January 07, 2005

HB1677: Urgent

Delegate Cosgrove of Virginia is attempting to get a truly horrific bill passed in the Virginia legislature. This bill would require a woman to notify the police within 12 hours of having a miscarriage. She would have to tell them the sex of the fetus and its weight. Is she supposed to miscarry onto a scale? Please go to this website, which is far more eloquent than I am, and read about this horrendous bill. It doesn't matter whether you think abortion should be legal or not--this is about being able to suffer one of the most horrible tragedies that can happen to parent in private. Miscarriage is not a crime. If you live in Virginia, write to Del. Cosgrove at Del_Cosgrove@house.state.va.us and tell him you oppose it. I sent him the following (I took much of the text from the link above); you are welcome to use any of it:

Dear Delegate Cosgrove,
I am writing to protest your introduction of HB1677, "Report of Fetal Death by Mother." This bill is a horrific intrusion into one of the most painful, private experiences a woman can have. I read your response to a commenter on DailyKos: "This bill...is an attempt to reduce the number of "trashcan" babies that are born and then abandoned." However, Virginia already has standard safe haven laws, and your bill refers to babies at any stage of development and even requires that the mother notify the police of the fetus's weight and sex. Is a man supposed to scoop the blood clots remaining from his 7-week-old fetus out of the toilet while his wife is struggling with her pain and put them on a kitchen scale so he can tell the police about them? Must the parents have DNA testing done on the clots to establish the sex of these "products of conception"? Baby abandonment is a terrible thing, and I understand your desire to prevent it from happening, but this bill is not the right way to go about it. Making nonreporting to police a Class 1 misdemeanor makes it equable with arson, making bomb threats, and stalking. Having a miscarriage is not a crime--it is an agonizing, terrible experience. Please allow parents to come to grips with their grief and loss in private. Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shhh, you know me. I live nearby and my ex lives even closer to you. I'm incognito.

I wrote Cosgrove today, as well as my present and old house's Delegate and my present and old house's Senator.

I actually heard back from my current Delegate. He said he wasn't familiar with the bill, but it didn't sound right and he'd be checking into it.

Democracy in action.