Bill criminalizing miscarriage inches forward in Utah
Political CarnivalSuch a standard could even make falling down stairs a prosecutable event, such as the recent case in Iowa where a pregnant woman who fell down the stairs at her homewas arrested under the suspicion she was trying to terminate her pregnancy.
In the state of Utah, a bill has made its way through the state assembly, and awaits the signature of the Governor, which would heavily criminalize miscarriage and abortion.
Punitive in its scope and stunning in its fine details, the legislation is being compared by some feminist rights advocacy groups to the Draconian Ugandan bill on homosexuality.
While leaving aside legally obtained abortions, it focuses on abortions created by women outside of a doctor's care, thus essentially targeting poor women and teens, some believe.
Also alarming, is the idea that a woman for example whom a doctor believes may have consumed too much alcohol, thus bringing on a miscarriage, could face life imprisonment.
[q url=""]A bill passed by the Utah House and Senate this week and waiting for the governor's signature, will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, and make induced abortion a crime in some instances.
According Lynn M. Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, what makes Utah's proposed law unique is that it is specifically designed to be punitive toward pregnant women, not those who might assist or cause an illegal abortion or unintended miscarriage. [...]
While the bill does not affect legally obtained abortions, it criminalizes any actions taken by women to induce a miscarriage or abortion outside of a doctor's care, with penalties including up to life in prison. [...]
In addition to criminalizing an intentional attempt to induce a miscarriage or abortion, the bill also creates a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by "reckless" behavior.
Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution.[...]
Such a standard could even make falling down stairs a prosecutable event, such as the recent case in Iowa where a pregnant woman who fell down the stairs at her homewas arrested under the suspicion she was trying to terminate her pregnancy.