Virginia Lawmaker: Have Miscarriage, Go To Jail

Smirking Chimp > Democracy For Virginia

Imagine the following scenario.

You are at home alone at 8:00 on a Friday night.  You are 8 weeks pregnant.  You are excited about the pregnancy, but being cautious, you haven’t told anyone about it yet except your partner, your best friend, your parents, and your doctor. 

All of a sudden, you begin to experience heavy cramping.  Bleeding ensues.  You realize with shock and sadness that you are probably experiencing a miscarriage.  You leave a message with your doctor’s service.  The on-call doctor calls back, offers sympathies, and advises taking pain medication or going to the hospital if the bleeding gets worse. She offers you the next available appointment for a follow-up exam - Monday at 3PM.  You accept. You are overwhelmed with grief and surprised by the intensity of physical pain involved. You call your partner and ask him to come home from his “boys night out”, sparing him the reason over the phone.  You call your best friend.  She offers to come over immediately and make you cocoa.  You cry. 

You decide not to tell your parents yet; let them sleep through the night before delivering the terrible news.  Your partner comes home and you break the sad news to him.  He holds you on the couch and you both cry together.  Your best friend comes over with cocoa.  You cry some more.  Over the next few hours, you suffer pain, cramping, and intermittent bleeding.  Exhausted, you finally fall asleep in your partner’s arms around 4 AM.  You sleep until noon, and then gird yourself for the difficult call to your parents, who were so eagerly anticipating their first grandchild.

Guess what?  You just earned yourself up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.  Why?  Because you failed to call the cops and report your miscarriage within 12 hours.
This isn't law yet, it's the latest attack on women coming from the prolific pen of John A. Cosgrove, a Virginia state legislator.

Born in Montgomery, AL, John's a Southern Baptist. Here's the text of this proposed law (still in committee for the moment):
Report of fetal death by mother; penalty.  Provides that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman's responsibility to report the death to the proper law-enforcement agency within 12 hours of the delivery. Violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Cosgrove really gets off on these types of laws - he formerly sponsored an amendment to make the failure to report a birth without doctor's care a Class 1 misdemeanor as well.
Any woman who, without the assistance of a health care professional, gives birth after more than 24 weeks have elapsed since the beginning of her last menstrual period and who, though she is reasonably able to do so, fails to report the birth, whether a live birth or stillbirth, within 12 hours of the event, to the local sheriff, police department or fire department is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
I don't know if this is law or not - it doesn't seem to have passed.

He got a feticide bill passed last year:
Feticide. Provides that any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation kills the fetus of another is guilty of a Class 2 felony. The bill also provides that any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately and maliciously kills the fetus of another is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years. This bill is identical to SB 319.
"Del. John A. Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, the sponsor of the feticide measure, said the bill has nothing to do with abortion; he called the proposal 'a murder bill, pure and simple.'"

Isn't there something about lying in the Ten Commandments? Because once Roe v. Wade is buried at a crossroads with a stake in its heart, laws like these will be all about abortion.

The feticide bill became popular after the death of Laci Peterson and her unborn child. Can't you just see it? The Scott Peterson trial kicks off and all around the country, Republican eyes light up - "Say, we could use all this free publicity to make it harder to have abortions!"

How else do you get a rating of 100% from the Virginia Society for Human Life?

America, this is your future. You voted for it.