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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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62 Responses

  1. Jacquie Piasta
    Jacquie Piasta April 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

    This is awful! This woman needs therapy, not jail!

  2. Frowner
    Frowner April 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

    I have to wonder whether this would have happened to a white woman, particularly a white upper middle class woman. I suspect that these laws will be used far more to criminalize people of color and low-income people than anyone else.

    And that poor, poor woman. Easily one of my worst memories ever was when a friend’s baby died, and that was obviously not actually my baby. What a terrible thing.

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin April 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm |

    Some seem to care more for a fetus than a human being. I hate to tell ‘em this, but, if the circumstances are right, a fetus usually becomes a human being eventually.

    There’s a kind of romanticism of the potential here, unless of course, that potential ends up on welfare. It’s the same kind of weird logic that says that children can have Medicaid benefits, but adults can’t.

  4. Tony
    Tony April 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm |

    This isn’t about protecting fetuses, any more than using the term “unborn baby” is, or keeping Terri Schiavo on life support is, it’s about making a point. The goal of doing this sort of thing is to artificially reconstruct the norms of society.

  5. ozymandias
    ozymandias April 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm |

    How much money will you bet me that the same people who are locking her up right now would have been all “she’s suicidal! She can’t be entrusted with a child! Ableismableismableism” if the child had survived?

  6. Not.a.name
    Not.a.name April 15, 2011 at 2:38 pm |

    This story is horrible. They should not be doing this to her.

    What I wish to add to the discussion is how hard it is to talk about being suicidal. Psychs have a requirement to check in with patients, and report on that -as I understand it, response varies by state, but in the places I’ve lived, you can be involuntarily confined, and this is a problem both for insurance and for employment. Those who see shrinks know this, and lie.

    That does not help.

  7. Rach
    Rach April 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm |

    Not even considering the very real concerns Jill addresses on how cases like this will have a chillling effect on pregnant women seeking help for mental health problems, drug addictions, self injury or eating disorders (all of which could potentially endanger a fetus and the woman), this is just so heartbreaking and horrifying on so many levels. Such blatant ableism, sexism and disrespect for human life and struggle. What’s essentially being said here is that, “we don’t care about you, a living breathing adult (or not in some cases) human or what you’re going through, thinking, feeling because the real life issues you face and will face are trumped by as yet non-thinking, non-feeling fetus that may or may not ever become a born alive human anyway.” How utterly reprehensible.

    Is this really the message that anyone wants to send to women, women with mental health issues and women who contemplate or consider suicide? Does society really want to say, “if you’re a pregnant woman with depression or mental health issues you better make damn sure your suicide attempt is successful, because your issues, problems and cries for help put you in the same class as terrorists, rapists and murders?” Because that’s exactly what this says.

    I don’t understand this on any level. Not as a woman, not as a human being, not as a religious person, not even from a pro family standpoint. I can’t see this as anything but sick and cruel and another way to be an ableist, sexist, better than thou asshole.

  8. Rach
    Rach April 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm |

    Rach: a living breathing adult (or not in some cases) human

    *(or not adult in some cases)

    Rach:
    your issues, problems and cries for help put you in the same class as terrorists, rapists and murders?” Because that’s exactly what this says.

    *murderers.

    Clearly I was too upset to type.

  9. Bagelsan
    Bagelsan April 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm |

    That is disgusting. I just skimmed the post at first, and seeing the woman’s name I initially thought “wow, China’s human rights record is terrib — OH WAIT. ‘Indianapolis.’ GAAAH.”

    Good fucking job, America, land of the free, where women are already equal and we don’t need feminism anymore. I mistook something you did for an extreme example of China-style fuckery. Proud moment. *slow clap*

  10. Kristen J.
    Kristen J. April 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm |

    Because obviously the best solution is to make suicidal people fear arrest rather than make help available for people who are contemplating suicide.

