Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wow

I'm a bit speechless after reading this on a UK website:

'Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed does not sound like an ordinary killing. Yet she faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child.

Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit – though there is no evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby's death – they charged her with the "depraved-heart murder" of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence."

How can she be charged with murder when, as thousands of us know in the U.S., her baby was never really born? My son was never born, he was only ever dead--for all I have to prove his existence is a death certificate, not a birth certificate--and no, I've never been able to wrap my head around that.

While I will be the first to tell you that doing cocaine during pregnancy is one of the stupidest things ever, I'd also like to see some evidence that it contributed to her baby's death.

The article goes on to tell the story of another woman:

"Amanda Kimbrough is one of the women who have been ensnared as a result of the law being applied in a wholly different way. During her pregnancy her foetus was diagnosed with possible Down's syndrome and doctors suggested she consider a termination, which Kimbrough declined as she is not in favour of abortion.

The baby was delivered by caesarean section prematurely in April 2008 and died 19 minutes after birth.

Six months later Kimbrough was arrested at home and charged with "chemical endangerment" of her unborn child on the grounds that she had taken drugs during the pregnancy – a claim she has denied.
"That shocked me, it really did," Kimbrough said. "I had lost a child, that was enough."

I realize there is more to both of these stories than any article can relay, but really? I'm aghast.

2 comments:

Nika M. said...

I remember reading a while back about one of the states trying to make miscarriages a crime. I was furious at the idea, but I think they were meaning something along the lines of situations like this, where the mother's actions may have been a factor. Either way, I think it's disgusting, and I think the only people who can think up a law like that have never lost a child of their own.

I don't use drugs. I don't even like to take something as simple as Tylenol. But after losing two babies, even God Himself couldn't help whoever tried to arrest or punish me for their deaths.

By Word of Mouth Musings said...

Beyond WOW!
Laws never cease to amaze me, who are they really trying to protect? (most time insurance companies who don't want to be responsible)
Thank you for posting this.
It is incomprehensible.