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« Can we aford not to help the poor | Main | Chicago Schools have been told to outsource tutoring »
Thursday
Dec232004

Maternal homicide: The press turns a blind eye

Three weeks after Laci Peterson disappeared in Modesto, 18 year-old pregnant Quinnisha Thomas was murdered just 80 Miles away in Sacramento, by her ex-boyfriend. Prosecutors say she was shot in the head because a baby would get in the way of his music career. At least three pregnant women have been killed in the Washington DC area in the last seven weeks. If you did not live in the area you never heard about them, and even if you live in the area of one of these horrific slayings it's just a blurb or sound bite here or there and then on to the next story. Murdered pregnant women come from all social economic backgrounds, they where wives mothers' daughters and cheerleaders, however the media found nothing to hold there interest for more than a few weeks if that.  Why was the Laci Peterson case so compelling. Was it Scott Peterson's good looks? A woman told me he reminded her of Kiefer Sutherland. On the other hand, his girlfriend who betrayed him by letting the police record their conversations. Maybe money was a part of it. If a victim has money or if high-powered lawyers come, calling the press takes notice.

 A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001, states that in Maryland, "a pregnant or recently pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause."

The FBI and many state police agencies do not compile statistics on maternal homicides. However, death-record data in states across the country documents the killings of 1,367 pregnant women and new mothers since 1990.   The media claims to give us what we want. So the question is do we care about these women.

 

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