I’m beginning to think that I need to post more light-hearted and uplifting articles on this blog! But, continuing in my (depressing) habits, here is an article about a pregnant Illinois woman who attempted suicide after her boyfriend and business partner left her after she found out he had another family. Distraught, she drank rat poison in an attempt to end her life, which instead ended the life of her unborn child. So, of course, the state of Illinois has put her in jail.
Aside from her tragic story, what struck me most about this piece is the frequency with which this sort of thing happens. Apparently, “Women have been prosecuted for child abuse or feticide when they miscarry; pregnant women who are addicted to drugs have been charged with trafficking drugs to minors; and pregnant women have been forced to deliver via cesarean section under court order. Some states also require doctors to report if a pregnant woman is taking drugs — a law which sounds reasonable on its face, until you think through the logical outcome: Women who are addicted to drugs just won’t seek medical care, which means they won’t get treatment for their addictions and won’t get basic pre-natal care” (Jill from Feministe).
What it boils down to is: pregnant women are being treated differently by the law than non-pregnant women or men. The author of the article points out, people aren’t prosecuted for attempted suicide, but a woman who tries to kill herself but kills her baby instead is locked up instead of being offered mental health treatment or counseling, forcing yet more trauma upon her without any regard for her well-being. It is obvious that the poor woman in the article has suffered terribly, and wants only to try to rebuild her life, but she is being punished anyway.
Please follow the link below to the entire story.