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.