Forced prenatal care

By Michele Nicolosi



Salon Staff
September 20, 2000 11:44PM (UTC)

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I write this as someone who has devoted a lot of time and money, even when scarce, to the protection of reproductive rights. After a great deal of consideration and disgust with the idea of anyone forcing Rebecca Corneau to receive medical treatment, I have concluded that one can be pro-choice and believe that it is appropriate for the state to intervene here.

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I think a big distinction can be drawn between a woman who has chosen to terminate a pregnancy for whatever reason and at whatever point, and a woman who has not only elected to continue a pregnancy, but who has also already killed a child through her own gross negligence. Once she has made the decision to have her child, it is not necessarily inappropriate for the state to step in and protect the fetus in a medically appropriate manner, particularly when there is a fear that yet another child could die through her gross negligence. (As I recall, her other children have been removed from her by the state because of concerns for their safety.) Roe vs. Wade actually supports this reasoning -- the fact that the state may regulate abortions in the second and third trimesters would allow the state to step in and regulate a pregnancy in its second and third trimesters. I can't wait to see how the American Life League will deal with this issue.

-- Anne Wolfson

In my opinion the Corneau case is not about fetal rights, but about religious freedom. The scientific/medical community (and their lackeys in the legal profession) will not rest until they have pigeonholed every religious person as an irrational weirdo. This is just one of a continuing series of attacks on belief by those who think they have all the answers and that those answers come from a test tube.

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Besides, it is irrational to assume that mother and child are safer in a hospital than at home. The risk of infection from caregivers who fail to wash their hands plus the possibility of overworked interns making bad decisions would seem to suggest that this is not an action taken in the best interest of the baby. It is a direct and unacceptable attack on Corneau's freedom to practice her religious beliefs.

-- James L. Desper Jr.

The slippery slope of infringing upon our basic freedoms became the common path many years ago. Every day, in every aspect of our lives, our government and our society attempt to curtail personal freedoms in the name of "the greatest good." How many stood up for the smokers, when the mobs called for their freedom? Did you? Did I? How many are willing to stand up for the rights of the parents of children that weigh too much, or the welfare mother that chooses to feed her child what others think is less than wholesome fare?

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We have not been free for a long time, it's just that the monster we've made is coming home.

-- Susan Griffin


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