  11. Natalia
    Natalia April 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm |

    Because obviously the best solution is to make suicidal people fear arrest rather than make help available for people who are contemplating suicide.

    But of course. Just like the best solution is to make drug addicts fear arrest rather than make help available for them. Everyone knows that these things always work out So Well!

  12. Reuben
    Reuben April 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    Sorry, question from the moron gallery – ableism?

  13. theSL
    theSL April 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm |

    Murder seems like a stretch–this requires intent to kill. This was just reckless. Reckless killings are generally classified as unintentional homicides/manslaughter. As you point out, it is not a whole lot different from other laws already on the books. What is sad about it, is the increasing trend towards criminalization of abherrant behavior. This is a sad story, not a criminal one.

  14. William
    William April 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |

    How much money will you bet me that the same people who are locking her up right now would have been all “she’s suicidal! She can’t be entrusted with a child! Ableismableismableism” if the child had survived?

    Of course. I mean, she’s just here to incubate the thing. Theres some nice, rich, white, Republican family out in the suburbs who could really use it. Right?

    /vomit

  15. Amy
    Amy April 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm |

    If her suicide attempt had actually led to her death, she couldn’t have been prosecuted. So her crime here is not being good enough at killing herself? Her crime is telling someone about her suicide attempt so that they could get her medical treatment in time to save her life? So if you’re pregnant and depressed, better make sure you choose a reliably lethal suicide method? That’s a great precedent to set, Indiana.

  16. Nahida
    Nahida April 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |

    I have nothing to say to this. I actually cried, and I can’t find any words.

  17. Jadey
    Jadey April 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm |

    Reuben:
    Sorry, question from the moron gallery – ableism?

    If you mean, “What is ableism?”, it is marginalization based on one’s ability status (e.g., physical and cognitive impairments, mental health disorders, some forms of neuro-atypicality). It is highly Google-able as well.

    One manifestation of “ableism” is argued to be the casual use of derogatory terms for people with disabilities (PWD), including “moron”. Not all PWD agree that this is ableist (there was a big debate about this in a recent Feministe thread), but unless you are a PWD claiming back a specific word in reference to yourself (i.e., a person with a mobility impairment reclaiming the word “gimp”), it’s best to avoid.

    If you mean, “What in this particular story is ableist?”, a woman was incarcerated as a consequence of her mental health condition.

  18. Clarissa
    Clarissa April 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    Shuai is being punished and persecuted for being a woman. It’s as simple as that.

    A horrifying story.

  19. Miku
    Miku April 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm |

    Be advised! Depressed minorities at large! All citizens are asked to refrain from panicking! Your friendly Neighbourhood Protection Squad is handling the situation accordingly! Again, we ask you not to panic!

  20. Lauren
    Lauren April 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm |

    Hi, pregnant Indiana resident here. *waves*

    I want to point out that this is taking place among a particular atmosphere, one in which the current Indiana state legislature maintains a serious hard-on for all things woman-punishing and anti-abortion. If you take a look at the items that were on the books for the state in the last few months, many of them are directly tied to classic anti-abortion, anti-woman legal tactics that have been tested elsewhere first, from laws like refusing rape/incest exceptions because “women lie” (a quote from the statehouse floor within the last two weeks) to forcing doctors to tell women that getting an abortion will raise her breast cancer risk and cause infertility (which we have known for years is just scientifically not true). The local atmosphere is rabidly seeking women to make examples of, and this woman has found herself on top of an effigy of local officials dying to peg someone for feticide or something like it. She makes a perfect target for because she is part of a small immigrant community that doesn’t command much political power on the local scene, if at all, and because the wider communities are xenophobic and suspicious of outsiders and are highly unlikely to raise an eyebrow at the violations of her rights.

    I have no idea what to do about this, but it seems like the local orgs are paralyzed with fear because of the anti-anything-liberal atmosphere or whether they’re unable to imagine doing more than tsking and shrugging their shoulders at the poor woman’s misfortune.

