Divine Purpose sent me a heads up about the antics of a Republican legislator, John Cosgrove, of Virginia, whose bill would have required that Virginia women who miscarried and who weren’t attended by medical professionals report their miscarriages to police within 12 hours, with failure to do so constituting a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. This is what women would have had to include when reporting their miscarriages to police:
place of occurrence
usual residence of patient (mother)
full maiden name of patient
medical record number and social security number of patient
Hispanic origin, if any, and race of patient
age of patient
education of patient
sex of fetus
patient married to father
previous deliveries to patient
single or plural delivery and order of plural delivery
date of delivery
date of last normal menses and physician’s estimate of gestation
weight of fetus in grams
month of pregnancy care began (sic)
number of prenatal visits
when fetus died
congenital malformations, if any
events of labor and delivery
medical history for this pregnancy
other history for this pregnancy
obstetric procedures and method of delivery
medical certification of cause of spontaneous fetal death
signature of attending physician or medical examiner including title, address and date
method of disposal of fetus
signature and address of funeral director or hospital representative
date received by registrar
registration area and report numbers.
As Maura, who blogged extensively about this, wrote:
Remember, Virginia defines “fetal death” regardless of gestational age, and requires reporting of deaths of all “products of conception”. At early gestational age of pregnancy, how are you supposed to get some of this information? Are you supposed to find a kitchen scale and weigh the “products of conception” so you can get a report in grams?
Ultimately, Cosgrove withdrew the bill and says it will be rewritten to cover only babies which are “stillborn,” as opposed to all “fetal deaths”. In part, he withdrew the bill because of the response he received from those who had read blog posts about it.
I think it’s important to keep an eye on these guys, though, as Maura, Daily Kos, and other bloggers have. Who knows what they will try next? Thanks, Divine Purpose, for the heads up.