As a result of what Dr. Joycelyn Elders once memorably called a "love affair with the fetus," Mississippi has embarked on a path to prosecute some women in cases of stillbirth or miscarriage. The perverse effect — if the state is successful — would be to encourage more women to seek legal abortions.
The point — though not supported by medical authorities — is to punish women for using drugs while pregnant. What's next, a judge and critics have asked. Cigarettes? Unpasteurized milk? Obesity?
Mother Jones reports. Mississippi's effort is seen as a backdoor way to achieve "personhood" for even a fertilized egg. The article notes that laws nominally passed to allow prosecution of others for harming a woman's fetus have often been used against the pregnant woman.