August 12, 2010 / by emptywheel


Meanwhile, Womb-Bearers Get Rights Too!

While everyone has been focused on the hope that gays and lesbians may soon get the rights straight people enjoy, in Florida a court ruled that womb-bearers have some rights too, specifically to decide their own medical treatment when pregnant. From the ACLU press release:

In an important decision for the right of women to make their own medical choices, the Florida District Court of Appeal today ruled that the rights of a pregnant woman were violated when she was forced to remain hospitalized against her will after disagreeing with a hospital’s recommended treatment. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Florida filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of themselves and the American Women’s Medical Association (AMWA) supporting the woman in her case against the state.

“Women do not relinquish their right to determine their own medical care when they become pregnant,” said Diana Kasdan, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, who presented oral argument in the case along with Samantha Burton’s attorney, David Abrams of Tallahassee, Florida. “We are glad that the court has upheld the constitutional right of a pregnant woman to make her own medical decisions.”

In March 2009, the Circuit Court of Leon County ordered Burton – a mother of two suffering from pregnancy complications – to be indefinitely confined to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and forced to undergo any and all medical treatments the doctors there deemed necessary to save her fetus. The lower court order forbade her from transferring to another hospital of her own choosing. After three days of state-compelled hospitalization and a compelled cesarean section, Ms. Burton suffered a stillbirth and was released.

So if you’re a pregnant woman, you now have the radical right to choose your own doctor and have a say in your treatmetn, even if a judge thinks he knows better. Radical!!

Kind of crazy, all this rights-upholding going on. It might just lead you to believe we were in the United States or something.

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