Do legislatures these days just sit around all day looking for new and more abhorrent ways of instantiating their hatred of women?
There’s one making its way through the process in Kansas that would mandate the reporting of all miscarriages.
A bill advancing in Kansas would mandate reporting for miscarriages at any stage in pregnancy, the first step along the path to criminalizing pregnant women’s bodies. Under an amendment attached to HB 2613 — which was originally intended to update the state’s procedure for issuing birth certificates for stillborn babies — doctors would be required to report all of their patients’ miscarriages to the state health department.
HB 2613 initially sought to provide an alternative to the state’s current stillbirth certificate, which some parents believe over-emphasizes their child’s death in an emotionally painful way. Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R), one of the most ardent abortion opponents in Kansas, added the miscarriage reporting requirement last week. Now, the bill’s original author is withdrawing his support from his own legislation.
Nice that it’s a woman doing the hating.
…enacting additional regulations related to the end of a pregnancy threatens to turn pregnant women into suspectsin the eyes of the law. National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) has documented hundreds of cases of women being held criminally liable for decisions they made while pregnant, particularly if they later suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. Anti-abortion advocates also tend to pressure states to increase the criminal penalties for violent acts that result in the loss of a pregnancy, an area that can open the door to potential attacks on reproductive rights.
According to Nash, HB 2613 fits into this broader approach.
“The whole point is to further the idea of the fetus as a person. It’s a way of establishing the groundwork for making abortion harder to get, and eventually illegal,” Nash [Elizabeth Nash, the states issue manager for the Guttmacher Institute] explained. “This is one tiny piece of that overall effort. At the end of the day, this is not the way to go to provide support for a woman who has had a later miscarriage. This doesn’t make up for the loss of a wanted pregnancy, and could also end up infringing on abortion rights.”
Which was the goal.