Are lawmakers from the "women are chattel" set having some sort of nation-wide competition to see who can get the most sick-minded anti-abortion law enacted? Sure seems that way! Last week, a public outcry forced South Dakota lawmakers to shelve a bill that opened the possibility that abortion providers would be endangered by people who believed that killing them was a justifiable homicide. Today comes word that Georgia state Representative Bobby Franklin is shopping a bill that wouldn't just make abortion illegal in Georgia, it would criminalize miscarriages to boot.
Jen Phillips of Mother Jones -- which has of late been America's premier harbinger of this sort of cockamamie legislation -- has the details of a law that she terms "the apex...of woman-hating craziness":
I doubt that a bill that makes a legal medical procedure liable for the death penalty will pass.
Oh, wait, sorry! Did I forget to mention that the death penalty is involved here? My bad. That's precisely the sort of thing that you read about and do not want to believe it so fervently that, at first, your brain rejects it outright, as if it were some alien tissue grafted onto your medulla oblongata. Here's the relevant portion of the law itself:
'Prenatal murder' means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder. Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a 'spontaneous abortion' and popularly as a 'miscarriage' so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.
(c) The act of prenatal murder is contrary to the health and well-being of the citizens of this state and to the state itself and is illegal in this state in all instances.
(d) Any person committing prenatal murder in this state shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-1.
And it's subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-1 that explicitly puts the death penalty on the table. Here's the statute:
TITLE 16. CRIMES AND OFFENSES
CHAPTER 5. CRIMES AGAINST THE PERSON
ARTICLE 1. HOMICIDE
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-1 (2006)
§ 16-5-1. Murder; felony murder
(a) A person commits the offense of murder when he unlawfully and with malice aforethought, either express or implied, causes the death of another human being.
(b) Express malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take the life of another human being which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof. Malice shall be implied where no considerable provocation appears and where all the circumstances of the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.
(c) A person also commits the offense of murder when, in the commission of a felony, he causes the death of another human being irrespective of malice.
(d) A person convicted of the offense of murder shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life.
Okay, let's go back to Phillips:
The bill, however, shows an astonishing lack of concern for women's health and well-being. Under Rep. Franklin's bill, HB 1, women who miscarry could become felons if they cannot prove that there was "no human involvement whatsoever in the causation" of their miscarriage. There is no clarification of what "human involvement" means, and this is hugely problematic as medical doctors do not know exactly what causes miscarriages. Miscarriages are estimated to terminate up to a quarter of all pregnancies and the Mayo Clinic says that "the actual number is probably much higher because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn't even know she's pregnant. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn't developing normally."
As Phillips points out, the law also basically radically redefines personhood back to the zygote stage. So remember, in America, the optimal way of exercising your legal rights as a "person," it is best that you go straight from the womb to being a multimillion dollar, rent-seeking corporation.
(Just to review, the way this game is played is that a legislator will conceive of an absolutely insane anti-woman law, stoke outrage, then make a big show of relenting on the crazy part of the law in order to get what they want -- making abortion illegal -- enacted. They will then aver that this is the result of "negotiations" in which "all sides" have been "heard out" resulting in a "compromise.")
Ga. Law Could Give Death Penalty for Miscarriages [Mother Jones]