The Bode Miller custody battle now opens another larger issue: women’s rights.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Bode Miller has been in a custody battle since March.
The parents, Bode Miller and Sara McKenna, can’t even agree on a name for the little tyke. Mom named the child Samuel Bode Miller McKenna, and Dad calls the baby Nathaniel. Both the New York court and the California court have ruled on the case. When the baby was born, Sara McKenna had moved to New York to go to Columbia University, and filed for custody of the child in New York. The court declared her actions of moving to New York while pregnant “reprehensible” and referred the case to the California court. The court in California then gave temporary custody to Bode on the basis that the mother had moved to New York for the sole purpose of “forum shopping” for a more sympathetic court.
Sara McKenna then appealed the case in New York court, who reversed their decision and have now given temporary custody back to Mom. The case is now being seen as a women’s rights issue, with the court alledgedly releasing the following statement:
“Putative fathers have neither the right nor the ability to restrict pregnant woman from her constitutionally protected liberty.”
A law professor from the University of Florida, Lee-Ford Tritt, also weighed in on the case:
“I’ve never heard of a restriction on a pregnant woman telling her that she can’t move to another state, I’m outraged by this idea that they even ask about her motive.”
Another apparent factor for the mother’s move was Bode Miller’s initial lack of involvement. Bode was allegedly invited to an ultrasound for the baby and declined, replying via text:
“U made this choice against my wish.”
The implication being that the pregnancy was initially unwanted by Bode. However, that did not seem to matter later when he filed a “Petition to Establish Parental Relationship” in November of last year. Dad now seems genuinely invested in his son and hopes to take him to the Olympics in February, despite the fact the child probably won’t remember a thing:
“He’s little and won’t probably remember too much, but from the picture he’ll know he was there. It’s a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity.”
McKenna’s lawyer said while Bode Miller and his wife have been traveling all over the globe, Sara McKenna has only had 48 hours of time with the child since October 1, when Bode was given temporary custody. As it stands, Sara McKenna is just glad to be able to see her son again: “I’m happy to have my son back, even if it’s just for a little while.” Ms. McKenna said her son appeared to recognize her, called her “mama” and grabbed her hair.
Sarah E. Burns of the Reproductive Justice Clinic in New York talks of the greater impact for women’s rights:
“Especially with current political pressures to recognize separate legal rights for fetuses, there will be increasing calls on the courts to fault a pregnant woman for moving, to restrain women from living their lives because they’re pregnant.”
The New York court is set to give a more definitve order on the case December 9, and the whole world now appears to be watching.
What do you think of Bode Miller’s custody battle, should the right’s of pregnant women to move be restrained?