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Reproductive RIghts in America WTF?!

This Woman Was Placed In An Alabama Prison For A Stillbirth…A Stillbirth!

In 2008, Amanda Kimbrough experienced one of the most horrible things an expectant mother can ever face: Her son Timmy was born and then died 19 minutes later. The child had been stillborn, and the memory still haunts Amanda to this day:

“Tim Jr would be six years old [today]. And not a day goes by I don’t think of him.”

Amanda Kimbrough was incarcerated in one of the toughest prisons in Alabama due to the stillbirth of her son. How is that possible? Well, Alabama prosecuted Kimbrough under the statute of “chemical endangerment” of her fetus due to her recurring struggle with drug addiction. She was even charged with a class A felony – the equivalent of murder – and taken all the way to trial. This is thought to be the only full trial hearing of its sort anywhere in the United States.

Kimbrough’s case eventually went all the way to the Alabama Supreme Court, and in the process it set a new precedent. In essence, it says that all pregnant women may be prosecuted for any harm they might cause their fetus at any time after the moment of conception.

Fearing she would receive a harsher sentence if she took the case to trial, Kimbrough agreed to plead guilty to the charge and received a 10 year sentence. She served three years of that sentence and is now free again.

Amanda Kimbrough’s case is part of a larger trend in states across the country from Alabama to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Hundreds of women have been prosecuted –some for murder – for allegedly inflicting harm on their fetuses, even though in many of these cases their pregnancies ended with the birth of healthy babies.

Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, says that the spread of these aggressive new tactics by prosecutors has led to the effectively criminalized pregnancy in some states:

“States are saying that they know what is best for fertilized eggs, and because they know best they can tell a pregnant women that she’s a criminal and that she must do whatever her doctor – or a social worker, or law enforcement officer, or lawyer appointed to represent her fetus – says.”

This is the direct result of the “personhood” agenda being pursued by anti-choice activists and lawmakers.

Paltrow says that the impact of such a “personhood” approach has been that a system of separate and unequal laws has been created for pregnant women:

“It creates a burden on all fertile women – because once there is a fertilized egg something they did yesterday that wasn’t a crime could be a crime today. So if they are taking painkillers for a painful back, they are now guilty of a crime.”

And now Amanda Kimbrough has to live not only with the loss of her son Timmy, but also a felony conviction on her record:

“I continue to give a lot to God and just hang on. I know I made a mistake, a fatal one I have to live with every day. I just take it one day at a time. God has a reason for everything even if I don’t know.”

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

 

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

5 replies on “This Woman Was Placed In An Alabama Prison For A Stillbirth…A Stillbirth!”

How much more evidence do we need that the southern states need to be cut free from the United States, and considered a separate country? Several have expressed the desire to secede and several southern governors and attorney generals have stated that they do not have obey any federal laws or supreme court decisions that they deem immoral. Cut them loose, close down all federal facilities, withdraw all federal funds and relocate all federal employees (including members of the armed services.

I cut it all loose and moved my family to Uruguay this year. I feared for my daughter raising her in a country where having a vagina and womb made her a walking target.

Have any of you attempted to comfort a child born to an addicted Mom? This creature smoked meth while she was pregnant, her baby died because of this. She didn’t have an abortion and didn’t want to terminate her pregnancy, if she wanted to it was a legal option avialable to her. She chose to continue her pregnancy and to hell with the consequences to the other human she was forcing to do meth with her. I have no sympathy for her, as I HAVE volunteered to help care for the children who don’t die when their Mom’s decide to get wasted while pregnant. Crack babies can’t be comforted! Shame on anyone throwing this looser a pity party!

Have you ever struggled with an addiction? Addiction is a disease and requires treatment along with recovery therapy. I fully understand how difficult it is for children who were “crack babies” as I have had many of them come through my classroom over my 55 years of teaching elementary school. Referring to her as “this creature” dehumanizes her and makes it easier to condemn her for not being perfect. Charging her with murder for a still birth is extreme. Was an abortion really an option?Was it readily available in Alabama? She would have been criminalize had gotten an abortion. What was the actual cause of the still birth? Is there a medical report on that?

You have no clue what this woman’s life is or was like. Who are you to judge her? If she would have had an abortion she would have been fine. Maybe she was trying to do the right thing maybe she was trying to turn her life around and slipped up. Maybe she wanted to try and be a better person and have the baby and try to turn her life around. Try saying a prayer for her and her baby instead of calling her names and judging people. I smoke should I go to jail if I get pregnant and continue to smoke ?

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