CALL TO URGENT ACTION:
Demand that Kings County, California District Attorney Keith L. Fagundes dismiss the murder charge against Chelsea Becker!
On November 6, 2019, Chelsea Becker was arrested and charged with murder under California Penal Code §187. Ms. Becker had experienced a stillbirth that the prosecutor claims (without any scientific basis) was caused by her methamphetamine use during pregnancy. Ms. Becker was charged with this crime despite the fact that §187 does not authorize, nor has it ever been interpreted to authorize, prosecution of a woman in relationship to her own pregnancy or any outcome of a pregnancy. In fact, the statute clearly states that it cannot be used to prosecute the "mother of the fetus" §187(b)(3). Nonetheless, Ms. Becker was taken into custody and locked in the Kings County Jail on November 6th, 2019. Bail was originally set at $5,000,000. She remains in jail today with bail now set at $2,000,000, incarcerated for a non-existent crime in a setting that not only denies her freedom and tears her away from her family, but also puts her at unnecessary and serious risk of contracting COVID-19.
The California Legislature, consistent with the recommendations of every leading medical group including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has refused to make pregnancy, pregnancy loss, and specifically pregnancy and drug use subjects of the criminal law. Nevertheless, District Attorney (DA) Keith Fagundes has exercised a grave error in judgment by pursuing a murder charge against a woman because she experienced a stillbirth.
Indeed, care for maternal, fetal, and child health would compel DA Fagundes to drop the charges. It is well known that arrest and threats of arrest for pregnancy outcomes undermine maternal, fetal, and child health. Arrests and threats of arrest deter women from seeking health care during pregnancy, including health care for drug dependency problems. So, please take action and:
Call, Write, or Email the District Attorney of Kings County, California Keith L. Fagundes and tell him to dismiss the murder charge against Chelsea Becker and not to pursue any criminal charges against her or any other person because of pregnancy or any pregnancy outcome.
Chelsea Becker should not spend one more day in jail.
You can reach DA Keith L. Fagundes at:
County of Kings District Attorney's Office:
1400 West Lacey Blvd.
Hanford, CA 93230
Please cc Melissa D'Morias, the Deputy DA assigned to Ms. Becker's case, at: Melissa.D'Morias@co.kings.ca.us. For more information about Ms. Becker and things you can say in your letters, emails, and posts, you can read NAPW's fact sheet and statement. And please download the Free Chelsea Becker graphic and share it with your social networks.