Miscarriages Could Lead to Jail

In Virginia there is a bill afoot to criminalize women who experience fetal death (miscarriage) without a doctor’s assistance if they don’t report the loss to police within twelve hours. The bill is HB 1677:

When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman’s responsibility to report the death to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of which the delivery occurs within 12 hours after the delivery. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Interestingly enough, reporting a death this way is more intrusive than when an abortion is reported:

“Though Virginia requires that induced terminations of pregnancy be reported, those reporting forms require only a “patient number” and information on the procedure. The “report of fetal death” asks for the woman’s full name, her history of prenatal care, her marital status, her education history, her previous deliveries (if any), and a number of other very intrusive data items.”

There is no reason why the state needs this information. The medical community will not benefit from this information, since all products would be in the hands of law enforcement and not medical professionals.

Class 1 misdemeanors in Virginia are statutory rape, arson, and stalking to name a few.

It is okay to willingly have an abortion but having a miscarriage could be a crime!?

Talk about having the wrong priorities….

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mrs. C
    Jun 16, 2008 @ 04:38:42

    This is probably in response to people with late-term miscarriages burying their kids or whatever, and then the authorities have to investigate for murder when there are suspicious circumstances. Clearly a law designed to make it easier on investigators without regard to privacy.


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