“I think the effort to restrict abortion has been a backlash, not just to the decision to end a pregnancy but the decision to treat women like full and equal participants in our society.” That’s the conclusion drawn by Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women after years of working with women who’ve been incarcerated on charges of “feticide” or “fetal homicide.”

At work while pregnant? Driving? Working with chemicals or heavy loads? You better know the legal code, says Paltrow. In many states, if something were to happen to your pregnancy that could be traced to your behavior, you could find yourself dragged into jail under “fetal protection” or “personhood” laws.

Even progressive interviewers will talk about personhood measures as if their only impact is going to be on abortion, says Paltrow. In fact, “We are talking about the status of women and whether you can add fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses to the Constitution without subtracting pregnant women from it. You can not.”

A case in point, is Bei Bei Shuai has been incarcerated for more than a year, facing charges of murder and attempted feticide in Indiana after she attempted to take her own life while she was in her third trimester of pregnancy.

There will be a rally April 6th outside of the City-County Building in Indianapolis to advocate on behalf of Bei Bei Shuai. People can find information about it at www.advocatesforpregnantwomen.org. Lynn Paltrow is the co-author of a report on the second class status of pregnant women, which appeared in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and the Law. Read a full transcript of our conversation at TruthOut.org.

For more on the history of abortion criminalization in the US, see Flanders' report for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Legitimate Rape, Sluts and Femi-Nazis."