Woman Convicted of Manslaughter, Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Having a Miscarriage –

Brittney Poolaw is currently in Oklahoma prison for over a year. After being convicted for first-degree murder and sentenced last year to four years imprisonment, Brittney Poolaw will be spending even more time in jail.

Poolaw was a teenager when she arrived at the local hospital in May 2020 after having lost her fetus aged 17 weeks. Soon, she was transferred to a cell where she was charged with the crime. She believed that the drug abuse caused the death of her fetus.

The veracity and credibility of the claim were questioned at trial by an expert witness. prosecutionPoolaw may not have been directly responsible for the death of Poolaw, although he did testify. An autopsy concluded that the unborn child had tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine—but it also found a congenital abnormality, placental abruption, and chorioamnionitis, an infection associated with “maternal, perinatal, and long-term adverse outcomes,” including stillbirth.

Poolaw could have miscarried, but it is possible. Dana Sussman is the deputy executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. She says that no expert in the case said Poolaw’s drug use was the cause. This case is confusing on so many levels.

The most complicated aspect is the relationship between Poolaw’s criminal prosecution and current state abortion laws. This allows women to stop a pregnancy earlier than 20 weeks. Although Gov. Kevin Stitt in April signed a bill to ban abortions after detection of fetal heartbeats. But it wasn’t slated for effective until November 1. It has since been temporarily blocked and stopped by the courts. Poolaw was already pregnant when he signed the April bill.

Poolaw was not even trying to have an abortion. She suffered a miscarriage and will now face a barrage legal consequences that are unlike those faced by Oklahoma women seeking termination of their pregnancies.

Sussman states, “Last Year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court decided that criminal laws could be applied in the context child abuse and neglect to pregnant women, and thus by extension manslaughter or murder when the harm is felt as a viable baby.” (Viability usually begins at 24 weeks. Poolaw’s sentence and conviction are legal violations of the U.S. approach to such matters.

I am less interested in legal arguments than in the negative effects of making women responsible for their actions when they have a miscarriage. A pro-life approach like this isn’t my view.

It is a bad idea to take meth. Being pregnant while you’re taking meth is reckless and irresponsible. It is dangerous to put women in prison for bad choices made while pregnant.

This is not a hypothetical. Sussman says there will be many other similar cases, including Poolaw’s. Marshae Jones was an Alabama mother who lost her baby in 2019, after being shot in the stomach. According to the state, she was accused of starting the dispute, which led to Jones being shot and her baby dying. Jones may have initiated the conflict, but it doesn’t mean she should or knew that her opponent was armless or would respond with lethal force. There are reasonsElizabeth Nolan Brown was Elizabeth at the time. “Plenty of people—even sometimes pregnant women—get in altercations that don’t end with anyone shooting anyone else.”

This issue is even more puzzling. inviting harmThe state will decide where to draw the line. Drinking alcohol in certain quantities during certain parts of pregnancy is sometimes associated with increased chance of miscarriage, but where exactly the deadly threshold is remains mired in uncertainty. Should a struggling alcoholic go to prison for PerhapsWhat caused her to lose her baby? There are complex issues that people have and they can’t be solved simply by putting someone in jail for many years.

“Every single public and medical organization or association in this country [has]Sussman also condemned the use drug laws in order to prevent pregnancy.” It sends the message to them that they shouldn’t get prenatal care and that they must not tell their doctors what they want. This puts them in an extremely difficult situation to have healthy pregnancies. Poolaw arrived at the hospital by her own volition. It is less likely that Poolaw will be prosecuted in this way.

The state suggests that you can have an abortion, and then stay free. We might put you in prison for many years if you go to a hospital after or during a miscarriage. Whatever the system may be, it’s not pro-life.