I understand that the spirit of the law is to protect women and their unborn children from intentional harm by mothers attempting to induce a miscarriage, but the line is so fine that even mothers like me could potentially be prosecuted if the law is passed. Mothers who don't know why their bodies betrayed them, mothers who don't sleep for months trying to understand what happened.
I have faith that the lawmakers attempting to pass this law don't have malicious intentions toward moms who desperately want the children they were powerless to keep. I understand that this action is in response to incidents such as the one in which a mother paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. But I still can't help but view it as misguided and heartless.
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I'm a pro-life advocate and a resident of Georgia, but this bill makes me sick to both my stomach and my heart. Many of its critics sneer that pro-lifers are probably rejoicing at its existence, but when I read the reports, I wasn't thinking about how this law could be a step toward making abortions illegal. I wasn't even thinking about the lives that the politicians are probably thinking they can save.
I was thinking of myself, curled up in my bed, apologizing to a child I'd never met because somehow I wasn't able to give her life. I was thinking of how, despite the assurances of medical professionals and loved ones that it wasn't my fault, I had convicted myself of the crime of failing my unborn child. How Couples Cope With Infertility
And then I imagined that if the government was telling me that the miscarriage was, in fact, my fault, my feelings of guilt were justified and punishable by law.
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While I'm certain that a bill this ridiculous will never pass, its mere existence is cruel, especially to women like me who will never fully forgive themselves for the miscarriage they were powerless to prevent. If an expectant mother violently causes the end of the life inside of her, I do consider it murder. But if somehow, through mistakes in maintaining her health, or for a biological reason she'll never understand, she loses her child anyway, I guarantee that you don't need a law or the government to punish her. She'll punish herself enough.