Occupy Protester Says Police Caused Her Miscarriage

At Occupy Seattle last week, a pregnant woman was among those pepper-sprayed by cops (another victim was 84 years old). Now she says she's had a miscarriage.

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According to OneAngryQueer, 19-year-old Jennifer Fox, who is homeless, has been part of Occupy Seattle from its inception. She's clear that she's not just in it for the tent space, saying, "We deserve to have a change and I felt like Occupy Seattle needed more people to participate." But when she participated in a march on November 15, she was three months pregnant. She says she was pepper-sprayed twice, kicked, and hit in the belly with a police officer's bicycle. Occupy organizers called her an ambulance, but she alleges that police wouldn't let her get in. She says, "I shouted 'I'm pregnant, I don't want to get hurt, please let me through!' They didn't cooperate."

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Fox says she found out on Sunday that she had miscarried. She believes her injuries at the protest on the 15th caused the miscarriage. She tells OneAngryQueer,

It hurts. It's upsetting. I was ready to have a kid, because my family was going to support me in taking care of the child. Her name was going to be Miracle.

Fox also told The Stranger that when doctors diagnosed her miscarriage, they said "said the damage was from the kick and that the pepper spray got to it [the fetus], too." The Seattle police have not yet commented on the incident — after the protest last week, a police spokesman said, "Pepper spray was deployed only against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behavior toward officers." Some protesters have alleged that they were sprayed while peacefully protesting on a sidewalk — it's not clear what Fox was doing when she was sprayed.

Pregnant Occupier Alleges Police Brutality Resulted In Miscarriage [OneAngryQueer]
Pregnant Woman Blasted With Pepper Spray By SPD Says She Miscarried (Updated) [The Stranger]

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DISCUSSION

I got my start on Jezebel, actually. Registered over here and slowly started reading some GawkerTV posts linked from Jezebel, then read some Gawker from time to time. I ended up starred on Gawker and so I guess that makes me a Gawkerite.

I posted today over there about my ambivalence about this. If her claims are true, the cops are totally wrong. But yeah, I DO think if she intended to carry her pregnancy to full term, she made a poor decision. That's my opinion.

According to everyone on the Gawker thread from Jezebel, that I used to read daily, that I used to identify with, I am a victim blaming misogynist.

I think she should have been allowed to make whatever decision she made. I think she should file complaints, press charges, do whatever she needs to do. I think anyone violently attacking another person is bad and wrong and at fault. But I still think, knowing nothing else of her situation, that if her aim was to have a healthy baby, she could have made wiser choices on how to express her freedom of speech.

She shouldn't have to, but life doesn't happen in a vaccum. You can't say "this shouldn't happen" and it won't. It's horrible and it's not her fault. I hate that things happened beyond her control and she had a miscarriage. I also wish she would have gotten a different outcome.

Now go ahead and tell about rape and dressing slutty and walking down the wrong street and that I want to dictate what pregnant women can and can't do.

That's when the final bits of respect I have left for internet feminism will be gone. All it seems to be now is knee-jerk name calling.