June 17, 2014
"Louisiana Proposes Using Brain-Dead Women as Incubators," S.E. Smith, Care2: A Louisiana bill (HB 1274) "would mandate that if a fetus is over 20 weeks [of] gestation and a woman's bodily processes can be 'reasonably' maintained," even if she is legally dead, "she must be kept on [medical support] until delivery of the fetus," Smith writes. Smith writes that the bill and others like it deprive women of their bodily autonomy, reducing "women to the status of incubators, instead of treating them as whole human beings." In addition, Smith writes that maintaining medical support after a pregnant woman has died "increases the risk of complications, as it requires a constant balancing act to prevent organ failure, monitor blood chemistry, and provide medications, some of which can cause birth defects of varying degrees of severity," and would not "result in a live delivery in very many cases" (Smith, Care2, 6/16).