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Posted by pocochina on March 31, 2008

I’ve been pretty happy to be an all-Clinton-all-the-time blogger (BECAUSE I LOVE HER and SO SHOULD YOU) but I am going to follow her strong fucking lead and talk about a super important issue.  Via Kate at Shakesville, this horrifying story about a 14 year old child who suffered a stillbirth/miscarriage on a plane on her way home from a school field trip.  (Trigger warning on the link and the rest of the post, this story’s important but incredibly disturbing.)

She has been taken into custody, been questioned, and prosecutors are – I swear to God I am not making this up – deciding whether or not to press charges.

You read that right.

This kid goes through hell (probably because she couldn’t protect herself from pregnancy because of some bullshit abstinence-only program), alone in the bathroom of an airplane, and HAS A FUCKING INDICTMENT HANGING OVER HER HEAD?

Having a stillbirth is not a crime.  She didn’t inappropriately dispose of a corpse because a fetus is not a person.  She did nothing wrong except be a scared kid in a world that ignored her medical needs.

And how the fuck did they find this kid, you ask?  GOOD QUESTION.  That, apparently, is irrelevant.  Either the flight attendants noticed a child was in the restroom forever and didn’t make sure she was okay, only coming forward after the police tracked them down, or she was in the restroom a normal amount of time because her body quickly expelled the fetus, and they only tracked her down because some adult they contacted on the field trip suspected she was pregnant and DIDN’T DO SHIT.  Either way, this girl was failed at every turn of the way.

And our sick fucking press corps is ALL OVER THIS SHIT.  Genocide in Africa?  Yawn.  Dead Iraqi civilians?  So last year.  But give those assholes a chance to sniff this poor miserable kid’s panties and those motherfuckers are ALL OVER IT.

I read the ABC post so you don’t have to.  Some fucking highlights:

The word juvenile is in quotes.  Hey, idiot, fourteen is always a juvenile in this fucking country.  But apparently, if you can get knocked up, you magically become a grownup overnight.  HOW FUCKING CONVENIENT.

They refer to her as the “mother of the dead fetus.”  They know she is a child because they report that she’s in eighth grade.  They just want to make damned sure that you know WHAT MATTERS IS THE DEAD NOT-BABY.  NOT THIS POOR KID.

The author uses the words “fetus” and “baby” interchangeably.  WOW DOUCHEBAG.  FUCK YOU.

The FBI is ON THEIR SHIT, though, they are, and I am fucking not making this bullshit up, “trying to determine whether this was a private medical emergency or this was a crime.”  HEY ASSHOLE.  You should be doing that shit instead of talking to the idiot press, but let me break it down:  MISCARRIAGE = PRIVATE MEDICAL EMERGENCY.  Also, MEDICAL PRIVACY LAWS = REAL.  They published everything about the flight information, too, so everyone in this Houston school district that sent the eighth graders on a trip can look around and see who’s not in class tomorrow.

And they’re going to “use the passenger list” to find witnesses.  That’s right, they’re gonna go to this kid’s friends, teachers, and classmates, and ask them what happened.  They’re looking for potential eyewitnesses to something that happened in an airplane’s bathroom.  How dare they.  How fucking dare they.

Actually, no, I can think of a crime that might have occurred.  I fucking hope that on top of everything else, this child wasn’t sexually assaulted, but it’s possible.  SO GET ON THAT, YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAGS.

This framing is dangerous.  It is an outright expression of the fact that what we care about is not this poor traumatized kid, but about the fetus that could have been dead for weeks.  The fact that she’s a juvenile is in question, even though it’s not; the fact that there is no reason at all these records should ever be anything but sealed has not stopped the press from breathlessly reporting on this heartbreaking story.

This is what we mean by reproductive justice.  This child should have had the information she needed, she should have had adults she could trust, and she should not be facing the criminal justice system.  This is a travesty.

God.  This poor girl.  I hope someone is looking out for her.

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