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View Diary: VA Legislative Sentry: Have a Miscarriage, Go to JAIL? (231 comments)

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  •  I'm just a dumb woman... (4.00)
    So I don't get it.
    "This bill, which was requested by the Chesapeake Police Department, is an attempt to reduce the number of "trashcan" babies that are born and then abandoned in trashcans, toilets, or elsewhere to die from exposure or worse. There are numerous examples of these tragic deaths in Virginia, many in Northern Virginia and also in Hampton Roads. Once the body of a child is found, if the death of that child is undetermined by a coroner, the person abandoning that child can only be charged with "the improper disposal of a human body".

    What does the non-viable glob of cells that my body rejects at any point in my pregnancy have to do with the number of women who dump their newborns in the dumpster.

    One is a natural, yet heartbreaking, bodily process, the other is physical act that requires some amount of cognition.

    I call bullshit on this one.

    If his concern were really about abandoned babies, he would copy the law in Colorado that allows women to leave their babies with the police or hospital with no repercussions.

    I echo the sentiments of the posters above who think that women should send in their tampons and napkins every month for scrutiny, along with a blank copy of the form designed for reportage.

    •  Virginia ALREADY has a baby abandonment law!! (4.00)
      Perhaps Mr. Cosgrove is unfamiliar with the law of Virginia:

      Virginia Safe Haven Law

      For an interesting discussion and list of safe haven laws around the country, see this web site:

    •  Me dumb too (none)
      Look, I may be a dumb woman, but I can read.  And I've read the Code of Virginia definition of "fetal death".   And it explicitly says, "product of human conception, regardless of the duration of pregnancy".  Not fetus.  Not infant.

      If Cosgrove is really concerned about abandonment of infants, he'd write a bill about that.  But he wrote a abill about "products of human conception regardless of duration of pregnancy".  Now either he's dumber than we are and hasn't read the definition of "fetal death", or he's not really concerned about the abandonment of infants.  Because it's clear to me that this bill does mandate reporting related to the (as you so eloquently say) "the non-viable glob of cells that my body rejects at any point in my pregnancy", not newborn babies.

      •  baby abandonment? (none)
        Does VA have a law allowing parents to leave their babies at fire houses, hospitals, etc., without penalty, as long as they do it within 96 hours (or something along those lines)?  That sort of law is a much better solution to infanticide than this horrendous intrusion of privacy.

        Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.

        by randym77 on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 04:48:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Virginia does have such a law (none)
          Here's a link to the law:

          In Virginia, as long as you turn over the child to a qualified caregiver (hospital or rescue squad) within the first 14 days of life, you are exempt from prosecution:

          Virginia Safe Haven Law

          I agree; we need to provide a means for desparate parents to relinquish their babies, and 44 states have done so, according to

          •  Massachusetts (none)
            Has been actively advertising the safe haven law.  Since New Year's Day, I've seen a ton of commercials, usually featuring young people, discussing the fact they can leave their baby in certain locations to be taken care of.  

            How about Rep. Cosgrove try to actually publicize Virginia's program, rather than punishing women?  Just a thought.

            Yes, I'm a proud Massachusetts Liberal, and fuck you for saying that's a bad thing.

            by MAJeff on Fri Jan 07, 2005 at 07:23:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (none)
        I posted this comment to my live journal; it's how I envision the phone conversation:

        Hello, 911.
        Hi, I would like to report a large clot.
        How large?
        I dunno, marble sized. It's in the toilet. Shall I fish it out?
        Ok, yeah, sort of marble sized. Don't see anything that remotely resembles a baby.
        You can never be too careful. We will send the police and coroner right away.
        ok. Can I put a new tampon back in?
        I wouldn't. the coroner may declare your womb a crime scene. Don't touch anything.

        ... time passes.. authorities arrive...

        So, How old was this child when it died?
        huh? This CLOT? I don't even know if I was pregnant, I just know I am supposed to call you if there is any clotty type substance in my menses.
        When was the last time you had sex?
        uh? Last weekend?
        So the child is at least a week old.
        Child? CLOT
        Did you do anything strenuous in the past week which may have led to this abortion?
        Yes, this baby was obviously murdered.

    •  Cosgrove is more full of crap than a 100-year old (none)
      outhouse.  If a baby is delivered alive and dies in a trashcan or toilet, it's negligent homicide at least.  If the child lives, the parent can be charged with abandonment, abuse and neglect.  An autopsy will show if a baby died of exposure, likewise if it never took a breath.  To pretend there are no criminal charges currently possible is a LIE.

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