Hillary Clinton hits out at GOP for criminalising miscarriage after lawmaker shares personal tragedy

The former Secretary of State spoke out after Georgia representative Lucy McBath shared her story in Congress

<p>Rep. Lucy McBath.  </p>

Rep. Lucy McBath.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticised Republicans in a tweet on Thursday morning for “seek[ing] to criminalize” miscarriages and stillbirths after Georgia representative Lucy McBath shared her story during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

“Please listen to @RepLucyMcBath as she speaks for so many women who have had miscarriages and stillbirths — tragic losses the right wing seeks to criminalize,” Ms Clinton tweeted.

Ms Clinton, a longtime supporter of abortion rights, spoke out after Ms McBath testifed in Congress about her experiences with miscarriage and stillbirth.

“After which failed pregnancy should I have been imprisoned?” Ms McBath said. “Would it have been after the first miscarriage, after doctors used what would be an illegal drug to abort the lost fetus? Would you have put me in jail after the second miscarriage... Or would you have put me behind bars after my stillbirth, after I was forced to carry a dead fetus for weeks, after asking God if I was ever going to be able to raise a child?

“I ask because the same medicine used to treat my failed pregnancies is the same medicine states like Texas would make illegal,” Ms McBath said. “I ask because if Alabama makes abortion murder, does it make miscarriage manslaughter?”

Ms McBath’s questions are on the minds of many Americans as abortion protections fall in states across the country. Earlier this month, Politico reported that a five justice majority on the US Supreme Court is set to overturn Roe v Wade in June.

Such a decision would dramatically alter the landscape of abortion care in the US overnight. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that many as 26 states are likely or certain to ban abortion should Roe fall, while a number of states have already enacted bans on abortion after as few as six weeks of pregnancy.

There have been further warning signs that women who do not carry pregnancies to term may be prosecuted. Louisiana Republicans earlier this month attempted to advance a bill classifying abortion as homicide before being beaten back, while a south Texas county arrested a woman for murder in April for inducing an abortion before dropping the charge.

Many observers, including Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, have expressed concern that commonly used period tracking apps could be targets for law enforcement in states where abortion is banned as well. In some instances, woman who lose pregnancies are already being treated with suspicion.

Ms McBath has faced more than her share of personal tragedy. In 2012, her son Jordan Davis was murdered at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida by a white software developer who demanded that Mr Davis and his friends turn their music down.

The shooter, Michael David Dunn, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Mr Davis and three counts of attempted second-degree murder for shooting at his companions and was sentenced to life in prison.

It was another shooting, the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that convinced Ms McBath to run for Congress in a suburban Atlanta district in 2018 when she defeated incumbent Republican Karen Handel by a single percentage point.

She beat Ms Handel again by a more comfortable margin in 2020, and is now facing a Democratic primary against centrist representative Carolyn Bourdeaux after the state’s Republican-dominated redistricting process erased a Democratic seat in the Atlanta suburbs. The Georgia primary is on Tuesday.

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