Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-19-13

NY Court Affirms Right of Pregnant Women to Move Freely

Last week, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division rejected a lower Family Court's ruling that a woman's decision to move across the country while pregnant was tantamount to "appropriation of the child while in utero" and therefore could bar her custody case from being heard in her new location.

The lower Family Court had found in May that petitioner Sara McK's decision to relocate from California to New York to attend Columbia University while pregnant could bar New York courts from hearing her child custody case. The Family Court referee departed from typical custody statute - that custody cases be heard in a child's home state, in this case New York, where the child was born - based on the "appropriation" characterization. This interpretation of the statute placed unconstitutional constraints on a woman's basic decisions, such as where she lives, works, and attends school while pregnant. It also meant fathers could limit the movement of pregnant women.

The recent decision to reject the earlier ruling "affirms that women who become pregnant may not be penalized for exercising their rights to travel and to seek an education," said Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

The Appellate Division's ruling made clear that courts cannot hear custody matters that are filed prior to birth, and that McK's relocation should not have factored into the lower Family Court's finding.

In several other cases, the rights of pregnant women have been restricted in the name of protecting the fetus. One pregnant woman was detained after trying to get help for her painkiller use, and another was charged with attempted feticide after a suicide attempt.

Media Resources: National Advocated for Pregnant Women 11/18/13; NYCourts.gov 11/14/13; RH Reality Check 11/15/13


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/22/2014 Students Protest Fordham University's Anti-Birth Control Policy - Students at Fordham University are engaged in a battle against the New York City Catholic school's anti-birth control policy. Students for Sex & Gender Equality and Safety (SAGES) has launched a petition drive, calling on Fordham to provide free and confidential access to birth control and STI testing on-campus, free condoms, professional gynecological services at the university, and resources for pregnant women, among other things. . . .
 
10/22/2014 Doctors Warn That Measure 1 Would End In Vitro Fertilization in North Dakota - Doctors at North Dakota's only clinic offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) are speaking out to warn voters that Measure 1, a proposed personhood amendment in the state, would make the practice illegal. Dr. . . .
 
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women. Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .