband and son and where she receives no prenatal care;
  • A woman is held in a locked psychiatric facility because she did not obtain a recommended follow-up gestational diabetes test. The facility never administers the test;
  • A woman about to be released from a mental hospital because she has been determined to be sane is, nevertheless, kept in the institution through a civil child welfare proceeding in which the state argued that she should remain institutionalized because the state alleged she would not properly care for the fetus still inside of her.

DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY & SUBJECTED TO MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS INCLUDING SURGERY

  • A woman wishes to avoid unnecessary surgery if she can. She seeks to deliver vaginally but is denied access to any hospital unless she agrees to give up her right to medical decision-making and schedules cesarean surgery. Her attempt to labor and delivery at home is discovered and she is taken into custody by a sheriff while in active labor, transported against her will to the hospital with her legs strapped together, and forced to have the surgery; 
  • Despite knowing that forced cesarean surgery could kill her, a court orders a pregnant woman to undergo that surgery – and both she and the baby die;
  • A hospital obtains a court order forcing a woman to undergo cesarean surgery. Her opposition is so strong that hospital staff ties her down with leather wrist and ankle cuffs while she screams for help.


Quoting masonmomma:

I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.

AiLi
by Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I think the physician's assistant should be fired.  What else would privacy laws be for? Now there are going to be more people wary of going to this clinic.  The doctor should have looked up ways and told her to get help though just in case or stated she needed to come back more often in order to get checked out.

..MoonShine..
by Redwood Witch on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:26 PM
This is incredibly disturbing.
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Oct. 27, 2013 at 2:07 PM
Yes it is

Quoting ..MoonShine..:

This is incredibly disturbing.
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Oct. 27, 2013 at 2:09 PM
I think the that this article deserves its own thread as a spin off

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

Furthermore, there's this:

http://tinyurl.com/bn3jpqk

Executive Summary: Paltrow & Flavin, "Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women's legal status and public health," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

January 25, 2013

Executive Summary: Download file.
Published Full Article: Download file

National Advocates for Pregnant Women’s one-of-a-kind study identifies hundreds of criminal and civil cases involving the arrests, detentions and equivalent deprivations of pregnant women’s physical liberty that occurred between 1973 and 2005, after the decision in Roe v. Wade was issued. In each of the 413 cases, pregnancy was a necessary element and the consequences included: arrests; incarceration; increases in prison or jail sentences; detentions in hospitals, mental institutions and drug treatment programs; and forced medical interventions, including surgery. Data showed that state authorities have used post-Roe measures including feticide laws and anti-abortion laws recognizing separate rights for fertilized, eggs, embryos and fetuses as the basis for depriving pregnant women – whether they were seeking to end a pregnancy or go to term – of their physical liberty. The findings make clear that if so called “personhood” measures are enacted, not only will more women who have abortions be arrested, such measures would create the legal basis for depriving all pregnant women of their status as full persons under the law.

______________________________________________________

Lynn Paltrow & Jeanne Flavin, 2013, "Arrests of and forced interventions on pregnant women in the United States (1973-2005): The implications for women's legal status and public health," Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

OVERVIEW The new National Advocates for Pregnant Women study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, and authored by Lynn M. Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin, reveals a disturbing range of punitive state actions directed at pregnant women. The study found:
  • Arrests and incarceration of women because they ended a pregnancy or expressed an intention to end a pregnancy;
  • Arrests and incarceration of women who carried their pregnancies to term and gave birth to healthy babies;
  • Arrests and detentions of women who suffered unintentional pregnancy losses, both early and late in their pregnancies;
  • Arrests and detentions of women who could not guarantee a healthy birth outcome;
  • Forced medical interventions such as blood transfusions, vaginal exams, and cesarean surgery on pregnant women;

Pregnancy was a necessary element in all of the cases reviewed in the study. The data revealed that pregnant women were denied a range of fundamental rights normally associated with constitutional personhood, including the right to life, physical liberty, bodily integrity, due process of law, equal protection, and religious liberty, based solely on their pregnancy status. (See summaries at p. 5).

