While reading blogs this morning I ran across a link from Chez Miscarriage to this site: Democracy for Virginia. In particular a link to this post.
Now, if you don’t want to follow that link, let me give you a quick summary of it. A Virginia Delegate, John Cosgrove, has introduced bill HB1677 to the Virginia House of Delegates. This bill is to make it law that a woman who miscarries, when not in the presence of her doctor, has to report the miscarriage to the police within 12 hours or face a class 1 misdemeanor.
What do you face if charged with this and found guilty: “confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2500, either or both.”
Up to a year in jail for suffering a miscarriage and not reporting it. What the holy hell is going on here?
Oh, and this is not the worst of the bill. Included in the bill is the information that will be on the form for reporting fetal death. If you have a miscarriage and report it properly, you must give all of this information:
- place of occurrence
- usual residence of patient (mother)
- full maiden name of patient
- medical record number and social security number of patient
- Hispanic origin, if any, and race of patient
- age of patient
- education of patient
- sex of fetus
- patient married to father
- previous deliveries to patient
- single or plural delivery and order of plural delivery
- date of delivery
- date of last normal menses and physician’s estimate of gestation
- weight of fetus in grams
- month of pregnancy care began (sic)
- number of prenatal visits
- when fetus died
- congenital malformations, if any
- events of labor and delivery
- medical history for this pregnancy
- other history for this pregnancy
- obstetric procedures and method of delivery
- medical certification f cause of spontaneous fetal death
- signature of attending physician or medical examiner including title, address and date signed
- method of disposal of fetus
- signature and address of funeral director or hospital representative
- date received by registrar
- registrar’s signature
- registration area and report numbers.
In other words, you lose out on any aspect of privacy during one of life’s worst moments. Not only do you have to inform the police officer who takes the report of your miscarriage, but of your past medical history, past pregnancies (and their outcomes, i.e. miscarriage, abortion, live birth, or still born.)
You know what? I am outraged. It’s not bad enough that women’s rights are being chipped away in the Commonwealth of Virginia, one at a time, now they just want to completely toss the right to privacy out the window.
And, before anyone asks, this bill means fetal death of any gestational age. If you are 4 weeks pregnant and miscarry, you will have to report the miscarriage within 12 hours or face jail time and a fine.
I beg of you, if you are a Virginia resident, write your Representative and tell them you want this bill squashed. If you know a Virginia resident, let them know about this, so they can write their representatives. You can find that information here. This is going to be a hard fought bill as Cosgrove is a Republican and Virginia has a majority of Republicans in office right now.
This isn’t an abortion issue. This is a privacy issue. Regardless of where your feelings lie about abortion, no woman should have to report a miscarriage to the police. It is a private matter between the woman, her partner, and her doctor. No one else has the right to this information. NO ONE!
If you are one of my readers who has a blog of their own, I ask you to link to this information or to the Democracy for Virginia Site. This bill must not pass if women are to retain any right to privacy in the Commonwealth of Virginia.