“She Died Because She was Pregnant”

Those words were articulated by Lieutenant Brian Tobin, chief investigator of the death of 27 year old Jennifer Snyder. Snyder was a pregnant veterinarian technician who was murdered by the father of her baby – a married veterinarian, Dr. n on March 16, 2011.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month; an uncomfortable topic and certainly not one that pregnant women would rather not discuss. But you must – because homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the United States.

The tragic death of Jennifer inspired filmmaker Tracy Schott to produce a documentary called Finding Jenn’s Voice.  Fate connected Tracy and I because of a blog I had written called 7 Reasons Why Pregnancy Becomes a Deadly Affair. At the time I wrote it, I had no idea that homicide was the number one cause of maternal death. Before the production of Finding Jenn’s Voice, most of my colleagues didn’t know as well.

I had the honor and privilege of being interviewed for Schott’s documentary as an expert. Her passion regarding this project was palpable.    She interviewed 11 women who were either maimed, harmed or lost a child at the hands of their former partners but they are grateful to be alive. Laci Peterson, Jessie Davis, LaToyia Figueroa, Belinda Temple and Cherica Adams were not so lucky. They were murdered and their babies were never born.

A woman should not lose her life because she’s carrying life. Until our society does a better job of preventing these tragedies, these women and unborn babies will continue to speak to us from beyond their graves.