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Friday, January 15, 2010

New post from Vvixen

sends CHILLS down my spine. It's about how a woman's rights were taken from her because she happened to be with child, read it here.

5 comments:

Vvixen said...

Thanks, 'Cracker! I don't understand why this story hasn't gotten more news coverage...

callmeishmael said...

Vixen's article does not quote any court or DCS document that specifically indicates the woman being confined to bed rest "for the sake of the fetus." That's only, from what the article indicated, an inference based upon seemingly what Vixen, the Cracker and other like-minded bloggers wanted to see. I might be wrong and the Florida court, state DCS and the doctor in question might well have been imposing their politics onto a patient. In those geenral terms, such imposition would not matter if the person were a man or a woman. It would be wrong period. If I am wrong in my reading of the case, however, then I stand corrected.
Still, there is more here than the denial of a woman's rights. Other than a mere reference, no mention was made about the woman's other living children. Their welfare, rather than "a woman's right to choose," is the primary issue in this case. Without more information as to the children's overall, of course, it is difficult to assess just how dire their situation remains. If they are infants or small and their mother provides for them, the DCS and the Court acted not just stupidly, but in a callous way to the extreme. Conversely, if the children were teenagers, they were theoretically capable of at least bathing and clothing themselves.
In short, two issues are paramount. We need more information about the living children's overall health and living conditions. Additionally, we need to know if the state authorities did, in fact, try to impose their politics on the woman in question. As a corollary, we also need to know if these same authorities had any legal right to do so in the state of Florida. If so, that makes the case much more problematic. I am not saying their actions are right, but with legal standing, any form of sanction becomes, I would presume, much more difficult.
I hope Vixen and the Cracker will endeavor to find and report more facts about the case. I agree that it needs discussing.

Vvixen said...

By poking around on the internets, I was able to find a link to the ACLU's Amicus brief in the case. It clearly states that the Circuit Court of Leon County cited the State's "parens patriae" authority in ordering the woman confined to the hospital. In effect, the circuit court cited legal precedent usually used to ensure that children receive medical treatment which is necessary for the preservation of
their life and health in cases where parents object to such treatment on religious or other grounds. In effect, the circuit court was equating the fetus with a "born" child who was denied medical treatment by a parent. You can read the brief here: http://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/reproductiverights/burton_v_florida_acluamicus.pdf

If you read the ABC news story about the case, you'll find that the existing children are described as "toddlers." No actual ages are given anywhere, but I think it's safe to say that they are not teenagers capable of feeding and dressing themselves. However, their welfare is not, as you say, "the primary issue in this case." The woman in question, Samantha Burton is married. Presumably her husband could provide at least some care for the children at home. However, two toddlers are a handful for any parent, and if the husband also had a full-time job, he might not have been capable of providing full-time care for them. We don't really know what their child care situation was...the point is, it is understandable that Mrs. Burton wanted to be at home to take care of her toddler children rather than remain in a hospital.

The case is not just about, as you rather dismissively say, "a woman's right to choose," (a right you may not believe that women should have). Rather, it is actually about the most fundamental of liberties--every human being's right to bodily integrity. Unless we are mentally incapacitated, we all have the right to make informed decisions about our medical care, including the right to refuse care that we don't think is in our best interest. That's a fundamental right that the Constitution guarantees all Americans...that the State of Florida has apparently decided to trample upon.

callmeishmael said...

First of all, if you want to enter into a rhetorical contest about "dismissiveness," I will happily oblige. Using the word "interests" in reference to my questions suggests that you must think me some sort of Bush-loving fool. For your information, I voted for Al Gore, John Kerry and Barak Obama in the last three Presidential elections. I further think we will need decades of luck to recover from W's 8 years of disaster. Once again, however, anytime someone dares to disagree or raise questions about a left wing posting or issue, it is viewed as the ravings of someone who should know better and dismissed with the wave of condescending assumptions ( I can play this game too). Current liberalism," as I often express to the Cracker, is a far cry from the liberalism of Franklin Roosevelt, the Kennedy family--excepting Joe, Sr. and his antipathy toward the British even in the face of the Nazis--Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey and even Jesse Jackson, Sr. Second, while I am not by any means a legal Federalist or hold to Justice Scalia's originalist perspective, I think it still fair to ask where exactly in the Constitution is there granted an express right to privacy. I am not suggesting I don't think one can make an argument for such a case, but to trot out the old NOW or ACLU line about "a fundamental Constitutional right" without even bothering to cite the legal background of either Roe v. Wade or its precursor Griswold v. Connecticut I find simply a reliance on cliches instead of argument (I'm not a lawyer either, but have read biographies of Earl Warren and Hugo Black, so I at least remember the manes of those relevant cases). How does "due process of law" guarantee privacy in the sense you mean it? How does it apply to this case? How are you not simply drawing conclusions from the circumstances involved that the Florida officials are imposing their politics or perhaps religion onto the woman's "fundamental right to choose?" You still have not answered my basic inquiry. Namely, do you have evidence that such is, in fact, what these officials are doing? You appear willing to convict them by inference to Terry Schiavo perhaps (a clear abomination of legal rights on the part of her parents, the religious idiots willing to use her case for their own benefit and the hollow-core politicians throughout the country [including Bill Nelson] who weighed the politics rather than doing the right thing) or what you perceive them to be either politically or religiously.
I am glad there is a husband to potentially care for the toddler-aged children. If he does work full-time (still more information needed), he indeed will have difficulty in tending to his children, caring for his wife and making a living. If the ACLU or any Florida blogger really wants to help secure the "fundamental Constitutional rights" of this woman, maybe they can start by helping lower her stress level by arranging for help with child care so that her husband can bring home his paycheck in order that his children can continue to be fed. THAT would be a genuine expression of liberalism and, much more importantly, basic human decency.

nicky said...

wonderful ..................................................