    And we have to remember, too, that as gross as this is, it isn’t all that fucking uncommon. We regularly jail women who have the audacity to fuck-while-depressed, -addicted, -immigrant, -ill, etc etc etc. As a society we MUST recognize that pregnancy is compulsory for the majority of sexually active heterosexuals UNLESS we give them options to delay live births until it’s socially feasible for them to care for real, live, not-hypethetical children. As feminists we also need to be extremely wary of drive-by parenting. Stepping outside of the social norms while pregnant puts you at risk of strong social pushback — forget rat poison, try to do something as “controversial” as have a glass of wine (OR COFFEE) in public when pregnant — and the more we accept the state’s interference in pregnant women’s privacy the more willing we are as a nation to criminalize socially inconvenient behavior among birthing women. And on and on and on.

  21. Kathleen
    Kathleen April 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm |

    Is there a way to contact this guy Rimstidt? I just think a lot of these conservative officials never get any push-back, they live in a teeny mean spirited world in which this kind of thing is only praised. Getting a bunch of messages — polite but forceful — that say, hey, this is heartless — I don’t know, I think shining some bright light on his mean dreary little corner of the universe is worth something. Does anyone know how one might do so?

  22. Lauren
    Lauren April 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    It would be super awesome if you chalked my typos up to passionate rage.

  23. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe April 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm |

    The only way this could possibly be justified is if they were using it to force the woman into therapy. I can’t believe they would want to just throw her in jail.

  24. William
    William April 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm |

    The only way this could possibly be justified is if they were using it to force the woman into therapy.

    Even then it would be unjustifiable. The legal system exists to punish people who hurt other people, not to force some people into the kinds of relationships some other people would like to see them in. Aside from mandated treatment being questionable from a functional perspective, its pretty fucked up to even consider the kinds of ableism that would inevitably be involved in any kind of attempt to threaten someone with jail time for refusing treatment. Its ugly when we do it to schizophrenics, its ugly when we do it to drug addicts, it would be just as ugly if we did it to people who have attempted suicide. I’d take a patient like that on principle and falsify documents just to get them out of that kind of situation and I’d consider it my ethical duty as a professional.

  25. wl
    wl April 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    William: Even then it would be unjustifiable. The legal system exists to punish people who hurt other people, not to force some people into the kinds of relationships some other people would like to see them in. Aside from mandated treatment being questionable from a functional perspective, its pretty fucked up to even consider the kinds of ableism that would inevitably be involved in any kind of attempt to threaten someone with jail time for refusing treatment. Its ugly when we do it to schizophrenics, its ugly when we do it to drug addicts, it would be just as ugly if we did it to people who have attempted suicide. I’d take a patient like that on principle and falsify documents just to get them out of that kind of situation and I’d consider it my ethical duty as a professional.

    We DO do it to people who have attempted suicide. I was in a psych ward with a guy who was court-mandated to get electroshock therapy after he attempted suicide. It was really fucked up.

  26. wl
    wl April 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm |

    St. Vincents. Ding-dong the witch is dead.

  27. rkel
    rkel April 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |

    What a disgusting lack of compassion for what this woman went through. What kind of barbarism is this where after all she went through she is charged, exposed to the brutality of public shaming and threatend with jail time.

    Barbarism. Thats all it is. The US NEEDS name-supression for people like this, so that if this kind of shit happens, at the very least they aren’t exposed to a poisonous public.

  28. Caity
    Caity April 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

    That poor woman :(

    Instead of treating her with compassion and getting her some help and support for what she’s just gone through, she’s jailed for her ordeal. This is not the story of a murderer.

  29. Caity
    Caity April 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm |

    That poor woman :(

    Instead of treating her with compassion and getting her some help and support for what she’s just gone through, she’s jailed for her ordeal. This is not the story of a murderer.

    Besides, doesn’t murder require intent to kill? This act was not aimed at the baby she held in her arms as it died. It was aimed at herself. At worst this could only be considered some sort of negligence or manslaughter, or am I just confused?