FINDINGS
Analysis of the legal claims used to justify the arrests of pregnant women found that such actions relied on the same arguments underlying so called “personhood” measures – that state actors should be empowered to treat fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses as completely and legally separate from the pregnant woman. Specifically, police, prosecutors, and judges in the U.S. have relied directly and indirectly on:

  • Feticide statutes that create separate rights for the unborn and which were passed under the guise of protecting pregnant women and the eggs, embryos, and fetuses they carry and sustain from third-party violence;
  • State abortion laws that include language similar to so called “personhood” measures;
  • Misinterpretation of Roe v. Wade as holding what personhood measures propose – that fetuses may be treated as separate legal persons.

This study is the only comprehensive documentation and examination of cases in which a woman’s pregnancy was a necessary factor leading to attempted and actual deprivations of pregnant women’s liberty in its most concrete sense: physical liberty.

National Advocates for Pregnant Women reports:

  • 413 cases in 44 states, the District of Columbia and federal jurisdictions from 1973-2005, a number that is likely a substantial undercount and does not include more than 250 known cases that have occurred since 2005;
  • Cases occurred in every region of the country and to women of all races;
  • The women subjected to deprivations of physical liberty were overwhelmingly economically disadvantaged;
  • African American women were found to be significantly more likely to be arrested, reported to state authorities by hospital staff, and subjected to felony charges;
  • Although every pregnancy in this study involved a man, in 77% of the cases, the father or the woman’s male partner was not even mentioned in any case document;
  • One in ten cases mentioned violence against women.

The study found in a majority of cases, no adverse pregnancy outcome was reported and that where an adverse outcome was alleged, state authorities were typically not required to provide expert testimony or scientific evidence to prove that the pregnant woman’s actions, inactions, or circumstances would or in fact did cause the alleged harm.

The study documented cases in which fear of arrests and forced interventions deterred women from seeking help for themselves and in some cases for their newborns. These findings are consistent with the medical and public health consensus that punitive measures, and the legal arguments supporting them, will undermine rather than further state interests in child, fetal, and maternal health.

This study found that far from protecting patient privacy and confidentiality, professionals in the health care system were often the people gathering information from pregnant women and new mothers and disclosing it to police, prosecutors, and court officials.

  • In 112 cases, the disclosure of information to the police or other state authority that led to the arrest, detention, or forced intervention was made by health care or other “helping” professionals;
  • In some states, the majority of cases came from just one or a few hospitals.

This study also found that:

  • Medical misinformation and ignorance about science and evidence-based research, particularly regarding drug use and pregnant women, played a major role in fueling the arrests, detentions, and forced interventions of pregnant women;
  • In nearly one in five cases, not adhering strictly to medical advice was cited as a factor in justifying the arrest, detention, or forced medical interventions;
  • In nearly one in five cases authorities viewed a woman’s history of prenatal care as a consideration in their decision to arrest or otherwise deprive the pregnant woman of her liberty;
  • Thirty of the cases involved efforts to force women to undergo medical interventions including forced surgery and/or examinations that could include internal vaginal exams.

CONCLUSION
This study provides a basis for building a shared public health and political agenda that includes all pregnant women. The public debate and public policies overwhelmingly focus on the issue of abortion and interference with one kind of right – reproductive rights. However, this study confirms that if passed, personhood measures would: 1) provide the basis for arresting pregnant women who have abortions; and 2) provide state actors with the authority to subject all pregnant women to surveillance, arrest, incarceration and other deprivations of liberty whether women were seeking to end a pregnancy or not. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that there is no way to add fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses to state constitutions or to the United States Constitution without removing all pregnant women from the community of constitutional persons. These measures create a “Jane Crow” system of law, establishing a second class status for all pregnant women and disproportionately punishing African American and low-income women.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on its findings, National Advocates for Pregnant Women offers five policy recommendations:

  1. “Personhood” measures that treat fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as completely separate legal persons will deprive pregnant women of their status as constitutional persons and should be rejected.
  2. There should be a moratorium on new feticide laws and anti-abortion measures that recognize separate legal status for eggs, embryos and fetuses. There should be a fair and open inquiry into whether feticide laws passed with the promise of protecting pregnant women and fetuses have actually reduced violence against pregnant women.
  3. Health care providers should provide pregnant women the confidentiality, respect, and dignity afforded other patients and, as suggested by the ACOG Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, challenge the state reporting laws that undermine maternal, fetal and child health.
  4. Legislators should adopt policies that promote women’s health and remove barriers to family planning and contraceptive services, abortion services, birthing options, and effective and humane drug treatment. Legislators should also address the stark racial and economic inequalities that exist in the U.S. that are perpetuated by the war on drugs and our system of mass incarceration.
  5. Legislative authorities should confirm that upon becoming pregnant, women retain their civil and human rights through all stages of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

