When people talk about pregnant people, a lot of attention is given to the fetus. The fetus is inside the pregnant person. Who talks about the pregnant person? Who talks about the life of the pregnant person? The pregnant person isn’t talked about as much because there is so much worry about the fetus. This is wrong because the person carrying the fetus has a voice and deserves respect. Let’s talk about the person behind the pregnancy. This article will focus on two women who were pregnant and lost their unborn children. This time women are being convicted and jailed for supposedly provoking the loss of the unborn.

The pregnant person

Brittney Poolaw was a teenager when she became pregnant and when she had a miscarriage last year. She is currently sitting in an Oklahoma jail where she has been for more than a year and a half. Brittney had been convicted of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to four years in prison. She was convicted for miscarrying her unborn child. In other words, she is being punished for having a miscarriage even though miscarriages are fairly common. Brittney went to the hospital, where she miscarried at 17 weeks. Then, she was taken to a cell where they blamed her drug abuse for causing her miscarriage. Despite this, no one at her trial said her drug abuse caused her miscarriage. There are many confusing legal points to this case, so we’ll focus on Brittney.  

Brittney’s case is one of many cases that will be played out in court in the future. Marshae Jones was also jailed for losing her child after she was shot in the stomach in 2019. The state of Alabama blamed Jones for starting the conflict that resulted in her being shot. Their cases remind me of what happens to many pregnant women who miscarry in El Salvador. Many Salvadoran women are imprisoned for having miscarriages because they are cited as trying to cause an abortion. Abortion is illegal in El Salvador. The legal system assumes women were trying to abort when really they had just miscarried. However, abortion is legal in the US, and usually, women are not imprisoned for having miscarriages. Unfortunately, with abortion being under attack, many states will not shy away from punishing women for losing the unborn.

Miscarriage and abortion

It is no secret that many men do not know anything about pregnancies or miscarriages. When lawmakers, male judges, etc., decide that a woman caused their own miscarriage and it counts as murder, it shows their ignorance. Women cannot cause their own miscarriages. There are many reasons why miscarriages happen. Many who experience a miscarriage have to deal with the pain and loss that comes with it. For lawmakers, it is so much easier to blame women than to do listen to medical professionals. This is dangerous because it is wrong to punish pregnant people for something they have no control over. Brittney and Marshae had no control over what happened to them and especially no control over their pregnancies. Medical complications in pregnancies happen.

Many who claim to be pro-life when they are actually anti-abortion never speak out on the pregnant person’s life. If you really are pro-life, you have to care about everyone’s life. The life of the pregnant person should never be ignored. There needs to be more compassion for pregnant people. If they are in need of medical care, they have the right to seek it without fearing they will be jailed. All of this goes back to criminalizing abortion. If a person doesn’t carry out their pregnancy in full-term, they are labeled as supposedly ending the unborn’s life. Heading in this direction is already costing innocent women their lives. More cases like these are coming, and imprisoning them is not going to change anything.  

Read also:
Justice For Incarcerated Pregnant People
Remembering Dr. Bernice Saddler
Opinion: Reproductive Rights In America