Bei Bei Shuai was released on bail today after more than a year in an Indianapolis jail for being so depressed during pregnancy that she attempted suicide. She survived the suicide attempt but lost her baby — and her ordeal is not over yet.
Even though she was finally released today from jail, she is far from free. Even though she is no longer held in a cell, she must wear a GPS electronic monitor which tracks her location every second of the day, and which she must pay for herself ($12 dollars a day). All of Ms. Shuai’s savings have gone to the enormous cost of her ongoing legal defense, and now, she must literally pay for each day outside a jail-cell.
Ms. Shuai still has to stand trial for attempted feticide and murder of a viable fetus – facing a sentence that could be as long as 45 years. According to the Indiana Court of Appeals women who experience pregnancy losses may be charged with murder, and those who take any intentional act that is perceived as risking pregnancy loss can be charged with attempted feticide and attempted murder.
Bei Bei Shuai is not free of the serious criminal charges, the trauma of being incarcerated, and the burden of being a prisoner of the war on women. Justice demands that the State of Indiana put an end to this misuse of the law and abuse of Ms. Shuai and drop the charges that should never have been filed in the first place.
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We will be providing additional news and analysis on this case, and on the spread of efforts to imprison women through feticide laws in the coming weeks.