Friday, January 07, 2005

Old Dominion v. Sanity

It's outrage today at SueAndNotU, and we have a doozy. Virginia State Representative John Cosgrove has introduced a bill amendment to the state legislature that would make it a crime for women who have suffered a miscarriage to fail to report the miscarraige to the police within 12 hours. The police. A miscarraige. A mother-effing crime. Among other outrages, some of the information the reporting reform requires is the following: race of patient, marital status of patient, education level, reproductive history, and weight of fetus in grams. Lots and lots of info here. Ostensibly, this bill is designed to prevent abandonment or dumping of newborns, but the text of the amendment does not differentiate and clearly includes miscarraiges:
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.

If you give benefit of the doubt, this is a criminally careless bill. If Cosgrove's intent is to indeed prevent newborn abandonment, I can think of a few very simply edits that ought to clear things up really nicely.

Until then, any Virginia residents, or those who still have legal residency in Virginia, feel free to raise some hell.


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