SAMPLE CASE SUMMARIES (1973-2013)

LOCKED-UP IN JAILS AND PRISONS

  • A pregnant woman accidentally falls down a flight of stairs and is arrested on charges of attempted feticide;
  • A woman who obtained the contraceptive Depo Provera later experiences a miscarriage. She is held in jail for year on murder charges;
  • A woman who obtained the contraceptive Depo Provera later experiences a miscarriage. She is held in jail for year on murder charges;
  • Prosecutors use the fact that a woman had an abortion in the past to show it is likely that the woman had demonstrated a disregard for life and in fact murdered her boyfriend;
  • A pregnant woman about to be released from prison is re-incarcerated when the judge learns she is pregnant and HIV positive;
  • A pregnant woman who is awaiting sentencing that mandates probation is held in jail to prevent her from having an abortion;
  • A pregnant woman who attempts suicide survives, but because she lost the pregnancy she is arrested on charges of murder;
  • A woman is convicted of homicide by child abuse after she suffers a stillbirth and tests positive for an illegal drug. All agree she had no intention of losing the pregnancy. She serves 8 years in prison before a court decides she received ineffective assistance of counsel in which her trial attorney failed to call experts who would have testified about "recent studies showing that cocaine is no more harmful to a fetus than nicotine use, poor nutrition, lack of prenatal care, or other conditions commonly associated with the urban poor;”
  • A woman refuses fetal monitoring and cesarean surgery at which point medical staff call the police. She is charged with attempted homicide of her fetus based on the claim that her use of alcohol during pregnancy could have caused her fetus to be stillborn.

LOCKED-UP IN MENTAL HOSPITALS

  • A woman goes to her nearby hospital voluntarily seeking help for her opiate addiction. Despite the fact that her addiction posed no significant risk to the health of the fetus, she is reported to the state, sheriffs take her into custody and she is sent to a locked psychiatric ward away from her husband and son and where she receives no prenatal care;
  • A woman is held in a locked psychiatric facility because she did not obtain a recommended follow-up gestational diabetes test. The facility never administers the test;
  • A woman about to be released from a mental hospital because she has been determined to be sane is, nevertheless, kept in the institution through a civil child welfare proceeding in which the state argued that she should remain institutionalized because the state alleged she would not properly care for the fetus still inside of her.

DEPRIVED OF LIBERTY & SUBJECTED TO MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS INCLUDING SURGERY

  • A woman wishes to avoid unnecessary surgery if she can. She seeks to deliver vaginally but is denied access to any hospital unless she agrees to give up her right to medical decision-making and schedules cesarean surgery. Her attempt to labor and delivery at home is discovered and she is taken into custody by a sheriff while in active labor, transported against her will to the hospital with her legs strapped together, and forced to have the surgery; 
  • Despite knowing that forced cesarean surgery could kill her, a court orders a pregnant woman to undergo that surgery – and both she and the baby die;
  • A hospital obtains a court order forcing a woman to undergo cesarean surgery. Her opposition is so strong that hospital staff ties her down with leather wrist and ankle cuffs while she screams for help.



Quoting masonmomma:

I'm not talking about these cases, I'm talking about this law. It has a place. And with all laws it will be improperly used sometimes. So just screw that child someone decided to consistently and KNOWINGLY poison I'm the womb? Having worked in obstetrics, I would see this kind of situation constantly. Idiots coming in knowing they were pregnant, having damn seizures from doing to much crack. Baby comes out messed up and no one wants to take the baby in. Or mother keeps baby and cps is a taking them away to give them back and over again because she can not handle the child she screwed up when they could have just gotten her clean before the child was screwed. And all because she's not an "incubator" but choose to be by not getting an abortion, the child has to pay. You yourself have talked about all these children in the system people don't want but refuse to see a fix to the problem? Maybe fight the way the law works but there is a place for it.


Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN