Saturday, January 15, 2022

107 Iowa L. Rev. Online 65 (2022)

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Abstract

Stillbirth—fetal death after 20 weeks of pregnancy but before birth—is one of the more common pregnancy outcomes, yet doctors rarely if ever discuss its possibility before the child’s death in the womb. Medical Paternalism, Stillbirth, & Blindsided Mothers argues that pregnant people have a right to know of this risk, a right enforceable through informed consent law. This Response replies to some of the criticisms of the argument raised by Professors Meghan Boone, Brietta Clark, and Nadia Sawicki. First, it weighs the risks of increased blame and criminalization of stillbirth against the possible benefits of preventing stillbirths. Second, it addresses the role of informed consent within Black women’s experiences of stillbirth. Third, it argues that tort law can play an important part in addressing the United States’ relatively high and stagnant stillbirth rate.