|Originally posted by djs_girl517
Unfortunately, you can't have it both ways. Once you start allowing the government (lawyers and politicians) tocontrol some aspects of some people's lives, you open the door to allowing them to control that aspect of your life as well. Either the mother's rights come first, or the unborn child's, but it MUST be the same in every case. Not one way or the other depending on whether you think the mother made a good or bad choice.
Yes, djs_girl! This, to my mind, is the crux of this case.
My heart goes out to the surviving girl child and I too wish there were some way to protect unborn children at risk without frittering away at *our* rights and someday essentially hog-tying us in every step and decision. Some of the eloquently formulated posts on earlier pages in this thread have said it all: And no, I don't think these dystopian scenarios reminiscent of "The Handmaid's Tale" are that far off the mark, as in "it couldn't happen here!" Unfortunately, I think this is the direction the U.S. is headed in: paring down individual rights - I mean, the right to refuse major surgery is up there at the top of the list of personal freedoms I value - and giving the state (the government, the "authorities," the "experts," the Man, you name it) greater power over us, our bodies, our lives, our futures.
(I mean, if my baby had died, could I have been arrested for insisting on a homebirth, for not vaxing, for gaining 50 lbs. while pregnant, for continuing to follow my vegetarian diet, for having smoked that single cigarette I smoked after I found out I was pregnant, for drinking a few sips of port or wine at night before bed in my second and third trimesters, for not exercising every single day, for not getting amnio although I was 38, for leaving an established OBGYN practice to work with a DEM - in short, for either a) making decisions that don't gel with mainstream attitudes, or b) not being perfect?)
This case breaks my heart, I am both appalled by and feeling compassion for Melissa Ann, I mourn that poor baby boy, ... and I am deeply worried. Worried that this case, and probably others like it, can and will be used to divest me of my rights - of OUR rights. The phrases "dangerous precedent" and "slippery slope" keep going through my mind, and I see the same in many, many posts here.
Sometimes I wonder if this isn't a bad scenario for which there is no solution. I think that enforced sterilization or court-ordered birth control is wrong. I also believe that forcing someone ill to take their meds or get medical treatment is wrong. I also believe that doing egregious things to harm your unborn child is wrong. I believe that taking away a woman's rights over her own body, her own self, is wrong. I cannot reconcile these things in my mind. They cannot be reconciled. And so I believe (unless laws are passed permitting, say, enforced lockdown of pregnant women addicted to drugs or otherwise flouting medical/societal conventions) that cases like this will come up again and again.
That sucks. It's horrific, tragic. But I see no universal "solution" that will do other than further diminish women's rights - our rights to decide about our own bodies in general, and specifically our right to decide how and where and when we want to birth. Melissa Ann may have made all the wrong choices (willfully, or unwillingly as a result of her illness), but I do not want that to affect the choices I make (am allowed to make) in future.