The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

8 January 2005

Womb patrol

Five years ago, I proposed a Federal Department of Pregnancy to deal with the thorny question of abortion. One paragraph began this way:

Upon pregnancy certification, a woman would be required to post $20,000 bond with the local Department office. (In the case of multiple births, the bond would be increased accordingly, once it is determined that twins — or more — have been conceived.) This bond is subject to forfeiture if she miscarries, or if, in the judgment of the Department, she has not exerted "maximum effort" to bring the pregnancy to term.

This was, I hasten to add, intended as satire. On the other hand, this isn't:

When a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman's responsibility to report the death to the law-enforcement agency in the jurisdiction of which the delivery occurs within 12 hours after the delivery. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

"Sorry, honey, no time to mourn. You have to report this to the police."

At least there's no law requiring her to report the pregnancy. Yet.

(Swiped from Democracy for Virginia.)

Posted at 9:09 AM to Political Science Fiction


I don't know the intent of the Virginia legislature, but my guess this is aimed at the 'dead baby in the trash' problem. There's been a case of that here recently, and apparently because the baby was left in the trash for several days before discovery, it's impossible to determine whether or not the baby was a natural miscarriage or was born alive (albeit early) & then murdered.

Posted by: rita at 9:33 AM on 8 January 2005

It might be profitable to know whether this Cosgrove character actually has any influence among his colleagues on notions like this.

Posted by: McGehee at 11:44 AM on 8 January 2005

Kneejerk responses almost never work as intended.

Posted by: unimpressed at 2:26 PM on 8 January 2005

Well, per Cosgrove's current statement, he was indeed attempting to go after the baby-in-the-Dumpster problem; he just did so rather ineptly.

Posted by: CGHill at 6:32 AM on 11 January 2005