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FF Sparks (Casual)

[Politics] Virginia Residents Take Note

I know a few others have already mentioned this, but Mindy Klasky sent a letter to folks, and has given us permission to repost it anywhere that it might make a difference.

As many of you know, I am not a political creature. I do not spend a lot of my time tracking legislation or otherwise following the events in Richmond. Nevertheless, a bill has been brought before the Virginia House of Delegates which endangers the privacy rights of every woman in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Virginia House Bill 1677 requires a woman to report any miscarriage to local law enforcement within twelve hours of experiencing that unfortunate event. The bill does not distinguish between early and late miscarriages. Failure to report is a class one misdemeanor (the same category of crime as statutory rape, arson, and stalking), with penalties of up to one year in prison and a fine of $2500. (Please note that the bill does not address *abortion*; it merely addresses miscarriage.)

You can read more about the bill here:

http://democracyforvirginia.typepad.com/democracy_for_virginia/2005/01/legislative_sen.html

If you live in Virginia, and if you are as appalled as I am, I urge you to respond today, contacting Delegate Cosgrove, your local delegates, and all Virginia residents who should oppose such a stunning invasion of our privacy.

Mindy

Comments

PZ Meyers puts it well: "Failure to carry a fetus to term, for whatever reason, is a crime, and must be reported to the appropriate authorities within 12 hours, or you can be sent to jail for up to a year or fined $2500. You may be crying your eyes out at an unwanted miscarriage, but you will pick your butt up and turn yourself in to the police immediately. You are a bad person."

Relying upon the law not to prosecute out of mercy is a bad idea. *shrug* The fact remains that laws such as these do more often than not get applied in the most ridiculous ways possible, especially when it's an election year or someone wants to 'make a point'.

Don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be the woman who gets made an example of. Heck, there are times when you do not /realize/ that you've had a miscarriage until more than 12 hours have passed; and such laws usually have or gain riders which require doctors to notify legal enforcement if/when they find out. So if you weren't feeling well yesterday and don't get to the doctor til tomorrow and that's when you find out, congratulations, you broke the law - and the doctor is legally bound to report it.

There are other aspects of this which irk me, but it's just not something I'm going to go on about.