In another case of anti-choice insanity sweeping the nation, Mississippian Rennie Gibbs (pictured) faces a mandatory life sentence for her miscarriage in December 2006, when she was only 15 years old. Prosecutors discovered she had a cocaine problem, so they charged her with “depraved-heart murder” using a 130-year-old statute that punishes someone for placing another human life in imminent danger of death. Of course there is no evidence that Gibbs’ cocaine habit led to her miscarriage, but evidence has never stopped Mississippi DA Forrest Allgood before.
Allgood has already sent two people to death row who were later acquitted, and tried to have the evidence destroyed in one of them. When the case was argued in front of the Mississippi Supreme Court back on May 25th, Gibbs’s lawyer Robert McDuff argued, “If it’s not a crime for a mother to intentionally end her pregnancy, how can it be a crime for her to do it unintentionally, whether by taking drugs or smoking or whatever it is.”
That one point perfectly sums up the ridiculousness of this case and its outcome could have very serious national repercussions. Imagine if a Republican is elected in 2012 and appoints another lunatic anti-choice right-winger, just as this case reaches the Supreme Court. If we are not careful in a couple years the rest of the country could be just like Mississippi, where the first question asked of a 15-year-old who miscarries isn’t “what can I do to help you through this,” but “what did you do to cause this?”