  30. Caity
    Caity April 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm |

    Oops, sorry for the kind-of doublepost. My internet did something screwy and I wasn’t sure if the first actually had posted when I rewrote it.

  31. Miss S
    Miss S April 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm |

    I have a sort of question for the legal experts:

    I remember a high profile case where a man was accused of murdering his pregnant wife. I’m almost positive he was charged for the murder of his wife, and the murder of the unborn child.

    If someone were to harm a pregnant woman, and it resulted in the death of her fetus, but not her, wouldn’t they be charged with homicide/manslaughter? I’ve always assumed this was the case, but I’m not a lawyer :) I’m trying to understand why this case is legally different from the example above.

  32. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm |

    Is there a way to contact her? Honestly, I would love to show some kind of support.

  33. Miss S
    Miss S April 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |

    In other words, if someone else poisoned her, and it resulted in the death of her fetus, wouldn’t they be held accountable?

  34. lauredhel
    lauredhel April 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm |

    Miss S: In an ideal jurisdiction, when someone injures a pregnant person so badly that the fetus is lost, that’s grievous bodily harm against the person concerned. (in the worst category of GBH, because that sort of injury is generally associated with severe damage, pain and suffering – pregnancy is a pretty robust process and not easily disrupted). It’s not murder of the fetus itself, because a fetus is not a person.

    Actual laws on this vary from place to place. Laws calling it murder are generally passed by douchebags who are working toward personhood of the fetus (and therefore complete criminalisation of abortion) inch by inch, in ways they think are more acceptable to the public.

  35. Brett K
    Brett K April 16, 2011 at 2:16 am |

    This is so awful that I don’t even know what to say. Is there some way to contribute to this woman’s legal defence fund? It’s bad enough that she’s being prosecuted at all, but it would be beyond inhuman if she actually had to go to prison.

    And I agree with William above. Forcing people into treatment may not be as bad as sending them to jail, but it’s still wrong. People considering suicide (and people with other mental illnesses) need treatment, but forcing them into that treatment is as bad as not providing it at all. The only way to help these people (people like me!) is by removing the stigma surrounding mental illness/treatment for mental illness, and making said treatment economically and socially accessible for everyone. Oh, and NOT JAILING SUICIDAL WOMEN.

  36. Natalia
    Natalia April 16, 2011 at 3:37 am |

    The only way to help these people (people like me!) is by removing the stigma surrounding mental illness/treatment for mental illness, and making said treatment economically and socially accessible for everyone.

    That’s a very important point. Decent care is simply not available to a huge chunk of the population. Decent care doesn’t always mean a favourable outcome – but it’s a starting point. The resources being used to prosecute this woman could have been used for *helping* people – and that enrages me to no end.

  37. The Legality Of Pregnant Suicides | Sinting Link

    […] woman ate rat poison to try to kill herself. She survived but lost the baby. Jill Filipovic sifts through the legal issues […]

  38. laundress
    laundress April 16, 2011 at 7:47 am |

    There is a good deal of local support for Ms. Shuai in Indianapolis; just look here, for instance:

    http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2011/04/ind_govt_though_1.html

    Those wanting to donate to her defense would do well to support the ACLU of Indiana:

    http://www.aclu-in.org/home

    which has filed an amicus brief in her case:

    http://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/state-indiana-v-bei-bei-shuai

  39. wl
    wl April 16, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    Brett K:
    And I agree with William above. Forcing people into treatment may not be as bad as sending them to jail, but it’s still wrong.

    Speak for yourself. It can be. You ever been in Gracie Square (esp. the dual-dx mental illness and substance abuse floor)?

  40. paraxeni
    paraxeni April 16, 2011 at 9:30 am |

    Gilead. Alive and well in Indy.

