“At no point in her pregnancy should a woman lose her civil and human rights,” assert the authors of a recent op-ed in the New York Times.
Written by Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the article takes a look at the alarming trend of civil rights infractions against pregnant women perpetrated by the crush of new anti-abortion legislation that prioritizes the rights of fetuses and embryos over the rights of women.
Across the country, in an array of circumstances such as miscarriage or stillbirth, women have been arrested, prosecuted, and coerced by the government. In one particularly egregious case, a judge forced a critically ill woman from Washington D.C. to have a C-section against her wishes, during which both the woman and her baby lost their lives.
The dramatic increase in these types of cases coincides with what the Guttmacher Institute has called a “seismic shift” in the number of states with laws hostile to abortion rights. Following the midterm election of a flood of anti-choice Republicans and the passage of Tennessee’s disturbing new anti-abortion legislation, we can only expect these numbers to rise.
It is not only women seeking abortion care who are currently under attack by the extremist anti-choice movement, write Paltrow and Flavin, “all pregnant women are at risk of losing a wide range of fundamental rights that are at the core of constitutional personhood in the United States.”