Democrats and spineless RINOs are jumping for joy and wringing their hands respectively over a bill that state Sen. Mark Obenshain, now the GOP nominee for Virginia’s Attorney General, introduced dealing with miscarriages where the mother was not attended to by medical personnel and there are remains of the child that have been delivered. They are already chanting the mantra of cops and vaginal probes, both of which are purely theoretical (if not downright nonsensical), when the bill was put forward to deal with the reality of a Rockingham County woman who tossed her stillborn baby in the trash.
Following is a summary of Obenshain’s legislation:
Fetal deaths; report when unattended; penalty. Requires that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. The bill also specifies that no one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner, and that a violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
In fact, according to Willie Deutsch who has written an extensive piece on this, Sen. Obenshain went so far as to consult with NARAL and Planned Parenthood on his legislation (hardly what one would expect of some radical right-winger whose intention was to involve cops and vaginal probes). When it became clear that there was no way to amend the bill in order to avoid unintended consequences, Sen. Obenshain wisely withdrew it.
This bill was introduced because the Commonwealth’s Attorney in the case, Marsha Garst, was unable to determine whether the child was in fact stillborn or if foul play was involved because the body was never recovered. As a result, the defendant entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of disposing of a dead body without permission.
So, the next time you hear Democrats snickering like juveniles about Mark Obenshain and try to make this about silly things with no basis in reality, just remember that the reality of the situation is a baby’s body was thrown away in the trash. No one with any respect for humanity should wish that fate upon anyone’s remains and Obenshain felt so strongly about this he even reached out to those with whom he otherwise has fundamental disagreements. That is the sign of a man of compassion, integrity and character.