A letter to Rep Franklin | Potential Georgia Law Could Make Miscarriages Punishable By Death

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. I MAY EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES.

I don’t pretend to be a person with legal knowledge.  What I am is a woman who has had a miscarriage.  Of a baby.  That we will never, ever understand.  We have no reason.  No explanation.  Just the fact that it happened.

And, when I found out that a Georgia Representative (Bobby Franklin) has written a bill that could potentially punish a woman with death for a miscarriage, I was  am disgusted.  Immediately.

House Bill 1* addresses a number of things including abortion, defining when life begins, and miscarriage as "prenatal murder."  I’m not here to address the first two issues.  I want to address the issue that miscarriage could be potentially defined as "prenatal murder" "unless no human involvement whatsoever is the causation."  And, nowhere in this bill does it address how causation would or would not be proved.  (I realize I’m assuming the burden of proof would be on the mother; it isn’t stated otherwise, and I can’t figure out who else it would be on).  And, so, my letter to Representative Franklin.

****

Dear Representative Franklin-

I’ve started this letter to you (in my head) in a number of ways.  From wanting to commend you for composing such a terrible bill to wanting to verbally attack you.  However, none of those choices will demand a listening and respectful ear.

Miscarriage.  Most often for unknown reason.  No definition.  No explanation.  Most typically, they even happen before a woman knows she is even pregnant.  And, if she’s unfortunate enough to go through knowing she’s pregnant and losing a baby, speaking for myself, life will never be the same.

As a woman who has had a miscarriage, I can tell you that there is no way I could ever say with 100% certainty that I didn’t "whatsoever" have any causation in it.  After all, it was my egg.  Maybe my body made a bad egg?  Maybe that one time I slept on my back, did that do something?  Or maybe it’s the Zyrtec that I took daily to prevent my allergies?  Could it have been the exercising?  And, the list goes on.

Are those reasons?  Causes?  Things that I "did" to "cause my miscarriage?"  Would that be punishable by death?

And, even if I couldn’t prove it, let’s step back a minute.  How are women going to be asked if they caused their miscarriage?  Is it going to be a questionnaire?  Is the doctor going to have a series of questions they need to ask a mother?  A woman who has just lost her baby.  Just found out that her baby is no longer alive.  The baby she had hopes and dreams for.

When do you think would be a good time to determine if a woman caused her miscarriage?

I think the first option would be right after she finds out.  Maybe right when the bleeding starts?  Or (in my case) when she is laying on the examination table with her two year old in the room and the midwife looks up and her with sorry eyes and just shakes her head "no."  Right after the midwife then looks over and she can barely hear or see her through her tear filled eyes, and instead of saying "don’t worry.  This isn’t your fault.  You did nothing wrong."  she says "so, let’s see if this is your fault."

And, if none of those sound good?  Maybe right after the woman has to check herself into the hospital after fasting because of the impending anesthesia and "surgery."  You know, while she is waiting to go back to the operating room.

If that still doesn’t strike your fancy, how about the due date?  Because I’m certain the woman won’t ever forget that date so it will be pretty convenient to schedule that well into the future.

Okay, so maybe there was some tone and snarkiness. 

But, maybe you haven’t thought about all of this.  Maybe you’ve never been in this situation.  A situation where a woman feels broken, and empty and now has to prove that "no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event." 

Modern medicine doesn’t know why most miscarriages happen and what causes them.  But now, you want to place a bill on the floor, to potentially come a law that will require women to prove that they didn’t have anything to do with their miscarriage?

I don’t get it.  So, please help me understand your logic.  Help me understand how I wouldn’t be penalized and punished for my miscarriage.  Or, help me understand why you think I should be punished (along with many other women).  Better yet, what your intention really is.

Respectfully,

Miscarried in Georgia

————-

I read the whole bill, but this is the excerpt from House Bill 1that is most upsetting to me:

*’Prenatal murder’ means the intentional removal of a fetus from a woman with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus; provided, however, that if a physician makes a medically justified effort to save the lives of both the mother and the fetus and the fetus does not survive, such action shall not be prenatal murder.  Such term does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a ‘spontaneous abortion’ and popularly as a ‘miscarriage’ so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.

Thank you to MotherJones.com for referencing the link to the House Bill.

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39 Comments

  1. I find this bill to be absolutely disgusting. I am terrified by some of the idiocy, compassionless folks out there these days.

    Your letter is so moving and I’m sure what many women would like to say to this…pardon my language…asshole.

    I’m still so sorry for your loss.

    1. I think it’s obvious that he’s never been in a situation where he had to think about this before. That is what’s upsetting.

  2. I have not words other than to say that I cannot believe this is for real. Absolutely horrific and make me sad to live in the same country as this person.

    1. It really is sad. How is there not a single person to proof read this to say, wait a second, did you think about this?

