Outrage as Oklahoma woman convicted of manslaughter of miscarriage – .

Outrage as Oklahoma woman convicted of manslaughter of miscarriage – .

The conviction of an Oklahoma woman of third degree manslaughter for a miscarriage she suffered has sparked outrage among rights groups.
Indigenous woman Brittney Poolaw was sentenced to four years in state prison by Comanche County Court this month for a miscarriage she suffered last year. A notice of intention to appeal was filed by his lawyer last week.

The prosecution alleged that Poolaw, 21, was using methamphetamine – a nervous system stimulant often used as a recreational drug – and that it was one of the many “contributing conditions” to the miscarriage. An autopsy confirmed the presence of methamphetamine in the fetus.

However, the National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) said in a statement that there was no evidence that her use of methamphetamine caused the miscarriage. They added that state laws on murder and manslaughter do not apply to those who experience miscarriages before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“And, even when applied to subsequent losses, Oklahoma law prohibits prosecuting the mother of an unborn child unless she committed a crime that caused the death of the child. unborn child, ”the statement added.

“Ms. Poolaw’s case is a tragedy,” NAPW said. “She suffered the trauma of the loss of pregnancy, was jailed for a year and a half during a pandemic, and was charged and convicted of a crime without legal or scientific basis.”

“This lawsuit was brought against someone who suffered a miscarriage before the fetus was considered viable,” said Lynn Paltrow, executive director of NAPW. Associated press as told.

“In that case, not only do you have a miscarriage rather than a stillbirth early in the pregnancy, but the medical examiner’s report doesn’t even claim that methamphetamine was the cause.” “

Poolaw, who miscarried at her home and then referred to a local hospital, was 15 to 17 weeks pregnant, according to medical records. However, she has already spent 18 months in jail since her arrest, with the court setting a $ 20,000 bond that she could not afford.

According to New York Times, Poolaw told the detective in his statement that “when she found out she was pregnant, she didn’t know if she wanted the baby or not. She said she didn’t know how or where to have an abortion.

The case sparked outrage on social media, with people calling it “dystopian.”

Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Presley wrote: “Families dealing with pregnancy and infant loss need care and support, not stigma.

“This dystopian future that everyone warns about is already here”, author Jessica Valenti noted.

“The state has come after Poolaw for using drugs – although there is no evidence that this is why her pregnancy ended. Criminalizing behavior during pregnancy is a slippery slope: what’s next, stopping women who do not have prenatal pregnancies? Or who has a glass of wine?

“Brittney Poolaw deserves the healing of this trauma, * not * a punishment,” user Karrie Higgins wrote.

“October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Brittney Poolaw faces 4 years in prison for something that occurs in 1 in 4 pregnancies,” wrote Nicole Marna.

Cases against women for losing their pregnancies have become increasingly common in the United States in recent years, according to NAPW. According to Dana Sussman, deputy executive director of NAPW, 1,250 criminal cases were filed against women for pregnancy loss between 2006 and 2015, a number three times higher than the data from 1973 to 2005.

“So we’re looking at three times as many cases in less than half the time period as this first study,” said Ms. Sussman. “It’s a lot more common than I think most people would believe or understand. “

Although there is no law banning abortion in Oklahoma, the organization said cases have been filed for “unsafe acts” or drug abuse.

“The majority of women prosecuted for pregnancy are low-income women, women who are addicted to drugs and women of color,” he said.


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