As if mourning that abortion is no longer the law of the land wasn’t grisly enough, many in the media have spread outlandish and false claims that women will now be jailed for suffering miscarriages and stillbirths. MSNBC’s Joy Reid proudly took up the standard on Wednesday night’s episode of ReidOutShe used three exceptional cases in order to scaremonger about the situation Handmaid’s TaleAmerican women are said to have a rule that is eerily similar to the one in which they live.
Reid started by citing an article from BuzzFeed News, “Back in April, even before the toppling of Roe, a Texas woman had been charged with murder for allegedly inducing her abortion. Prosecutors later acknowledged that there was no legal basis for the charges, but the case is a cautionary tale.”
A segment following this was from The New Yorker, “Five years ago, a black mother of three from Mississippi experienced a stillbirth at roughly 36 weeks. After police discovered that she searched her phone for information about abortion, the woman was arrested. The Washington Post reports that her search history helped prosecutors charge her with, quote, “killing her infant child.””
Reid’s third and final example came from abroad, “El Salvador women are held for decades in jail for having not given birth to a child.. Like Teodora del Carmen Vasquez, who ended up spending more than ten years in prison for what she always insisted was a stillbirth.”
It’s good to know that Reid thinks the U.S. judicial system is on par with El Salvador’s in terms of protecting the rights of the defendant and ensuring a fair trial is conducted.
Reid then shifted gears to focus on how all of these unfortunate outliers will become common practice, “Americans should also be aware of such wide-ranging human rights violations in America. A radical right consumes the body’s autonomy here, and prosecution of women accused of intentionally or accidently ending a pregnancy may become a common practice..”
No state is criminalizing miscarriages or stillbirth and Reid’s false equivalence between miscarriage and procured abortion is irresponsible at best and dangerous at worst.
After mourning the closing of the last abortion mill in Mississippi, Reid turned the fearmongering up to 11, “Even worse is a woman who has been charged with stillbirth, miscarriage, or obstetrical negligence. Death. Doctors in states that have strict abortion laws may be reluctant to offer lifesaving measures to a woman who is experiencing miscarriage.. Because remember, the doctors face fears of prosecution, too.”
These doctors should not hesitate to ask for an in-induced abortion.
Reid’s argument intentionally mischaracterizes the pro-life position. Nobody in the pro-life movement nor anyone involved in passing anti-abortion laws is looking to take away women’s rights, they are simply asserting that the child in the womb is a separate body from the mother and is thus entitled to the right to life.
Spectacularly, Reid’s argument also mischaracterizes the pro-abortion position, which has morphed in recent years from “safe, legal, and rare” to “on-demand and without apology.”
Using a very small number of legal mishaps (which didn’t get far in the American legal system) to defend a practice that could rightfully be understood as child murder is disingenuous, dishonest, disgusting, and absolutely par for the course for MSNBC.
This delightful bit of disinformation was enabled by ServProAnd Nutrisystem. You can find their contact information here.
Click “Expand” to see the relevant transcript.
JOY RID: A Texas woman has been accused of murdering her unborn child. The case, which was a cautionary tale for all involved, was later retracted by the prosecutor who acknowledged there wasn’t a legal basis.
A black mother with three children from Mississippi had a stillbirth in her 36th week. Police discovered that she searched her mobile phone for information about abortion and placed her in jail. The Washington Post reports that her search history helped prosecutors charge her with, quote, “killing her infant child.”
Women in El Salvador have spent decades behind bars for failing to give birth. Teodora del Carmen Vaquez was one example of a woman who spent more than 10 years in jail for a claim that she had a stillbirth.
Americans need to confront widespread violations of human rights in America. A radical right consumes bodily autonomy and could lead to the standardization of criminal prosecutions of women accused of intentionally or accidently ending a pregnancy. The question of how soon will an American woman be charged with an abortion is something we need to seriously consider. Although this storyline is not dystopian, it’s something we hope would be.
It is now a sad day in the abortion fight in Mississippi, with the closing of the final Mississippi clinic. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization — nicknamed the pink house for its bubble gum-covered — covered — colored exterior — where protesters clashed in front of these essential, very valuable medical facility, which now serves as a symbol of what the women in Mississippi have lost, the last clinic shuttered, done.
Establishing an abortion ban that is almost total in a state without a Republican governor who believes in exceptions for the rape.
[Cuts to clip]
TATE REVEALS [On Fox News Sunday, 7/3/22]: I don’t believe an exception for rape will actually — uh, make it through the Mississippi legislature and make it to my desk. Uh — again, there’s a lot of effort, — uh, particularly in — in Washington and other places, mainly by the — the Democrats — uh, to try to talk only about the real — um, small, minor number of exceptions that may exist.
[End of clip]
REID: Wow. What’s worse, a miscarriage of stillbirth prosecution against a woman? Death.
If a woman has miscarriaged, doctors in strict states may not be able to provide lifesaving treatments. The doctors are also at risk from being charged. Activists are raising alarm over the inaction at the national level. So what can be done about it, and why it’s the governors who are on the front line. Keep following us.