Thursday, September 11, 2014

Convicted for Being Female. In America.

None of your fucking business, motherfuckers. Not how women dress, not how women act, not how women have sex, not how women deal with pregnancy, none of it.

None. Of. Your. Mother. Fucking. Business.

Also, it's not a "child" or "baby" until it's outside a woman's body, breathing on its own. Until then, it's a piece of her body, and, again: None. Of. Your. Mother. Fucking. Business.

Think Progress:

A woman in Montana has been charged with criminally endangering a child, which is a felony, after testing positive for illegal drugs. According to court records, she is in her first trimester of pregnancy. The case clearly illustrates how an increasing number of states are using fetal harm laws to criminalize pregnant women’s behavior and blur the lines about exactly when personhood begins in the eyes of the law.

According to the Ravalli Republic, 21-year-old Casey Gloria Allen has been charged with “putting her unborn child at risk by taking illegal drugs” after a drug test came back positive for benzodiazapines, THC, and opiates. She is reportedly 12 weeks pregnant and had been out on bail for previous drug possession charges. “The reality for some of these women is the need for drugs is stronger than any maternal instinct they have,” Ravalli County deputy attorney Thorin Geist told the local outlet.
However, as several reproductive rights advocates have pointed out, Allen’s “maternal instinct” isn’t really the issue at hand. It’s unclear whether Allen knew she was pregnant in the first place, or whether she has any plans to continue the pregnancy. Abortion is, of course, still legal at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Regardless of whether or not Allen ought to be using illegal drugs, charging her with endangerment of her “unborn child” suggests that the state of Montana is endowing her fetus with its own rights.

This is a frequent issue with fetal harm laws, which are on the books in 36 states. This type of legislation is intended to allow states to bring additional charges against someone who physically harms a pregnant woman, like a drunk driver who crashes into her car and causes her to suffer a miscarriage. But unless they’re very carefully worded, they can end up giving equal weight to the rights of both the woman and her fetus — which reproductive rights experts worry could be used as a legal argument for restricting abortion.

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