Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mother charged with attempted murder of infant after leaving child to die in dryer

Her body, her choice?

A Henrico County woman who authorities say abandoned her newborn baby last month in a dryer had never intended to allow the child to survive after being denied an abortion weeks earlier, a prosecutor said Monday.

Angela Marie Janecka had tried to have the baby aborted but was turned down at clinics because her pregnancy had reached the 20-week stage, Henrico Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Nancy Oglesby said during a bond hearing for Janecka....

Oglesby, as she did last week, reiterated how Janecka's husband came home to help clean up after the birth, having been told by his wife that a doctor came to the home to assist with the delivery and took the stillborn infant away in a bag.

But Oglesby, describing the physician as "a mystery doctor," added that Janecka had at first asked that her husband not return home, a request he rejected. He later discovered the infant in the dryer, placed inside a plastic bag and pillow case, as he transferred some clothes from the washer. Police said he thought a moaning sound he heard was the family cat.

Thankfully, baby Meghan survived and is doing well.

I wonder how proponents of the bodily autonomy argument would deal with this situation. Should Janecka be punished for exercising her bodily autonomy and placing the newborn child in a dryer instead of caring for her? If so, doesn't that undermine the bodily autonomy argument?

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