I know we all work on many important issues, but this one is really important, and deserves five minutes of your time and attention.
Bei Bei Shuai.
While the details of her case are super important, the reason this deserves your attention right now is that these cases set a really dangerous precedent of punishing women who fail to guarantee a healthy pregnancy outcome. (h/t to Lynn Paltrow)
Now as birth activists we know how dangerous this is, and how it can (and is) being used against women who try to refuse c-sections and other maternity related care. NO ONE can guarantee a healthy pregnancy outcome. It’s impossible. This is about fighting for autonomy in health care, and to prevent the state from criminalizing pregnant women.
Here is Bei Bei’s story:
In 2010, Bei Bei Shuai, a pregnant woman living in Indiana became so depressed that she attempted to end her own life. With help from friends who intervened, however, she survived. Although Ms. Shuai did everything she could, including undergoing cesarean surgery, to ensure that her baby survived, her newborn died shortly after birth.
Ms. Shuai was arrested for the crime of murder (defined to include viable fetuses) and feticide (defined to include ending a human pregnancy at any stage). The sentence for murder can be the death penalty or 45 years-to-life. The sentence for attempted feticide is up to 20 years. Both of these kinds of laws are promoted and supported by “pro-life” organizations.
Bei Bei’s own mental health struggles add another layer of questions of disability rights to this case.
Criminalizing pregnant women does nothing but harm. Bei Bei should not be in prison. No pregnant woman should go to prison because of the outcome of her pregnancy. Ever.
Sign this petition in support of Bei Bei. This is seriously scary shit people.