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Volume 26 • Number 2

April 2012



Not Separate, but Not Equal: How Fetal Rights Deprive Women of Civil Rights

by E. M. Dadlez and William L. Andrews

Florida. 2009. Samantha Burton is confined to a hospital against her will and told that she must submit to any interventions deemed necessary, including surgery. She is not permitted to seek a second opinion. Her Constitutional rights are suspended in order to protect her unborn child. She has no representation at the hearing, although the fetus does. She is confined to a hospital room. She miscarries.

Iowa. 2010. Christine Taylor falls down a flight of stairs and goes immediately to the hospital to check on the health of her fetus. While there, she mentions to health care personnel that she considered both abortion and adoption when she first discovered she was pregnant. She is promptly arrested and charged with attempted feticide, the fall being characterized as an intentional attempt to cause a miscarriage. Charges are dropped only because Taylor is still in her second trimester.

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Public Affairs Quarterly is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.

ISSN: 2152-0542