The Right’s War on Women Continues…at the State Level

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

On the National Level

In late January, I wrote a post titled Rape Redefined and Brought to You by the US House of Representatives in which I talked about members of Congress—mostly Republicans—who were attempting to “redefine” what the only REAL kind of rape is—that would be “forcible rape.” (I wasn’t aware there was any other kind of rape.) These Congressmen were proposing legislation that would no longer consider the following types of sexual assault as rape: The rapes of women with limited mental capacity and rapes in which women were drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol.

Last week, Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw) wrote a post titled The Right’s War on Women in which he discussed legislation proposed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) that would eliminate the entire budget for Title X. Lawrence wrote: “Rep. Pence and his fellow Republicans are trying to defund Planned Parenthood because it receives millions from Title X funds to assist women in their family planning and health matters. In order to try to end abortions without testing the strength of Roe v. Wade in the courts, the sponsors and backers of this bill don’t care if low-income women suffer by not getting the health care that they so desperately need. Many of these same legislators also backed the repeal of the Affordable Health Care act which would also assist low-income women get affordable health care.”

And Now from the State of Georgia

Just yesterday, I read about State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia who is introducing legislation in his state that would require proof that a miscarriage—aka a spontaneous abortion—was the result of natural causes. If this legislation passes, there would have to be proof that a woman’s miscarriage was the result of natural causes. If a woman can’t prove that—she might face felony charges!

From a piece in Daily Kos: “Franklin wants to create a Uterus Police to investigate miscarriages, and requires that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can’t tell how it happened, then those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it. Yup, we’ve been waiting for someone to suggest this–and Franklin has.”

Here’s the link to Franklin’s bill:
http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display.aspx?Legislation=31965

There are millions and millions of American women who suffer/have suffered miscarriages through no fault of their own. Suffering a miscarriage can be an emotionally wrenching experience for a woman. Imagine losing a much wanted pregnancy–and then having to prove the miscarriage was the result of natural causes. How does a woman do that, Rep. Franklin? Can you explain to the women of Georgia how they should go about gathering evidence to prove that they haven’t committed a felony when they have a miscarriage?

By the way, Rep. Franklin also introduced a bill to change Georgia’s criminal codes so that  victims of rape, stalking, and family violence could only be referred to as “accusers” until defendants have been convicted.

FYI 

Here are some statistics on miscarriage for you:

From WebMed

Frequency of Miscarriages in the United States

The overall miscarriage rate is reported as 15-20%, which means 15-20% of recognized pregnancies result in miscarriage. The frequency of spontaneous miscarriage increases further with maternal age. With the development of highly sensitive assays for hCG levels, pregnancies can be detected prior to the expected next period. When these highly sensitive hCG assays are used early, the magnitude of pregnancy loss significantly increases to about 60-70%. Late implantation by the conceptus beyond the usual 8-10 days after ovulation also has an increased risk of miscarriage.

About 80% of miscarriages occur within the first trimester. The frequency of miscarriage decreases with increasing gestational age. Recurrent miscarriage, defined as 2-3 pregnancy losses, affects about 1% of all couples.

From American Pregnancy Association

Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages. This occurs when a pregnancy is lost shortly after implantation, resulting in bleeding that occurs around the time of her expected period. The woman may not realize that she conceived when she experiences a chemical pregnancy.

Sources

Daily Kos

Huffington Post

Washington Monthly (Political Animal)

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

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