Three months after a Wisconsin man reportedly laced his pregnant girlfriend's food with the abortificient RU-486, comes news that a 27-year-old Swedish man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for doing the exact same thing. The unnamed Swede reportedly attempted to make his girlfriend of eight years miscarry by grinding up abortion-inducing pills and mixing them into her yogurt. "The woman ate the yoghurt and suffered severe stomach pains and vaginal bleeding," reports CBS News (via AP). "When she later realized what she had eaten, she decided to have an abortion, fearing that the fetus had been permanently damaged by the pills." Although the story serves to underscore the reality that pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to domestic violence — expectant mothers are more likely to be victims of murder than to die of any other cause — it also raises an important issue: does the prosecution of men who attempt to induce miscarriage in women help the cause of anti-choice activists?
Some of comments following the CBS News story about the situation in Sweden seem to imply this. Says one:
I don''t understand how pro choice people can say if the fetus isn't wanted by the mother she can terminate it and it is not murder. But if a pregnant woman who wants her baby is kicked in the stomach or some other act of violence ends the life of that unborn baby...then it can be considered a murder. Well it can''t be both ways. So the law says a woman (host of the parasite) gets to decide if her child is a parasite or a baby!!?? How sick this all is...And another:
I find it interesting that he gets sentenced to 18 months in prison for trying to get rid of the fetus and she can legally get rid of the fetus by having an abortion.Dear readers (particularly those of you well-versed on reproductive rights and the law): care to answer these people?
Related: Murders Of Pregnant Women Rising [CBS News]
Murder Most Foul [Salon]
Murder: The Leading Cause Of Death For Pregnant Women [NOW]
CDC Explores Pregnancy-Homicide Link [WaPo]