Several days ago, I blogged about Melissa Ann Rowland, a woman charged with murder for refusing to have a c-section. Here’s a few more links about Melissa Rowland and her arrest.
Body and Soul’s take seems exactly right to me:
But Kent Morgan, deputy Salt Lake County prosecutor and a spokesman for District Attorney David Yocom, said Rowland’s crime stems from the depraved indifference and utter callousness she showed toward her unborn twins.
There is indeed depraved indifference and utter callousness at the heart of this story, but it’s not Melissa Rowland’s.
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Then, a post from Annatopia, where letters are not capitalized:
this is completely a what if situation, but here goes. what if our health care system could have provided melissa with weekly visits from a midwife during her pregnancy? what if melissa could have enrolled in government funded drug rehab without the fear of going to jail or losing her children? what if that rehab stint could have been followed up by in-home visits by a therapist or case worker? what if melissa had access to an optional, free shot of depo provera every three months as part of a nationwide family planning program?
Read (as, AATS, they say) the whole thing.
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In comments, “Alas” reader Z*lda pointed me to this FindLaw commentary by Sherry Colb:
To undergo surgery to help another person – even one’s own child – is a decision currently left up to the individual in our society. Moral obligations to risk life and limb for one’s children are not enforced by the criminal law.
To select a subgroup – pregnant women – to face mandatory surgery is thus patently unfair. And in addition to embracing a double-standard, the advocate of forced C-sections must confront the wealth of data suggesting that the those who decide a C-section is necessary for a child’s wellbeing are consistently making errors that risk the lives and wellbeing of women and their babies.
If we wish to become a nation of good Samaritans, a step that this country does not appear poised to take at this time, we must make sure that the obligations of such a choice rest equally upon all of us. Otherwise, we risk subjugating a minority, and we systematically fail to assess the real-life costs and benefits of what we do.
In the interests of justice, the prosecution of Ms. Rowland should be dropped or dismissed.
Again, the whole thing, read the.
UPDATE: And a fourth comment – how did I miss this one, from Echidne?
Now change the sex of the person in question, make her name Melissa Ann Rowland, and her age 28 years, and change the circumstances into one where the mother refused a Caesarian section that might have saved her son’s life. The son died here, too. Should we accuse her of murder?