    Lauren – I may be getting confused with another state, but aren’t they trying to push a 20wk abortion limit based on (non-existent) foetal pain in your state? It’s preposterous, especially given that 20 weeks is pretty much the exact time when conditions that are incompatible with life are diagnosed. It’s so cruel.

  41. AK
    AK April 16, 2011 at 9:37 am |

    Not to mention if you are involuntarily incarcerated in a mental institution it can make the problems worse, because it often results in loosing your job, having your friends/family find out what’s happening, etc. Having a personal life in a chaos is not a good thing for recovery and treatment, and 3 days in a psych ward isn’t going to have more benefits. And yeah, the conditions in some of those places are terrible. My brother spent time both in jail and in a local institution and he said he’d take the jail any time. He felt safer and was treated better in jail.

    This story made me physically sick reading it. How the US treats its people in need of help is truly appalling, especially for a country that screams so much about the value of human life.

  42. AK
    AK April 16, 2011 at 9:38 am |

    That should have been “losing your job,” I apparently haven’t had enough coffee yet this morning.

  43. carrie
    carrie April 16, 2011 at 9:39 am |

    I read this article with a gaping mouth and lots of gasps. Nah-uh. Seriously scary stuff.

    Then I happened upon this article , which made light bulbs go off. It’s meta-message is how women (their vaginas and their wombs) are the means of population stabilizers and even propellers (because those little fetuses grow up to pay taxes!).

    I felt all icky after reading it and this. I need a shower.

  44. William
    William April 16, 2011 at 10:14 am |

    wl:

    We DO do it to people who have attempted suicide. I was in a psych ward with a guy who was court-mandated to get electroshock therapy after he attempted suicide. It was really fucked up.

    Court mandated treatment is a slightly different (though no less odious) thing than the threat of prison being used to force someone into therapy. They’re both really ugly but they’re slightly different kinds of coercion.

    Brett K:

    And I agree with William above. Forcing people into treatment may not be as bad as sending them to jail,

    That really depends on the kind of treatment being forced and the diagnoses involved. At least with prison you tend to have specific sentences rather than “you get out when we say you’re cured and our census numbers are low this year.”

  45. Kathleen
    Kathleen April 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |

    laundress — many thanks for those links. I kind of went all blissed out after the 2008 election, good reminder that yes, the ACLU still needs my donations and thank the stars above for its work.

  46. james
    james April 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm |

    “If someone were to harm a pregnant woman, and it resulted in the death of her fetus, but not her, wouldn’t they be charged with homicide/manslaughter? I’ve always assumed this was the case, but I’m not a lawyer :) I’m trying to understand why this case is legally different from the example above.”

    The classic answer is that if you harm a fetus and cause a woman to miscarry then it is feticide/abortion (legalised abortion obciously carves out exceptions for some abortions depending on their licensing, cause, and reason). But if you harm a fetus, the child is born alive, and then dies of the injuries then that is murder.

    Some US states have relatively recently extending murder to include the death of a viable fetus, before it is born (again, legalised abortion carves out exclusions). Generally feminists oppose this as an attempt to extend personhood/criminalise abortion. But on the other hand, there is at least a sort of tacit acceptance of the principle – there’s no feminist lobby campaigning to get wife beaters or drunk drivers freed from unjust sentences for fetal murder.

    “In other words, if someone else poisoned her, and it resulted in the death of her fetus, wouldn’t they be held accountable?”

    Fetus is completely the wrong word here, it resulted in the death of a baby who had a short and painful life. And yes, they would be held accountable. I absolutely agree we should exercise compassion when dealing with the vulnerable, but the law here is totally justifiable.

    Regarding ableism, I think most the posters here are being ableist. If people are harmed before they are born they absolutely have the right to recompense. People here are saying that if someone’s mother was responsible for their disadvantage – then tough, they’re just shit out of luck. That’s extremely ableist.

    I’m also not sure about the assumption that because someone attempts suicide then they’re mentally ill.

