The court declined to throw out the charges but agreed with the defense that the request for bong was valid because Indiana law allows bail on murder charges when the defendant shows proof that guilt is not evidence and presumption of guilt is not strong.
Shuai’s attorney has argued that her client ate the rat poison in a suicide attempt and not because she intended to kill her baby. Therefore, the defense argues, the charges should be thrown out. Shuai has been jailed since March 2011 after she ingested the rat poison while 33 weeks pregnant.
Shuai’s case has become a rallying point for health care advocates who have petitioned for her release. They claim that the prosecution of Shuai and others like her will deter pregnant women from seeking prenatal care, treatment for drug and alcohol problems, and mental health services that are beneficial to them and their infants.
The court had rejected Shuai’s claim that her actions were a suicide attempt pointing to Shuai’s suicide note that mentioned her unborn baby as evidence Shuai intended to kill her unborn baby as well. The court also held that a pregnant woman does not have immunity from prosecution for acts she commits against her own fetus, a first-of-its kind ruling in Indiana.
The logic collapses on itself as this case is pretty clearly about punishing Shuai and not about any underlying intent or motivation. And if we need any more evidence that Republicans are simply exercising a vendetta against women, consider the fact that states are now trying to shield from prosecution doctors who lie to women to try and influence decisions away from abortions but insist on prosecuting women who takes any action that harms her fetus, whether she means to or not.
Photo from vectorportal via flickr.