This story illustrates why. From the Dallas News:
Marlise Munoz died the week after Thanksgiving.
Doctors believe she suffered a pulmonary embolism -- a blood clot to the lungs -- that cut off her oxygen. When her husband, Erick, found Marlise in their Tarrant County home, she wasn’t breathing and had no pulse.
She was gone.
If there is any mercy in the sudden loss of this happy young wife and mother, it’s that she doesn’t know she has since lingered in a hopeless twilight, her respiration artificially supported by machines.
She made it clear she didn’t want this. Her grieving husband and parents don’t want it either. But a not-very-well known statute under state law says Marlise, 33, doesn’t have the same right to a peaceful, natural death as other Texans because she is pregnant.
Her husband, a paramedic gave her CPR. At the hospital, they got her heart started with drugs and electric shocks. It's still beating with mechanical support. Her brain waves are completely flat. She was without oxygen for too long to ever recover. BUT doctors could detect a fetal heartbeat.
According to a 2012 report by the Center for Women Policy Studies, laws governing end-of-life preferences for pregnant women vary by state. Texas is one of 12 that automatically invalidates a woman’s legal prerogative if she “is diagnosed with pregnancy.”
Because of the fetal heartbeat, Marlise Munoz is laying there, dead, and serving as an incubator. Against her wishes - against the wishes of her family. There are no words for the kind of suffering this is putting her family through. There are no words for what an abuse of state power this is. Conservatives wail and moan about BIG GUMMINT INTERFERENCE when it comes to guns - but when it comes to a woman's body - that's a different matter. Her body belongs to the state.
Even after she's dead.
My heart breaks for the Munoz family. This should be a private, family decision.