Pregnant Woman Arrested for Falling Down

Thanks to RF for this appalling story:

Life can’t get much worse for Christine Taylor. Last month, after an upsetting phone conversation with her estranged husband, Ms. Taylor became light-headed and fell down a flight of stairs in her home. Paramedics rushed to the scene and ultimately declared her healthy. However, since she was pregnant with her third child at the time, Taylor thought it would be best to be seen at the local ER to make sure her fetus was unharmed.
That’s when things got really bad and really crazy. Alone, distraught, and frightened, Taylor confided in the nurse treating her that she hadn’t always been sure she’d wanted this baby, now that she was single and unemployed. She’d considered both adoption and abortion before ultimately deciding to keep the child. The nurse then summoned a doctor, who questioned her further about her thoughts on ending the pregnancy. Next thing Taylor knew, she was being arrested for attempted feticide.

12 thoughts on “Pregnant Woman Arrested for Falling Down

  1. Without wanting to sound corny, but isn’t this something that happens only in america?
    I keep getting more and more amazed at how women who get pregnant in the US seem to get turned into fetal containers, to quote Purdy. The whole notion that women can get court ordered to have bed rest (, court ordered to undergo caesarians, charged for murder when refusing caesarians ( is just completely flabbergasting to me as a Dutch person.
    Whose interests are at stake here?

  2. It’s fetus love, part of the national effort to keep women in their place.

    Throughout much of the anti-choice literature there is a chilling disregard for women’s welfare. Somewhere fairly recently we discussed – or at least mentioned – the valuing that is implied in thinking that women can easily give up nine months and take on a condition that can cause serious health problems.

  3. I suspect that most people, upon hearing or reading this story, will suspect that this woman did something wrong, not because they are anti-choice, but because, as I pointed out in another thread, the version of the authorities, the discourse of the authorities, in this case, of doctors, our most sacred authorities, is necessarily more trustworthy
    than that of someone so low on the sacred scale of power as a single and unemployed pregnant woman.

  4. I think more women than we realize contemplate ending their pregnancies and this is why it is a CHOICE. With my first child, I worried that I was too young and irresponsible. I did consider abortion and I don’t feel ashamed for thinking so. It means I did not rush into becoming a mother before I was ready. It is because we silence this conversation that establishment is able to make such ludicrous claims. These are our stories and we need to start telling them so that women don’t feel so isolated and are hopefully less subject to abuse.

  5. jj, any idea where this happened? i mean, what state? i don’t understand how ‘feticide’ can be a prosecutable offense. -right. but i am going to stop thinking about it now. so as not to explode with rage. i agree with hippocampa–this sort of thing doesn’t seem to happen in the western world outside america. add this to my ‘what the hell is going on with america these days’ list.

    renee, i think it’s a good point. with my first, i considered abortion because i was very completely disturbed by the sensation (and the notion) of having an animate creature in my abdomen. i wanted the alien out; didn’t feel like i could bear months of just sitting by while something kicked me from the inside. it was so creepy, even despite the fact that i felt certain i wanted to have a child. people get really upset when i tell them this. and i think this is damaging to women, because i bet there are other women who, like me, don’t have some charming perfect-mummy pregnancy experience, but since nobody is allowed to talk about it, women (like me, at the time) feel like failures before it’s even begun. -and then, apparently, doctors agree with them! (i am, btw, a smashing mother now!:-)

  6. ah. thanks Iga. it says

    “But under Iowa law, any person who attempts to intentionally terminate a pregnancy “with the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person” after the end of the second trimester can be accused of attempted feticide.

    Taylor said she was near the end of her second trimester at the time of her fall, but the nurse who treated her at Great River told police Taylor was in the first week of her third trimester, according to a police report.

    Assistant Des Moines County Attorney Lisa Taylor said the attempted feticide charge was dropped because Christine Taylor’s doctor confirmed she was in her second trimester.”

    right. that makes more sense. my oh my. surely physical violence is never appropriate. but if it ever *were* appropriate to slap a nurse… or better: to strip her of her nursing license. good medical care, eh? -making pregnant women afraid to be honest with their health carers. that’ll help babies.

  7. What I find particularly galling about this fetus love is that the “caring” ends as soon as the fetus is a born entity. This woman has two former fetuses of 5 and 7 years old, with no dad to care for them, and they locked mom up in jail for several days. Where is the regard for what happens to those fetuses once they survive?
    Well I don’t get this fetus fetish at all. What callousness to have so little regard for the children of this woman. What point is there in saving fetuses at the expense of the mother when there is no following up to it, no decent care when they grow up? It’s just completely incomprehensible to me.

  8. hippocampa, it doesn’t stop there. next we must breastfeed the baby even at the expense of the mother’s well-being! once they’re 5 or 7 (ie, once they’re what one could clearly take to be a person) they have to compete on equal terms to the mother. but when they’re babies or fetuses, they have a golden trump card. i find it baffling.

  9. After reading the link (which for some reason, doesn’t appear above, but did reach me as an email) and seeing what a sad mess that woman’s life is, all I can say is that there is something very very wrong in a society in which doctors and nurses, instead of responding to the woman’s distress with care and concern, denounce her to the police.

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