  47. Raja
    Raja April 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm |

    The difference between someone else intentionally harming another person’s fetus and someone taking their own life while they happened to be carrying a fetus is choice. The latter made a decision to end their life while the first was forced upon them whether they wanted it or not. And no abortion does not fall into the first category unless it was forced because otherwise the person is a making a choice of what they want to do with their body.

  48. Yonmei
    Yonmei April 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm |

    james: I absolutely agree we should exercise compassion when dealing with the vulnerable, but the law here is totally justifiable.

    So basically, you feel that when the woman’s friends convinced her to go to hospital, they shouldn’t have? She’s being prosecuted for murder because she survived suicide: this would appear to be yet another example of prolifers seriously arguing that it’s better for two to die than for one to live.

    Odd that they call themselves “prolifeers”, isn’t it?

  49. Miguel Bloomfontosis
    Miguel Bloomfontosis April 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm |

    This is why judges and prosecutors should be appointed, not elected. Terry Curry’s website (“terrycurry.com”) features a promo video with (by my count) five babies and a boast that “He led undercover sting operations that took down sexual predators.”

  50. Kyra
    Kyra April 17, 2011 at 12:32 am |

    This is kind of reminding me of a news story a few years back where local police charged an escaped suspect with theft of the handcuffs he escaped while wearing—it seemed ridiculous to me at the time because he didn’t have the option of leaving them behind.

    It’s the same principle here—being a pregnant woman, she didn’t have the option of excluding her fetus from her suicide attempt—facts of biology dragged it into danger. As such, it’s kind of disingenuous to prosecute her for neglecting/failing to do what she couldn’t do.

  51. Azalea
    Azalea April 17, 2011 at 6:54 am |

    Yonmei: james: I absolutely agree we should exercise compassion when dealing with the vulnerable, but the law here is totally justifiable.So basically, you feel that when the woman’s friends convinced her to go to hospital, they shouldn’t have? She’s being prosecuted for murder because she survived suicide: this would appear to be yet another example of prolifers seriously arguing that it’s better for two to die than for one to live.Odd that they call themselves “prolifeers”, isn’t it?

    I think the point is it was better for her not to take the rat poison in the first place. And I do agree with him, fetus is the wrong word because a fetus didnt die; a human being newborn died. Had she died pregnant (not left her home, not been coerced to the hospital, only one person would have died, the pregnant woman and one fetus would have died. But the chances of two PEOPLE dying from a pregnant’s woman suicide prior to being in labor isn’t something I think is highly likely.

  52. wl
    wl April 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm |

    Azalea: I think the point is it was better for her not to take the rat poison in the first place.

    Have you ever been suicidal?

  53. SephONE
    SephONE April 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm |

    “But on the other hand, there is at least a sort of tacit acceptance of the principle – there’s no feminist lobby campaigning to get wife beaters or drunk drivers freed from unjust sentences for fetal murder.”

    James, that’s a rather big conclusion to jump to isn’t it? Perhaps ‘those feminists’ (though I have to wonder who you’re even talking about, what ‘unjust’ sentences, you’re being /way/ too vague while also generalizing which is a bad combination..) are thinking more on the fact that ‘fetal murder’ tends to involve abusing and hurting the pregnant woman as well for the wife beaters? Are you just conveniently forgetting this? Let’s not talk about tacit acceptance if you don’t have all the facts straight.

    “I absolutely agree we should exercise compassion when dealing with the vulnerable, but the law here is totally justifiable.”

    You have done nothing to justify it or explain how it is in fact justifiable. The post that Jill made has done everything to make it clear that a law like this only leads to stripping away women’s bodily autonomy and being dehumanized into ‘the thing that has babies for us and if it doesn’t then she’ll be punished’. You’re talking of this as if it is an isolated incident, James, when it is clearly not..

  54. Sonia
    Sonia April 17, 2011 at 1:16 pm |

    From the title it appeared that the jailing was for committing suicide, which is actually a rule in many places. The jail here is for harming the fetus, a completely different charge.

