Lindsay Beyerstein in In These Times:
Christy Lynn Freeman, a 37-year-old, Ocean City, Md., woman, was recently charged with murder after delivering a stillborn child under Maryland’s as-yet-untested Viable Fetus Act of 2005.
Worcester County prosecutor Joel J. Todd charged Freeman with murder and a district court judge held her without bail for allegedly performing her own late-term abortion. Though these charges were eventually dropped, Freeman’s case illustrates the coercive potential of legislation that gives fetuses rights at the expense of women.
Freeman arrived at Atlantic General Hospital by ambulance on July 26, bleeding profusely. She denied that she had ever been pregnant, but doctors found a placenta and an umbilical cord inside her body. Later, she admitted that she had given birth to a stillborn fetus at home.