Monday, January 10, 2005

A Miscarriage Could Earn You a Year in Jail

My new cyberfriend, Ariel, published a recent post about Virginia State Delegate John Cosgrove (R-78) and the alarmingly foul piece of legislation he is trying to pass that would force a woman to spend 12 months in jail and/or pay a $2,500 fine for having a miscarriage and failing to report it to law enforcement within 12 hours. Sound ridiculous? It’s positively infuriating if you ask me!

Here’s the language of the Bill:

When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman’s responsibility to report the death to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of which the delivery occurs within 12 hours after the delivery. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Only a man could come up with something so foul on this particular subject. And I’m not even trying to make a blanket statement against men in general. But surely no woman could have come up with something so bizarre. A woman would understand that there is nothing criminal about having a miscarriage. To penalize a woman for having to endure one of the most traumatic experiences of her life is a sin against basic human decency. And only someone exempt from personally suffering through such an emotionally and physically painful ordeal could actually grab a pen and write down such flagrant bullshit!

This is the kind of crap that makes me want to bitch slap somebody, and then knock out their mama for bringing them into the world for me to slap in the first place. I am truly appalled. Cosgrove sounds like he must have been some sort of test-tube baby with no umbilical cord attachment whatsoever.

I know so many women who have had to endure a miscarriage…some of them went through numerous miscarriages. And as I review their faces, I have yet to conjure a single scenario that warranted jail time.

And let’s delve a bit deeper into the Class 1 Misdemeanor in the state of Virginia. Other crimes with equal penalties include:

• A person 18 years of age or older engaging in consensual intercourse with a child 15 or older who is not a spouse, child or grandchild (more commonly known as “statutory rape”)

• Burning or destroying a building or structure if the property therein is valued at less than $200 (arson)

• A bomb threat made by someone younger than 15

• Carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

• Stalking

• Purchasing or providing alcohol to minors

Damn! Ain’t it a shame that Cosgrove thinks of a woman who has a miscarriage the same as someone who committed statutory rape? What in the hell has this country come to?

I don’t live in Virginia, so it’s not as if this legislation would affect me if it gets passed…at least not yet! But for all my sisters in Virginia, my suggestion is that you do everything you can to destroy this Bill.

Oh, and if you spot Delegate Cosgrove at the supermarket…kick his ass real good for all the rest of us. The next thing we know, it’ll be a crime to come on your period and not inform law enforcement about the loss of blood! Each and every discarded sanitary napkin could be considered a crime scene...

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