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Moms Vent: Georgia Bill that Criminalizes Miscarriages

A local mother is fuming that Northeast Cobb resident and State Rep. Bobby Franklin has presented a bill to the legislature that would cause unexplained miscarriages to undergo criminal investigation.

As a woman and mother who has suffered a miscarriage, I am outraged to learn that Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) has presented the legislature with the bill HB 1: "Prenatal murder" which makes it a crime for the female human body to end a pregnancy, if an investigation team cannot determine a cause for the pregnancy termination.

In other words, if you suffer a miscarriage and can't "prove" what the cause was (which is usually the case!), then you can be prosecuted for murder.

See the pdf file attached to this article to read Franklin's complete bill.

The bill further states that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can't tell how it happened, the police can question family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances how it happened. Oh, and no exceptions - not even for rape or incest victims! And not to save the life and health of the mother.

I once read that one in three pregnancies results in miscarriage. I miscarried once. I grieved for months. I blamed myself, wondering if I did something wrong to cause it. Women have enough to cope with after a miscarriage, and a police or government criminal investigation should not be part of it.

I'd like to know how other women and parents feel about a bill that would treat every woman as a potential criminal when faced with the devastating loss caused by a miscarriage.

Ann H.

You can reply to Ann H. in the Comment Box below.

Click here for Bobby Franklin's Georgia House of Representatives contact information page.

Click here to visit Bobby Franklin's Facebook Page.

Christine March 07, 2011 at 04:26 PM
You hit the nail on the head Ann. I had a miscarriage 3 months ago and I am just stating to feel "normal" again. We as women have more than ENOUGH to deal with when having a miscarriage. Having some criminalize us and enforce investigations for a "cause" is so insulting, disrespectful and intrusive. While we are grieving we would also have to deal with the pain of govt blaming us for MURDER, over a child we obviously lost in a painful, yet natural and common circumstance. Unbelieveble how people like this are who we put in charge of making laws over our lives. Makes me want to move far, far away. I wonder if he would feel the same if his wife or daughter had a miscarriage??? It's not murder asshole, I would've gladly exchanged my life if it meant my baby could have lived. I've been told by every doctor, women, family & friend that it was NOT my fault, there's nothing we could've done to prevent it and it happens to 1 in FOUR women. I don't need some douchebag like this telling me it was my fault and not I am going to be punished for it. God forgive him for the wrath he is going to feel from women everywhere.
Kate MacGregor July 26, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Mrs. Harris, as someone who has experienced four devastating late-first-trimester miscarriages as well as two very early losses, I can empathize with you on the loss of your precious baby. But, you are completely off-base in your assessment of H.B.1 and have fallen for ludicrous neo-con and liberal propaganda. Apparently, you failed to read this portion of the bill: " 'Prenatal murder' means the *intentional* removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder. Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a 'spontaneous abortion' and popularly as a 'miscarriage' so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event." This bill is one of Bobby Franklin's greatest legacies and I support it 100%. I only wish he were still alive to continue fighting the pro-life fight.
lisa56 July 27, 2011 at 12:05 AM
May he rest in peace. No matter his political beliefs.
Julia Harris July 27, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Whether we agree or disagree on his bills, he was a passionate man dedicated to the state of Georgia and his beliefs. May he rest in peace.
Julia Harris July 29, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Please note - this 'Neighbor's Vent' article was written by Northeast Cobb resident Ann H. Her signature is at the bottom of the article. My name appears on the column because I created the 'Neighbor's Vent' column.

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