Saturday, January 08, 2005

On the proposed Virginia law for reporting of miscarriages

As in the Gibson column linked earlier, this TalkLeft post mocks the proposed Virginia statute that would criminalize a woman's failure to report her miscarriage, and links to this ACS post and this post from the Virginia Young Democrats' site. The text of the bill, HB 1677, is here.

On the same topic is this Virginia Progressive post, which links to the Daily Kos version of this discussion.

The bill says, in pertinent part:

"When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman's responsibility to report the death to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of which the delivery occurs within 12 hours after the delivery. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor."

This proposal is all over the blogosphere - many posts can be found here, and some are quoting a mass e-mail from Del. Cosgrove, the sponsor of the bill. UPDATE: This post includes Del. Cosgrove's response to the young Democrats, indicating he will try to modify the bill.

Supposedly, this bill is aimed in some way at cases like this murder case from Norfolk that was recently heard before the Virginia Court of Appeals, in which there was some difficulty in proving whether the victim was born alive or dead. I don't know how a reporting requirement would have changed the behavior of the defendant in this case, who was convicted of first degree murder (and her conviction was based primarily on her own statements).

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