Chinese Women Faces Life Sentence In America For Suicide Attempt That Killed Fetus
On December 23 2010, Bei Bei Shuai became so depressed after she had been abandoned by her boyfriend – a married Chinese man who broke his promise to set up a family with her – that she decided to end her life. She consumed rat poison, and after confessing to friends was rushed to the Methodist hospital.
Doctors took steps to save her, but on December 31 there were signs that the baby, then at 33 weeks gestation, was in distress and a Caesarian was performed. On the second day the baby was found to have a massive brain haemorrhage and on January 2 was taken off life support.
March 14th last year, Shuai was arrested and taken into custody in the high-security Marion County prison, where she was held for the next 435 days, charged with murdering her fetus and attempted feticide. If convicted of the murder count she faces a sentence of 45 years to life.
Bei Bei Shuai is at the sharp end of the creeping criminalization of pregnancy across America. Women who lose their unborn babies – whether in cases of maternal drug addiction or in Shuai’s case a failed suicide attempt – are increasingly finding themselves accused of murder.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Shuai told the Guardian she is determined to defend herself as she prepares for a murder trial scheduled for December. “I have a strong desire to stay in America,” she said, three days after she had been released from jail on $50,000 bail. “I want to stay and fight this case. I have the best legal team, and I’m not afraid anymore to face the charges.”
Americans get your shit together and practice a whole shit load more compassion.