Gender, Law

It seems that expectant mothers who wish to carry their pregnancies to term are the ones most likely to be harmed by the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA):

Paradoxically, the UVVA does not make it a federal crime to attack pregnant women, and its sponsors explicitly rejected proposals to protect the woman herself under federal law. And yet homicide is the number-one killer of pregnant women. It has long been known that violence against women increases during pregnancy. There is no data, however, to support the view that this violence is motivated by a particular hostility toward fetuses who must therefore be given protection separate from that afforded to the expectant mother.

Equally disturbing is the fact that UVVA is being used to prosecute alcohol or drug addicted women who don’t abort their fetus:

In America, we do not punish people for being sick. And courts generally do not permit the arrest of someone merely because they suffer the disease of alcoholism or other drug dependency. Nevertheless, relying on the argument that the fetus is an independent victim, hundreds of women nationwide have been arrested for continuing their pregnancies to term in spite of a drug or alcohol problem that for anyone else would be treated as a health problem. Underlying these arrests is the belief that being addicted to drugs or having another health problem during pregnancy is no different from a man shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the head.

(Emphasis added.)