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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Woman In Iowa Arrested For Falling Down the Stairs While Pregnant

Posted by Dan Savage on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM

Utah is on the verge of criminalizing miscarriages while it looks like Iowa has already criminalized accidents and doubts:

Life can't get much worse for Christine Taylor. Last month, after an upsetting phone conversation with her estranged husband, Ms. Taylor became light-headed and fell down a flight of stairs in her home. Paramedics rushed to the scene and ultimately declared her healthy. However, since she was pregnant with her third child at the time, Taylor thought it would be best to be seen at the local ER to make sure her fetus was unharmed.

That's when things got really bad and really crazy. Alone, distraught, and frightened, Taylor confided in the nurse treating her that she hadn't always been sure she'd wanted this baby, now that she was single and unemployed. She'd considered both adoption and abortion before ultimately deciding to keep the child. The nurse then summoned a doctor, who questioned her further about her thoughts on ending the pregnancy. Next thing Taylor knew, she was being arrested for attempted feticide. Apparently the nurse and doctor thought that Taylor threw herself down the stairs on purpose.

According to Iowa state law, attempted feticide is an trying "to intentionally terminate a human pregnancy, with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person, after the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy." At least 37 states have similar laws. Taylor spent two days in jail before being released. That's right, a pregnant woman was jailed for admitting to thinking about an abortion at some point early in her pregnancy and then having the audacity to fall down some stairs a couple of months later. Please tell me you find this as horrifying as I do.


Apparently pregnant women in Iowa don't have a right to doctor/patient confidentiality either.

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