Feminism: Absconding With One's Fetus

[Content Note: Misogyny, Reproductive Rights, Child Custody]

A U.S. court actually ruled that a woman who left California, while pregnant, to attend an Ivy League college, after having been exhorted by her ex-boyfriend to abort the pregnancy, absconded with her own fetus:

Mr. Miller accused her of fleeing to find a sympathetic court, and a New York judge agreed, castigating Ms. McKenna for virtually absconding with her fetus. This allowed a California court to subsequently grant custody of the baby, a boy, to Mr. Miller and also set off alarm bells among advocates for women’s rights. [...]

While Ms. McKenna “did not ‘abduct’ the child,” the court said, “her appropriation of the child while in utero was irresponsible, reprehensible.”

The Family Court in San Diego proceeded to grant primary custody to Mr. Miller. On Sept. 4, as Ms. McKenna described it, choking up, Mr. Miller and his wife came to her apartment, “took the baby out of my arms, dropped it in a car seat and drove away.”

Ms. McKenna has seen him for a total of 10 days since the handover, said her lawyer, Naved Amed, and is scheduled to have him over Thanksgiving weekend.

I don't really know what to say to this, except that this doesn't occur in a vacuum divorced from the context of, to name two examples, pressure to keep birth control from women (including hormonal birth control on insurance plans and Plan B emergency birth control in hospitals and granting pharmacists the 'right' to not dispense birth control unless they really want to) and movement to restrict the abortion rights of women.

If you can deny women the ability to prevent and/or end pregnancies, and if you can rule that pregnant women aren't allowed to move because it's abduction of, ooops, appropriation of a man's fetus, then you can reduce fertile women (which are not all women, but are still a shitload of people) to a socially immobile worker class -- unable to move out of abusive relationships, unable to move to a better support network, unable to move to a better education or a different job. Corporate dystopia and religious dystopia meet, as always, over the control of women's bodies.

Hat-tip to @DrJaneChi and @lakarune.


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