A woman in Iowa was arrested for falling down the stairs when pregnant. Yes, you read that right. According to the Des Moines Register http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100210/NEWS/2100367/%5C-I-never-said-I-didn%5C-t-want-my-baby%5C—Mom-won%5C-t-be-prosecuted :
“Christine Taylor, 22, a mother of two, says she believes the personal views of medical workers and police played a part in a decision to accuse her last month of attempted feticide after a Jan. 19 incident in which she fell down the stairs at her home.”
She got dizzy at the top of the stairs, fell down, and being a good mother-to-be, went to the ER to have her and her baby checked out. Christine, a mother of two who is recently divorced and unemployed, unburdened herself to the nurse, saying how she had considered aborting the baby or giving it up for adoption, but in the end decided to keep it. She also said that she still had doubts about keeping the baby. The nurse informed the doctor, who after questioning Christine, called the police because he felt she had intentionally thrown herself down the stairs to abort the baby. She subsequently spent two days in jail before being released.
What qualified the doctor to decide that she intentionally tried to harm the baby? Just because she had only thought about ending her pregnancy? Since when has thinking about something become a crime?
Prosecutors decided not to charge her with attempted feticide, not because there was no real evidence to support that she intentionally threw herself down the stairs, but because she was still in her second trimester, and the applicable law applies to women in their third trimester!
This, along with the state of Utah considering legislation that would make it much easier to prosecute suspected cases of attempted feticide, makes me so angry that this can happen in a country that was founded on personal liberty. We have allowed lawmaker’s personal religious and moral beliefs to become law.
It is too bad the founding fathers didn’t included a constitutional amendment to prohibit laws that deal with moral issues. Laws should be made to regulate trade and commerce and foreign affairs, to keep the peace and guard our rights and privacy, not infringe upon them.
Morality is a personal issue and should be decided on a personal level, not a public one. Plus, what is moral to you may not be to me, but that doesn’t give me the right to tell you how to live your life.