>The Daily Kos and The Raw Story have stories about a bill introduced by Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) that would define abortions as “prenatal murder” and require law enforcement officials to investigate miscarriages. Here’s the text of HB 1.
From The Raw Story:
Franklin’s bill would classify the removal of a fetus from a woman for any reason other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus as “prenatal murder.” Physicians indicted for alleged “prenatal murder” would have their license suspended until they were found innocent of the crime. Although the legislation would not place any criminal penalties on natural spontaneous abortions, it would require miscarriages to be reported by hospitals and other medical institutions, and a fetal death certificate issued. Authorities would be required to investigate the cause of fetal death in cases where a miscarriage occurs without attendance at a medical facility.
So let me get this straight: over-burdened, stretched-too-thin law enforcement officials, already faced with staffing shortages and unprecedented budget cuts, would be required to investigate the cause of a miscarriage. His bill will turn law enforcement folks into miscarriage police, “placing crime scene tape” around the uterus of Georgia women who experience the unfortunate act of a miscarriage. Georgia residents, who in some cities and counties could be facing cuts to public safety, would have their law enforcement officials investigate the cause of a woman’s miscarriage.
Let that marinate for a bit…
It should be noted this representative is all but declared his war on women. In an earlier post, I noted Rep. Franklin introduced legislation that would label rape victims and victims of family violence and stalking as accusers. So, this piece of legislation isn’t a surprise as Franklin has proven to me and the millions of pro-choice advocates that his ultimate intent is to bit-by-bit roll back abortion rights for women in Georgia.
(As an aside, it’s hilarious that Rep. Franklin’s states that since Georgia wasn’t a party in Roe V. Wade, it’s not subject to the 1973 federal ruling. When exactly did Georgia secede from the union, Rep. Frankllin?)
This piece of legislation is a slap in the face to countless women out there who, as I said earlier, have to deal with the burden–and the shame–of suffering a miscarriage. Millions of women try desperate to conceive each year only to have their pregnancies end in miscarriage. Oblivious to some men and those who don’t have children, miscarriages remain a social stigma as women feel the guilt that they are responsible for their own bodies’ rejection of a fertilize egg. Many women are silenced, whether by their own guilt and grief or by a friend or family member’s refusal to act as if everything is normal, as they feel they’ve failed as women because they weren’t able to carry a healthy, happy baby to full term.
The criminalization of the terrible, unexpected loss of an unborn child not only trivializes the pain and suffer women AND men go through after a miscarriage, but it also subjects these women and men to the trauma of being subject to a police investigation. Rep. Franklin has no respect for women, their bodies, their legal access to abortion services and the humiliation they suffer after having a miscarriage. This man, and his retroactive, anti-woman, pro-life agenda needs to be hauled out of office and into the gutter where he belongs.