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Pregnant Women Who Endure Stillbirths Face Murder Charges
« on: June 30, 2011, 12:38:15 PM »
by Judy M.
June 28, 2011, 6:10 pm


Rennie Gibbs is accused of murder, but the crime she is alleged to have committed is no ordinary killing.

Rennie Gibbs became pregnant aged 15, but lost the baby in December 2006 in a stillbirth, when she was 36 weeks into the pregnancy. When prosecutors discovered that she had a cocaine habit, they charged her with the “depraved-heart murder” of her child, which carries a mandatory life sentence.  There is not an iota of evidence that drug abuse had anything to do with the baby’s death, but the prosecutors decided they knew better than Ms. Gibbs what her intent was.

This young woman now faces life in prison in Mississippi over the death of her unborn child. Yes, you read that right. I am no lawyer, but this is obviously wrong, on all possible grounds. How can going through the emotional and physical agony of a stillbirth at 36 weeks make a woman a murderer?

Punishment Instead Of Protection

But it gets worse. Gibbs may be the first woman in Mississippi to be charged with murder relating to the loss of her unborn baby, but in other states more and more prosecutions are being brought that seek to turn pregnant women into criminals.

Earlier this year, Care2′s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux wrote about the murder charges that were filed against an Indiana woman who attempted suicide in a late stage of her pregnancy.  Bei Bei Shuai ingested rat poison in December, trying to end her life because her boyfriend had abandoned her; she was taken to the hospital by friends and got help in time.  When her child was born, though, she was first put on life support but then removed when doctors determined that they could not save her.  Shuai, 34, has spent the past three months in a prison cell in Indianapolis charged with murdering her baby.


More at: http://www.care2.com/causes/2844620.html#ixzz1QiQuHDBV




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