Utah: Making miscarriages a crime?
By THE WEEK
Added: Sun, 28 Feb 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to InYourFaceNewYorker for the link.
Just weeks after entertaining a plan to save money by making 12th grade optional, lawmakers in the Beehive State are again provoking national controversy. Under a bill that has passed the legislature and awaits signature by the governor, miscarriages that result from an "intentional, knowing, or reckless act" would be treated as illegal abortions, punishable by life in prison. As a response to a single incident in which a woman allegedly paid a man to beat her and induce a miscarriage, has Utah gone too far?
This bill is scary: This is a terribly idea generally, but the use of the word "reckless" is "especially concerning," says Anna North at Jezebel. Under the terms of this law, women could be prosecuted if they "failed to wear a seat belt"—or even if they "fell down the stairs." It's bad enough when legislators target "abortion providers," but this law "targets women themselves."
"The next anti-choice target: Miscarriage"
It's about protecting lives: This bill is only aimed at those who "arrange to terminate their pregnancies illegally," says state Sen. Margaret Dayton (R), a sponsor of the bill, in the Salt Lake Tribune. Such as the Utah woman who allegedly paid a man $150 to beat her and cause miscarriage. "Reckless behavior" is deliberately vague: "I don't think we want to go down the road of carefully defining" what it might entail.
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