Thursday, February 25, 2010

in "women are only as valuable as their uteri" news...

Being the flaming liberal that I am, there are many reasons why I'm glad I don't live in Utah. And after this recent news, I hope women begin to flee the state in droves.

Utah has voted to criminalize miscarriages. Yes, you heard read me. Because a tragic end to a wanted pregnancy is not enough. Apparently, women who miscarry will now be subject to criminal prosecution.

The law:

* expands the definition of illegal (non-medically induced) abortion to include miscarriages

* removes immunity protections for women who have or seek illegal abortions

* assumes women are “guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child” if a pregnancy ends after “intentional, knowing, or reckless” behavior.

Apparently, the law (which still needs the governor's signature) was created to punish women who undergo illegal abortions--in which a woman deliberately subjects herself to violence and whatnot to cause a miscarriage. Because the law is vaguely written, 'intentional, knowing, and reckless behavior' can pretty much mean anything as long as a prosecutor can reasonably define it. So this means that if a pregnant woman in an abusive relationship miscarries because her partner beat her up, the woman is now guilty of criminal homicide. If you're pregnant, forget to wear a seat belt, get into a car crash thereby causing a miscarriage, you're a murderer.

Nevermind the fact that 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. I'm sure state prosecutors will find a way to bring charges against those women too.

Fortunately, the ACLU  is on this. But just the fact that this issue is up for debate in a state legislature is demeaning to women. Seriously, how soon will The Handmaid's Tale become a non-fiction book?


Zipcode said...

Wow - this is insanity!
not a fan of the aclu for numerous reasons, but wow this would be the only time I agree with them.

Jilian said...


I kinda want to move to Utah for the mtns and the snow... but not if it means dealing with people who think this way!

ErikaM said...

Not surprised not one bit. Some people are always going to try to chip away at a woman's right to choose. I am so glad you are back!

instatick said...

Yikes! That's just insane. And ridiculous. I wonder when people will stop attempting to attach legislation to women's bodies?

an orange county girl said...

zip: i actually like and appreciate the ACLU, especially in situations like this.

jilian: you can still visit utah for the mtns and snow!

erikam: thanks for the welcome! yup, this is just another angle at reducing choice.

instatick: that is a freakin' good question. i would love to know when they'll stop because this stuff sucks.