Alabama Attempts To Take Custody Of Fetus Away From Woman To Prevent Abortion

If Alabama succeeds with this latest anti-abortion tactic, women across the country could be treated like mere incubators under state control.

In 1973, the Supreme Court found that the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution protects a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion if she so wishes.

Since then, women have been able to make choices about their own bodies and exercise their reproductive rights.

But anti-choice conservatives have slowly chipped away at those rights over the last decade to the point where getting a risky back-ally abortion is becoming more preferable than having to go through the multiple barriers Republicans have put in place to keep women from accessing their right to a legal abortion procedure.

In their desperation to turn women into nothing more than livestock designed to breed whenever and wherever a man commands, conservative lawmakers in states across the nation have proposed over a thousand pieces of legislation making it more difficult for women to exercise their constitutional rights. Republicans have extended waiting periods, forced women to undergo invasive trans-vaginal ultrasounds akin to being raped by the state, passed bills banning abortion after 20 weeks on the unscientific basis that fetuses feel pain after that point, and required women to seek counseling which is usually with a “Christian” extremist who will say anything to make a woman change their mind.

Furthermore, Republicans have attempted to criminalize miscarriages, force doctors to lie to women, and allow doctors and pharmacists to deny women abortion procedures and morning-after medication. They’ve even gone so far as to try to ban birth control of all kinds by trying to give personhood to an egg from the moment sperm fertilizes it. One Republican in Missouri even introduced a bill that would force women to seek permission from men if they want an abortion.

And now, Alabama Republicans are hoping to finally destroy women’s reproductive rights once and for all with a new tactic that takes big government to a whole new terrifying level.

If the state has its way, Alabama will take custody of a woman’s fetus and force her to give birth.

That’s right, Alabama is attempting to strip a woman’s parental rights away from her even though she had no wish to be a parent or give birth. She wanted to terminate her pregnancy but Alabama District Attorney Chris Connolly refused to allow her to exercise her rights. So, he frivolously charged her under chemical endangerment laws and an attorney was appointed to represent the fetus, which is another dirty trick passed by the GOP to prevent women from having an abortion.

The woman, known as Jane Doe in court documents, is currently in jail. So she requested transport to an abortion clinic in Huntsville to terminate her pregnancy. But Sheriff Rick Singleton denied her written request, thus denying Doe of her right to choose. The ACLU is fighting on her behalf as Doe repeatedly expressed a “strong desire” to have an abortion. But suspiciously, Doe’s court-appointed lawyer Maurice McCaney filed an affidavit with Doe’s signature saying that she no longer wants an abortion and all of a sudden wants to carry the pregnancy to term. Now, women can change their mind. It happens all the time and the right to choose means that any choice either way should be honored. But the circumstances surrounding the affidavit makes one wonder if Doe changed her mind herself or if she was forced to do so.

As it turns out, McCaney is a chancellor of Victory Christian Academy and the affidavit makes a point to note that it was filled out willingly without threat or influence. According to MSNBC,

The affidavit makes repeated mention of the phrase “unborn child” and says, “I have arrived at this decision of my own volition and choosing without any promise of present and/or future consideration and without any undue influence, duress, or threat of harm.”

Needless to say, Doe’s ACLU attorneys smell a rat.

“If this is truly her decision, it must be respected,” said ACLU legal director Randall Marshall. “However, the circumstances under which this affidavit was obtained are highly suspicious and we are in the process of trying to determine Ms. Doe’s true wishes.”

A federal judge is also determined to get to the bottom of this and has set up a private meeting with the woman to ascertain her wishes.

But this case has dangerous implications if the state is allowed to take custody of Doe’s fetus against her will. It creates a slippery slope where the state of Alabama, under complete right-wing control, could attempt to take custody of any fetus in order to prevent any woman from obtaining a legal abortion. If it can happen to woman in jail, it can happen to women on the outside. It just takes one extreme Republican who is willing to go to any length to suppress women’s rights. And as we have seen over the last decade, Republicans are willing to do anything to control women’s bodies and decisions.

Featured image: Composite via Kakprosto.Ru and Pixabay.