A 22 year-old pregnant woman, who was unable to afford an abortion, carried her fetus to the middle of the third trmester and then shot herself in the belly, killing the fetus.
The woman claims she did this because she was impoverished, she already has two children and because her boyfriend was mentally abusive to her. Basically, she felt trapped and diminished to the point where she felt that she had no other options available to her.
There is no doubt that this event is both serious and very tragic, but is this woman a criminal? Should she be prosecuted for murder or for illegal abortion? If so, then consider that there is a dangerous public interest problem that comes with holding a woman legally responsible for her prenatal conduct.
“It turns every expectant mother into a potential criminal,” said Martingayle, the defense attorney. “If they can convince a jury that she did it on purpose, than the expectant mother becomes a target.”
“The question we shouldn’t be asking is, ‘What crime did she commit?’ But, ‘Why didn’t she have access to abortion services? Why didn’t she have access to mental health services?’” asked Lynn Paltrow, executive director at Advocates for Pregnant Women.
Ann Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, said; “If the right to kill the child resides totally in that child’s mother — which it does — why would it be illegal for her to do this with a gun as opposed to with a suction vacuum machine in a doctor’s office?”
I find it surprising that she could afford to have a gun, but not an abortion. Also, is there a Planned Parenthood in her area? Most of them offer abortions to poor women on a sliding scale. I wonder if the state will take her other chicldren away from her. What are your thoughts about this story, dear readers?