Give birth? You're in trouble | Bleader

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Give birth? You're in trouble

Posted By on 01.18.12 at 09:00 AM

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The Sun-Times is reporting that a DuPage County judge yesterday declared Nunu Sung an unfit mother. Sung delivered a child alone outside a Wheaton apartment building in June 2009, and left him under bushes where he was found an hour and a half later by a neighbor walking a dog.

A refugee from Myanmar who spoke little or no English, Sung went back to the apartment where she was staying with relatives and passed out. She later said she had hidden her pregnancy because it was not permissible in her culture for an unmarried woman. She was taken to a hospital and treated for blood loss. The baby, suffering hypothermia when found, was placed with foster parents.

Prosecutors cut a plea deal with Sung in which she admitted to initially lying to police about giving birth and they agreed not to attempt to terminate her parental rights. She's been in prison for two and a half years for her initial postpartum denial—offered before she was taken to the hospital. Now, with her three-year sentence nearly complete, prosecutors, in apparent violation of the plea deal, are arguing that she's not a fit parent. She may or may not be, but something's wrong with serving prison time for anything uttered in the midst of a postpartum hemorrhage.

Sung's attorney, Terra Costa Howard, says they "absolutely will appeal."

Also yesterday, the Tribune reported that a 19-year-old woman took her six-month-old son to a Chicago fire station Monday and tearfully handed him over, saying she couldn't take care of him anymore. According to the Tribune, "police said that the woman wouldn't necessarily be charged with a crime for abandoning her baby."

Not necessarily? Abandoning?

Huh?

Also: Women don't get pregnant alone; why does our legal system act as if they do?

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