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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1985
Page 12
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NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1985 - Page 12. March 1985. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 21, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4519/show/4510.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(March 1985). NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1985 - Page 12. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4519/show/4510

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1985 - Page 12, March 1985, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 21, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4519/show/4510.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title NOW News Bay Area Chapter, Vol. 14, No. 3, March 1985
Publisher National Organization for Women, Bay Area Chapter
Date March 1985
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • National Organization for Women
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location HQ1101 .N682
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332563~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 12
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File Name femin_201109_285k.jpg
Transcript 'Fetal rights' may rival By LYLE DENNiSTON Baltimore Sun WASHINGTON - A fast-spreading but mostly unnoticed legal dispute — a sequel to the abortion controversy — is making pregnancy a controversial fact of life all over again for women. ' It is an entirely new constitutional controversy over the right of fetuses to medical .care, a dispute confined so far to a fairly small group of experts and theorists on each side but with the potential of changing the entire experience of pregnancy in fundamental ways. If a few court decisions supporting "f£tal rights'1 that have developed do become a trend, those following the controversy say, it could mean that pregnant women would risk serious trouble with the law if they did not follow doctors' orders. Such a trend could bring basic change: Against their wishes, pregnant women could be required, as a legal obligation, to undergo medical treatment not for themselves but for the health or life of the fetuses they are carrying. The treatment could range from simple restrictions on their diets and on habits such as smoking or drinking, to major surgery — medical decisions that could be backed up by court orders. Part of the debate now focuses on just how imminent such a prospect is. The advocates of new theories of "fetal rights" insist that it is here already; they cite a handful of judicial rulings forcing medical treatment on unwilling pregnant women. Their opponents insist that, while the debate surely is developing, it is too early to see a trend in court. So far, the most drastic court orders required forced Cesarean delivery of developed fetuses to save their lives, and detention of a pregnant woman to make sure she followed her doctor's orders on diet and drugs. While the debate in many ways revolves around changes in medical science and changing attitudes about pregnancy in general, it ultimately is a legal dispute because pregnancy is surrounded by law as a result of the Supreme Court's 1973 pro-abortion ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade and legal theo- abortion issue ries growing out of that decision. At the center of the debate is a claim, actively and sometimes angrily disputed, that a basic conflict is emerging between the rights of pregnant women and the as-yet-undefined rights of their fetuses. If there is such a conflict, it is based on the phenomenon of "fascination with the fetus," or the theory that the fetus is an independent personality, medically and legally, in need of its own special protection. Two developments are contributing to that: First, doctors and medical research teams are increasingly fascinated with the fetus. Breakthroughs in recent years have made it possible, in limited circumstances, to diagnose and treat the health problems of fetuses still in the womb. More doctors are applying the techniques — sometimes out of simple interest in the new technology, and sometimes out of fear of malpractice suits. Ruth Hubbard, a biology professor at Harvard University, suggests that "the womb is no longer dark and opaque and with that, the fetus is open to medical manipulation." She notes that new ways of examining the fetus have "put prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy on the map." That development is adding to what some experts refer to as "medicalization of pregnancy." That is occurring just at a time when changing attitudes among many pregnant women are leading to firm desires for less — not more - medical intervention. The second major development is the translation of the need or desire for medical intervention into legal theories to support it when the pregnant woman resists. Ordinarily, the law respects a patient's right to "bodily integrity" — that is, a patient is allowed to choose for or against medical treatment, and doctors must honor such choices. But the doctrine of "fetal rights" suggests that, when a doctor believes that a fetus has medical needs, a judge can step in and override the pregnant woman's objections to such treatment when necessary to protect the fetus's life or "potential" for life. At its most intense, the new controversy is be- -12-