Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
Mississippi's state Supreme Court is currently considering a case that could lead to women being prosecuted for manslaughter if they miscarry or otherwise experience unintentional pregnancy loss, according to a report from Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones.
In 2009, two months after Nina Buckhalter's pregnancy ended in stillbirth, a Mississippi grand jury indicted her for manslaughter, citing her use of methamphetamine while pregnant as "culpable negligence." Buckhalter's attorneys challenged the charge; the Supreme Court hearing began in April and a ruling is expected soon.
Buckhalter's lawyers, as well as reproductive health advocates in Mississippi and across the country, contend that the charges, in addition to criminalizing countless women, could deter women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction during pregnancy from seeking prenatal care or treatment for substance abuse for fear of being prosecuted and create barriers to safe abortion care.
Sheppard goes on to report: