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The American dream, interrupted

(Originally posted at RepoRepro)

Rosie Wang, Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) Summer Legal Intern

In many ways Bei Bei Shuai’s story sounds like my mom’s. Both women were raised in large Chinese cities, in households where both parents worked. Both came to the United States, following partners with promising job prospects. Both worked in Chinese restaurants while harboring plans to improve their English and get graduate degrees. It’s the story of many Chinese immigrant women, but Ms. Shuai’s narrative diverged when, at eight months pregnant, she was abandoned by her boyfriend who, it turns out, had another family.

Suffering from major depression, Ms. Shuai ingested rat poison as a suicide attempt and was rushed to the hospital by friends. She consented to all treatment to save her life and her pregnancy, but while she survived, but the baby she gave birth to died after a few days. She was charged with murder and attempted feticide while still hospitalized for an emotional breakdown and then spent 435 days in prison. She is now out on bail, but paying for a GPS-enabled ankle bracelet that will cost her $2500 until her trial.

What is wrong with this picture?

Well, what part of what Bei Bei Shuai did was criminal? Suicide is not a crime in Indiana and the law used to charge Ms. Shuai with feticide was targeted at third party attacks on pregnant women, not abortion. This particular interpretation of the law is the result ...