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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/18/19

Suggestions for amendments to any state law that forces a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term

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I worked up this resolution last May (2019), just to get my thoughts in order, but I never got around to posting it anywhere.

Then today (12/17/19) I read (where a South Carolina lawmaker, Sen. Mia McLeod, pre-filed a bill, the Pro Birth Accountability Act, to counter that state's pending bill that would ban abortions at six weeks into pregnancy.

Amazingly, her bill hits most of the points I cover in my resolution (below). But mine go a bit further, including provisions for compensation for miscarriages, income to the family for the life of the forced-birth child to age 18, and compensation for the family in the event of a maternal death.

Here's what I put together:

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Re: State anti-abortion laws that forbid or criminalize abortion before the point of viability.

Whereas, any state legislature that passes laws precluding a woman from having an abortion for any of the reasons stated below, by virtue of that legal restriction, shifts the responsibility to address all those situations from the woman and onto the state that passes the restrictive law.

Consider: Factors that women consider when deciding whether or not to continue a pregnancy frequently fall into three categories psychological, medical, and/or financial.

Psychological

Women who, for whatever mental state they find themselves in, cannot handle the care and feeding of an infant, or the changing circumstances of her body in the lead-up to the birth. These women are most at risk of jeopardizing the well-being of an infant after it is born.

Medical

Maternal mortality: More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. The CDC reported an increase in the maternal mortality ratio in the United States from 18.8 deaths per 100,000 births to 23.8 deaths per 100,000 births between 2000 and 2014, a 26.6% increase; It is estimated that 20-50% of these deaths are due to preventable causes, such as: hemorrhage, severe high blood pressure, and infection. Maternal mortality refers to the death of a woman during her pregnancy or up to a year after her pregnancy has terminated; this only includes causes related to her pregnancy and does not include accidental causes. A woman giving birth in America is now more likely to die than a woman giving birth in China.

Inadequate reproductive organs that cannot carry a pregnancy to term (such as in underdeveloped pre-teens), or in doing so would greatly damage the health of the pregnant woman.

Congenital defects that develop in the fetus that preclude a viable infant from being born, or surviving more than a short time thereafter, even with extensive medical intervention.

Financial

Adding a child to a family already stressed by poverty or other financial limitations means that everyone in the family suffers as resources are stretched to the breaking point.

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Writer and political activist Jean Hay Bright is now semi-retired, running an organic farm in Dixmont Maine with her husband David Bright. Her two political books are "Proud to be a Card-Carrying, Flag-Waving, Patriotic American Liberal (1996), (more...)
 

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