A woman who gives birth alone, and then abandons the baby is a woman who is out of options. A woman who does this on a plane, on her way to take up low-paying migrant work, is out of options and resources. Whatever your political analysis of the woman who gave birth in a plane last month, it does not take much empathy to understand that her situation was not one of her own choosing, and that what she did was an act of desperation and powerlessness.
I had wanted to write something, but hadn't known what to write. A polemic seems almost grotesque when you think what she has been through. But then I heard on National Radio, that she had been remanded in custody.*
She has been in prison for ten days now, and was arrested six days after she gave birth. I know I'm a radical when it comes to prison, and so what I have to say about how much people don't belong in prison sounds slightly hollow. But I don't understand what possible good comes from locking this woman up under any logic at all.
I believe that Karolaine Maika's situation, and her incarceration are a feminist issue, and that feminist solidarity is most important when it comes to women who are most marginalised by society. I would encourage feminists to to support Karolaine Maika in jail. The most simple thing you could do is write to her:
C/O Auckland Region Womens Corrections Facility
Private Bag 76908
South Auckland Mail Centre
You can send phones cards and money to people in prison with your letter. Money goes into the prison account, and can be used to buy things from the prison shop once a week. Phone cards are useful as a way of contacting people outside of prison, and are sometimes used as trade for other items. If you send either of these things, then mention them in the letter to make sure they get to her (if you want to do more, then leave a comment on the thread - if there's one thing I'm not short on it's information on how to support people in prison).
Mostly when I talk about feminism I talk about collective resistance. But I think support plays an important role in feminism as well. It doesn't take much to write a letter.