I Might As Well Turn Myself In

In February of this year, Georgia state representative Bobby Franklin proposed a bill that would make miscarriage illegal. And worse, punishable by death penalty. (For summaries or a refresher, The Huffington Post and Mother Jones are invaluable resources.) When I heard about it, I remember scratching my head. How could a man get off punishing a woman for a biological process?

After my most recent miscarriage, this issue has greater personal impact. And I wonder, how would I have proven that my miscarriage was, indeed, a miscarriage? If ever questioned by authorities, I have come up with a plan of action that involves three steps.

1. Written proof from my doctor that I was taking progesterone to prevent a miscarriage. Present the medication as evidence.

2. Provide a copy of ultrasounds one and two which show conclusive evidence that a heartbeat was not found.  Have the radiologist, the doctor on call, and my primary care physician write a detailed description of what the ultrasounds indicate.

3. Submit video of me lying on the couch in obvious pain. Show a graph that indicates the contractions I was enduring. Include blood samples taken at time of miscarriage and the embryo I “birthed.” End with a heartfelt plea from both my husband and me exclaiming our sincere grief at the loss we experienced.

Joking aside, this type of law indicates the giant chasm women still need to cross to ensure our rights and dignity are maintained. It is also proof of the corrupting nature that any state with a consistent political majority–be it republican or democrat–undergoes. In their attempt to remain “right wing” and “pro-life,” the lawmakers of Georgia have undermined a women’s right to not only choose, but to have control over their own bodies. The most humiliating part being that a man is leading this debate on a women’s reproductive issue–proof that men continue trying to control women through their misogynistic legislation.

I have yet to determine how this law fared in Georgia’s legislature. But I am darned grateful I don’t live in Georgia.

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18 Comments

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18 responses to “I Might As Well Turn Myself In

  1. Janae

    what in the what? weird and um aren't we still fighting over the abortion issue? so why are we dragging something else into the ring? Ahh this world is so nutso!!

  2. What a brave and strident post. As you say – not only about rights, about dignity.

  3. That's absolutely ridiculous! I'm stunned speechless.

  4. Amen. Just amen.

    Miscarriage is painful enough without investigations. There are lines that should not be legislated. This is one.

  5. Some people are still so ignorant and callous, even in this "modern" day and age. It hurts my heart.

  6. Dad

    What this proves to me is that, that man is a complete and total idiot, and is missing a major organ, found between most peoples ears. Proof positive that you don't have to have a brain to be a politician 😉

  7. I had to read that first paragraph a few times. I felt like I was caught in some kind of time warp. xo

  8. That law is insane and should be treated as a joke! I've never suffered a miscarriage, but you better believe there would be a throw down of biblical proportions if someone questioned me about something so painful and personal. Clearly, you would just need to submit your blog as evidence of a loving and caring mother who wanted another sweet spirit as a part of her family. Ugh. Cross that state off my list of places I want to live 😦

    • admin

      JoAnna, thank you for visiting, I hope you come back! Thank you, also, for the link. If you have any news as to how this bill has fared, please let me know! I can't seem to find it anywhere on the web. But, as you said, I am sure it is DOA (pun intended).

      • From what I can tell, it's stuck in committee.

        http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/display

        I doubt it'll ever get out.

        I'm pro-life, but I've also had two miscarriages, and I can't see any way in which this law could possibly be enforced. It'd be a waste of time and money to do so. I don't know any pro-life organizations that think this bill is a good idea, either. There are much better ways to protect the unborn.

      • admin

        Thank you JoAnna for this link. I have researched many times and must have put in the wrong search terms. : )

        I do agree that many pro-life organizations find this bill to not only be unenforceable, but detrimental to their cause. I believe it shows that politicians often go too far in upholding their supposed values that they marginalize more than one group of voters–in this case, those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice.

  9. I kind of see where this idea MIGHT have come from if I think REALLY hard. I wonder if they're trying to reduce the amount of purposeful "miscarriages" that happen since maybe they can't find a doctor to abort the baby.

    There are SOOOO many problems if this is what they are trying to prove. The obvious one being that if it does become a law, it is INCREDIBLY easy to hide a pregnancy and abort the baby in secret. Thus, the women who do go to doctors can be presumed to actually WANT the pregnancy to work out.

    This idea of a law is RIDICULOUS! It would be way too hard to prove one way or the other without COMPLETELY messing up EVERYTHING about maternity.

    • admin

      Yes, reducing purposeful miscarriages might have been behind the inception of this bill, but basically outlawing miscarriage is, well, so many ludicrous things that I can hardly list it out.

      I agree with you; the law is not only ridiculous but questions the very idea of maternity. Silly silly lawmakers.

  10. Amber, first of all, I am very sorry for your loss.

    Secondly, I don't know what to say. (The things I want to say are made up entirely of swearing words really. So I will refrain myself…)

    Thirdly, again, I am very sorry. {{{hugs}}}

  11. I read this post a few times and Amber I couldn't believe what I was reading. Today, this is happening today. Like Stacia said, it hurts my heart too.

  12. Tay

    I love your feminist, motherly self.