Today, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Regina McKnight. Regina's fetus, which was viable under her state's law, was miscarried because she was addicted to crack. This is obviously an outrage. A miscarriage of justice! What ever happened to a Woman's Right to Choose?
The Right to Choose
The Right-To-Choose camp stated as recently as two months ago in the Scott Peterson double homicide prosecution in California that this "viability" issue is simply a right-wing attempt to push its anti-choice-right-wing-propaganda on women with a view to completely end a woman's right to choose. That means it's bad. Did anyone listen? No. The McKnight debacle reveals blatant hypocrisy and negligence on the part of the US government and particularly on the part of the Bush administration since Bush is in office right now.
Most reasonable people believe that no one should pass legislation that tells a woman what she can or cannot do with her body. Yet, despite our attempts to educate, we have legislation which prohibits, even criminalizes drug use and suicide! We will end this debate by pointing out several absurdities with current policy.
1) If she had simply used a knife we would have put her in jail for "Practicing Medicine without a License to Practice Medicine." If she had decided to withhold food from the fetus as if the fetus was in a vegetative state, when in fact the fetus was not in a vegetative state she would have lost her license to practice medicine because of incompetence. Since she has no licence to practice medicine this isn't a problem!
2) If she had committed suicide, no one would have tried to put her in jail for it even if her fetus had died. Putting McKnight in jail for this is condoning suicide as an alternative. Pregnancies should never end in death like that.
3) If she had miscarried in another state this would have been legal. Obviously, telling a woman when she can or cannot terminate her fetus simply based on the location in physical space of said fetus is absurd and is an anti-choice bit of right-wing anti-woman attack hate-speech propaganda.
4) Forbidding drug use just because a woman is pregnant is stomping all over that woman's right to choose what to do with her body. That's always absurd. This woman is a victim.
5) She could have just received an abortion in compliance with the old addage "A month earlier and with a knife please." Putting a woman in jail on a technicality is wrong.
6) If she had delivered the crack baby it would have been doomed to a life of rejection and addiction. This noble lady has saved her fetus from a life of crime.
7) If she had been a doctor and had used crack to terminate her own fetus (have you ever tried to give yourself an abortion? Don't!) they would have taken her license to practice. Since McKnight has no such license, no action is necessary. Again, the worst action possible would be "Practicing medicine without a license."
8) If she had been a rock or movie star and had died a pool of her own vomit, teens would have idolized her and bought T-Shirts with her face on it. Equal protection under the law? Hah!
9) Since this was a crack fetus before it was viable, it probably would have died anyway, therefore it was never viable, therefore this wasn't a crime.
10) The fetus was a part of her body. We already knew that crack was bad for her health. When a woman takes crack, this occasionally results in a change in the woman's body. Some see this as nature's way of natural abortion. McKnight's maternal instincts may have alterted her to the fact that since she was addicted to crack, she was not ready to be a mother. That's her right.
11) If proper sex education had been delivered to McKnight, she would have known that sex can cause pregnancy and thus can force you to stop smoking crack. Under-funded inner city schools are the real problem here!
12) The fault lies squarely on the shoulders of the current administration. It has failed to give us a working Health Care system that works for everyone, not just the wealthy upper class elitist right wing republican Clinton haters and not the big business medical and pharmaceutical monopoly special interest block. If McKnight had been given access to the Health Care she needed, she might have been able to legally terminate the fetus earlier, in a more progressive state, or perhaps she could have even stopped smoking crack. If Bush had used that tax cut money to help the correct the economic injustices like the one McKnight no doubt suffered from (crack is expensive!!!!) this fetus might have lived! It's a travesty. It's a miscarriage of justice. It constitutes a failure on the part of the US government to provide "equal protection" under the law. It cannot be tolerated.