  55. Azalea
    Azalea April 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm |

    wl: Have you ever been suicidal?

    No, I haven’t but she left home and plenty of other opportunities to successfully commit suicide on her way to the gas station. She hadn’t tried to kill herself again (at least the article makes no mention of it) post labor and from that I gather she has found reason to want to live again. Either way, she is still alive now by her choice (as she hasn’t killed herself) so yeah I think it would have been best had she not ATTEMPTED it in the first place. Rat poison could cause irrepairable damage to one’s organs and killed her daughter. Its great that the rat poison didn’t kill HER but its still tragic that it killed her daughter.

    wl: Have you ever been suicidal?

  56. partly_cloudy
    partly_cloudy April 17, 2011 at 3:06 pm |

    It doesn’t really matter to society if the woman herself is suicidal, or addicted to drugs, even though these things are obviously tragedies in their own right, and should be considered as such – tragedies which preexisted any pregnancy. But heaven forbid she attempt to shirk her ultimate natural domestic role as Baby Incubator(TM): All hell breaks loose. You can’t just kill yourself and stop the biological processes of your womanly Baby-Incubating Machine while there’s a fetus in there that needs to use your bodily organs! Who cares about you and your mental well-being?

  57. partly_cloudy
    partly_cloudy April 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm |

    She’s being prosecuted for murder because she survived suicide: this would appear to be yet another example of prolifers seriously arguing that it’s better for two to die than for one to live.

    Well, clearly, the woman has to die as a just and godly punishment for rejecting maternity and all the cultural myths and fictions of motherhood that come with it.

  58. Henry
    Henry April 18, 2011 at 2:09 am |

    ummm why is she being charged…she clearly has a temporary insanity denfense to the act. The only way I could see a law relating to mistreatment of a fetus being even remotely correct would be if the perpetrator did it on purpose, for the express purpose of creating, and bringing to term a damaged child. She never took the rat posion cause she was all “I want to have a poisoned baby and watch it die horribly” which is what the state is basically saying she did. As to james, recompense and criminal acts are two different things. maybe crack babies do have a civil claim against their moms, the crack dealer that got mom hooked etc. for their future care and other damages, but mom should not go to jail for something she did not intend to do.

  59. Juliet Blalack
    Juliet Blalack April 18, 2011 at 11:32 am |

    There is also a petition circulating in support of Shuai. Please sign and pass it on:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/free-bei-bei-shuai

  60. Miss S
    Miss S April 18, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

    Lauredhel-
    Thanks for the reply.
    James:
    I agree. If someone poisoned me while I was pregnant and killed my baby, I would expect that they would be held accountable. I would expect that this woman would be held accountable as well.

    I’m not convinced that she needs to be in jail, considering this was an act of self harm. I think she needs help for depression/mental distress. Depression is a serious thing.

  61. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

    @Azalea, according to this article, pesticide poisoning is the most common form of suicide in the western Pacific region at over 50% of attempts in the area. I’m not surprised that she chose this method. And given that I’m sure she wasn’t planning on surviving, I’m sure she wasn’t thinking about organ damage or her fetus.

    Azalea: Either way, she is still alive now by her choice (as she hasn’t killed herself) so yeah I think it would have been best had she not ATTEMPTED it in the first place.

    This is callous. You think because she hasn’t completed her suicide that she’s somehow less distressed than she was? That she’s getting what she had coming to her for not ingesting enough poison well in advance of the baby’s birth? What exactly were you trying to say here?

    I’m with wl. A great (and short) book that’ll give you a better insight into a suicidal mind if you haven’t experienced it yourself is Darkness Visible. I would tell you that it’s a quick read, but I definitely had to take it in pieces myself, so beware.

  62. Avida Quesada
    Avida Quesada April 19, 2011 at 5:28 am |

    This is nonsense. Even if the law allowed (and should not) the prosecutor has discretion and should not insist in this abusive, illogical act act.

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