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  • Writer's pictureWendy Sibbison

Brittney Poolaw--Say Her Name.

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Last week an Oklahoma jury convicted 20-year-old

Brittney Poolaw, who is Native American, of first degree manslaughter, which is an unintentional homicide--like a dog attack that killed someone, Brittney’s crime? A miscarriage. Two days ago the judge gave her the mandatory minimum sentence of

FOUR YEARS in prison. She;s been locked up since her arrest in March, 2020, because, like so many low-income people of color, she couldn’t pay the outrageous $20,000 bail. Brittney went straight from home miscarriage to hospital to jail. The details will make you even sicker. If you want more–plus a suitably angry analysis–you can find it here.

Arpita Appannagari, of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, tweeted this about Brittney: "For anyone wondering what the 'endgame' of abortion bans and restrictions could possibly be—it's this.” Of course she’s right. Don’t you see the strategy? If a pregnant person who has an unintentional miscarriage can commit a crime, as in Brittney’s case, how can a pregnant person who has an intentional miscarriage, aka an abortion, be anything but a criminal, too? It's so twisted that it makes me insane to contemplate, but that’s the forced-birthers' mentality. That's endgame.

Under laws successfully enacted by forced-birthers, since 2006 at least 1,200 pregnant people have been arrested, detained, incarcerated or otherwise punished where being pregnant was a necessary element of the crime. These cases are being brought in greater and greater numbers, and the foulest part of their strategy is to target disproportionately low income and people of color for prosecution. As Appannagari tweeted about Brittney Poolaw, “The worst is already happening to Black and brown [people] across the country."

The organization that is hiring an appellate lawyer for Brittney is the National Advocates for Pregnant Women. See their FB page to send Brittney a message of support. @NationalAdvocatesforPregnantWomen



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