A tale of two pregnancies
Pregnant in prison
A 20-year old British woman is sitting in a Laos prison waiting for her trial. If convicted of drug smuggling, she will be sentenced to die by firing squad, according to BCC. However, the story doesn’t end there. Four months after imprisonment in August last year, she became pregnant. How this happened is not clear but British authorities were quoted as saying “Nothing that happens in that prison is voluntary.” Whether she is guilty or not is not for me to comment on. What I find so sad is the circumstances under which she has to carry her baby – in prison where she probably doesn’t have any access to prenatal care and the nutrition she needed. The trial is schedule this month and if convicted, it isn’t clear whether she will be executed before or after the baby is born.
Fined for losing her baby
This 27-year old Lebanese woman was nine months pregnant when she had a vehicular accident in Dubai that resulted in a spontaneous abortion and death of the baby. Sad for the mom, sad for the parents. Sadder still was the fact that a Dubai court decided to fine her more than US$ 5000 dollars for causing the accident that led to the loss of her baby – a verdict of “unintentional homicide”.
The fine is supposedly “blood money” to be paid to the unborn baby’s next of kin. (I really wonder who the “next of kin” is?) According to BBC, the pregnant woman braked suddenly on the highway to avoid hitting the car in front of her but her car got hit from behind instead. The court decided that she failed to keep a safe distance from the car ahead of her. Besides, pregnant women should supposedly avoid driving during the 3rd trimester to protect the unborn child.
This reminds us that different countries have different laws that may have consequences on pregnancy, miscarriage, and motherhood. Something that we should take into consideration if we live outside our home country. It reminds us that the rights of women and mothers are not always respected and that not all women in this world are as lucky are we are.