Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Utah Abortion Ban: Making it a Crime to Miscarry?

How many times have we heard on the news of a women who purposefully committed some act to induce an abortion?  Many of us remember hearing last year of a teen that paid someone to beat her, hoping that it would cause a late term abortion.  Recently, we heard of a girl who threw herself down the stairs hoping to miscarry. Luckily, the child was born healthy, the boy who beat this girl was charged, but the mother walked away free.  I can't tell you what is right or wrong, but I can tell you what I think is wrong.  This is insane!  I think these people definitely should be punished for their actions. 

A controversial abortion bill in Utah, through a loophole, may address some of these "crimes."
As ABC reports though, "critics argue that allowing homicide charges if a woman's "reckless behavior" causes the unborn child to die opens up the possibility that prosecutors could seek a murder conviction against women who miscarry after not wearing their seatbelts or returning to a partner who has a history of physical abuse."

Well, this sounds a little ridiculous to me.  For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know that I am an attorney, albeit not a full time hard core, live or die attorney...but eh, I went to law school. There are different standards that have to be met for different laws.  In this case, a reckless standard would have to be met.  This would be a "reckless disregard for human life."  It is not negligence, something that a reasonable person would not do.  Recklessness is a higher standard.  Many are saying that this bill would open too many cases.  What if a women returns to her abusive husband?  What if a women goes ice skating and falls and her baby miscarries?  Well, yes, there is some argument here but recklessness is when you know the threat exists and you do it anyway, but it has to be an unjustifiable risk.  An abused women doesn't actually know the threat exists a lot of the time.  And the ice skating example, I wouldn't call this reckless...I am sure many a pregnant women have gone ice skating.  On the other hand, you wouldn't have someone beat you, or throw yourself down the stairs...because yes, there is an unjustifiable risk there.

This bill has no passed yet, but we will hear by March 8th.  I am hoping that it passes, but of course, a few kinks do have to be worked out, I'm sure.  I would love to hear your opinions.


  1. interesting thanks for sharing your thoughts

  2. I agree that it should be illegal to have someone beat you or throw yourself down the stairs to try to miscarry, but the law could get tricky and would have to be worded just so. I would imagine for a girl to do that...she must feel completely helpless, scared, and alone, especially if it's a young girl. I hope people realize, that if abortion were illegal...there would be lots more girls and even women attempting such things to abort themselves...that's why safe abortion needs to be legal!!!

    Great topic...thanks!

  3. I think more women need to be involved in the lawmaking in Utah. I grew up there and left because of how I was forced to live.
    You would think the courts would be able to instill some sort of reasoning along with their laws. As of yet they've proven they are driven only be laws, rules and numbers. Where is the human factor? After all, isn't protecting our humanity the whole reason we had to come up with "the system" anyway?

  4. It is a very thin line that we should not be teetering on. Yesterday I sat and watched and interview with Lynn Paltrow, the head of the National Advocates for Pregnant women, and some of the doors that this bill alone will open long term is just scary, and if I lived in that area, I certainly would not have anymore children.

    Stoppin' by from SITS!


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