    1. I was nauseous and actually couldn’t sleep after reading it.

  3. I honestly could not believe what I just read. I think it is just absolutely wrong and downright disgusting what that man said. How could he even use the word “murder?”
    I think that his words are serious and seriously WRONG. Someone needs to put a stop to his insanity. I can’t believe this, I don’t even know where to begin…the first thing I think of is what can we do to stop him?
    So sorry you even had to read that utter nonsense.
    HUGS~

    1. I don’t know either. I’ve emailed him my letter, but surprisingly, I’ve received no response.

  4. I can’t believe this. I am in a horrified and shocked that there is even such a bill on the table. First Planned Parenthood and now this? Really people, aren’t there bigger issues to deal with like stopping the war and getting our country back on tract?

  5. Wow… absolutly horrified. And disgusted!

    1. I just can’t even understand how a man could be allowed to write this.

  6. That is absolutely outrageous. I can’t even believe that was written up as a bill.

    1. Exactly. How was there not a person that read it and said “maybe you should rework this? or scrap it all together.”

  7. I heard about this bill and thought it had to be a sick joke. I couldn’t believe it was an actual proposal and not some made up story from The Onion.
    Kudos to you for writing in, Krystyn. I’m sure its hard enough dealing with such a loss without having this pig of a person who calls himself a representative of the people trying to make a campaign on your pain. I wonder how he could be so callous and unfeeling to even think this should be a topic open for public debate and punishment. I think you did an excellent job is getting your feelings across.
    Love and prayers for you and your family.

    1. Thanks, Lex. It really is sad and disgusting. I honestly don’t understand how men can even write laws/bills about women’s bodies, etc.

  8. Good for you for writing the letter to that foolish man!!! When I had my miscarriage 9 years ago, it was only about 4 weeks after finding out that I was pregnant and probably only 2 weeks after I got over the shock of actually being pregnant, so I too had plenty of ‘it must be my fault somehow’ thoughts running in my head. My biggest one was ‘was it because I was scared about being a mom that I somehow willed the miscarriage to happen?’ Having someone questioning me to determine if there was human involvement that caused the miscarriage would have been more than I could have handled. Heck, at the time, the miscarriage itself was almost more than I could handle.

    I really hope that Mr Franklin gets blasted from others in Georgia letting him know how much of an insensitive pig he is being.

    1. That’s totally it. I’m going to always blame myself, no matter what…and having to prove that I had nothing to do? I don’t even know how I would.

      And, you are right, it’s hard enough handling the miscarriage (I was 17 weeks), then dealing with the legal issues? I don’t get it.

  9. wow, how can something like that even get into law? that is insane. you are an awesome mama for writing and standing up for so many other women out there. thinking of you, because i know that is hard to write, share with others, and painful to think about!

    1. Yes, it was/is hard, but it’s sad that it even comes to this. And sad that there are so many other moms out there in the same boat.

  10. dear mr. franklin – i mean, really, are you serious?! 😉
    krystyn – there are no words. just disgust that some close-minded individual could actually propose a law so horrific. kudos to you for taking a stand!

    1. I hope he actually gets back to me.

      It’s just appalling.

  11. Oh honey, I am so sorry. This is unbelievable, and I am so proud of you for voicing this. I hope he is immediately stopped and told what an idiot he is!!

    sending hugs!

  12. The fact that someone would even suggest such a bill leaves me absolutely speechless. You wrote a wonderful letter and I hope he takes time to read it and realize what a complete idiot he is.

    1. Here’s hoping…I still haven’t heard back from him. I’m doubting I will.

  13. beautiful letter with so much heart and truth. will be interested in the response you get.

    1. Would you believe I haven’t heard back? Not even a form letter.

  14. Thank you for writing this letter. It struck a chord with me, as a woman who has been unsuccessfully trying to have children for over 10 years. I would hate to live in a world where a miscarriage was considered a crime. It would make an already devastating situation worse. This elected official has no idea of the emotional and physical pain resulting from the loss of a pregnancy.

    1. Right. He has no idea what it’s like. And, then adding punishment to it? It’s disgusting.

  15. my dear daughter i am very proud of you voicing your opinion and letting your thoughts be known about this situation. I to think its disgusting that any represenentative from any state would consider passing any kind of bill targeting women that have been through such a traumatic situation. its a person like that who need to walk in someone elses shoes.
    I love you and will see you soon. 🙂

    1. Yep, that’s totally it. He hasn’t walked in anybody else’s shoes but his own!

  16. I don’t see this getting anywhere – especially until they define even better that natural miscarraiges (like what you sadly endured) are not associated with the bill. Even then? With the state of this country I doubt it will get very far at all. No one is going to support this rubbish.

    I am pro-life. I think abortions need to be more difficult to obtain, not outlawed entirely. And I do not think a mother that gets an abortion should be tried for murder. Even though late term abortions are stopping a life……
    But that is not what you are saying, and I realize that. But I think that trying to outlaw abortions is the point of this bill, which is why I put my 2 cents in on that subject.

    I admire you for writing this post and writing to him. It needed to happen and with outspoken voters like yourself this ridiculous bill won’t go any farther.

    1. Yes, I’m with you, I think the abortion issue is where most of this is going, and people that take a “pill” or cause harm to themselves/their baby on purpose, but the wording is so poorly executed that I don’t think the goal is accomplished.

      Sadly, I haven’t heard back, either.

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