Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarriage

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Isobel - posted on 02/28/2010

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So apparently in Utah, one can now be prosecuted for...drinking coffee (and pop), running, walking, standing up in some cases, getting in a heated argument, walking alone outside (that could allow somebody to attack you causing miscarriage)...



When I was in high school law class, my teacher encouraged me to look at what the most dangerous person in the world could do with each law... an abusive man can now (in Utah) FORCE his wife to stay at home in bed in a locked room, so long as he brings her food and drink.



This law is wrong on soooo many levels



It doesn't prove how important the baby is...it proves how unimportant the woman is...haven't you heard? we are only vessels to bring children into the world...welcome back to the 15th century

Rosie - posted on 02/28/2010

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honestly how would they be able to prove anything? if you smoke and had a miscarriage, how do they know that smoking caused it, how do they know that a woman intentionally threw herself down the stairs, how do they know the woman drank before she knew she was pregnant and somehow lost the baby because of that, would she still be charged for drinking while pregnant? this bill is absurd, goes completely against the law (since abortion is legal). it makes me wonder why they are so concerned with fetuses wen somebody is miscarrying, but aren't so concerned when a woman has an abortion.

i am completely pro-choice and it scares the hell out of me that this bill would be creeping closer to banning abortion. as a woman who has had 2 miscarriages i think it's riduclous, and horrible.

Sharon - posted on 02/28/2010

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I just want to mark Lauras post over and over and over and over, at how helpful and encouraging it is and TRUE!

She is EXACTLY right. This does nothing for the baby and just pushes women back down to pre equality rights time.... shit heads. Who proposed this bill? Who drafted it?

'Cause I'd like to see if there is a movement out there to impeach him or if there is a fund for a hit man .....

Kate CP - posted on 02/28/2010

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Kati: they want this bill passed because it makes the fetus/embryo a person legally. This marks the way to making abortion illegal. THAT is why this bill is NOT good law.

Heather - posted on 02/26/2010

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I can see the good...and the dangerous parts of this bill. I totally agree that (in the example provided in the article) if you pay someone to hit you until your unborn baby dies...that should be attempted murder. I also think that if a woman tried to self abort a viable (over 24 weeks gestation) fetus, then there should be consequences, however life in prison seems harsh...depending on the situation.

As far as trying to criminalize spontaneous miscarriage...that is a VERY slippery slope! Does this mean that every woman who has a miscarriage, will be questioned, or tested to see if it was caused by the mothers negligence? As a woman who has had 2 miscarriages in the past...I would have been absolutely out of my mind with anger if anyone would have implied that I had done something wrong, while I was in the hospital loosing my baby and full of grief! Miscarriages happen all the time...most of the time, for unknown reasons...it is scary to think that the govt. could decide that (for example) a mother who smoked during pregnancy and had a miscarriage could be charged because she knew the risks and did it anyway...there is no way to know what causes fetal death in most cases...especially in the first trimester when miscarriage is most common.

That being said...I am all for laws that keep women from attempting to self abort. There is no need for that anymore and people have fought for a long time to keep abortion legal so that women dont have to resort to the barbaric methods of the past.

I honestly dont know how I feel about it as a whole, there are parts that I think are good and necessary, and other parts of this are just plain dangerous. I am curious to see how other women feel about this....

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Stifler's - posted on 09/14/2010

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i can see both sides. miscarriages can just happen and it's nobody's fault, but there are idiots who do stupid shit like pay people to beat them when the baby is like... a baby living inside there.

Melissa - posted on 03/01/2010

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I think it is wrong to intentionally murder your unborn child. If you didn't want a baby, you should have taken precautions. Either way, this law is ridiculous. They don't have the right to determine whether you fell down the steps because your baby belly caused you to miss a step and you fell, or if you did it on purpose to kill your baby. People do have the right to do what they want to do to their body, but a baby is a human, at 1 month, at 2 months, at 9 months, it is a human.

Alison - posted on 03/01/2010

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I didn't read the article and I'm not gonna. There are so many real criminals out there who are actually doing things that hurt society. A mom who purposefully harms her unborn child is troubled and needs to be helped, not accused.

[deleted account]

I have to say that for the most part I'm pro choice. But one of the only reasons why I am is because I think that alot of girls will try to self abort. It always sickens me when I hear stories about girls dumping their newborns in garbage bins and self terminating their pregnancies. But since it is legal to have an abortion then why still do it then? Did the girl just wait until it was too late and the doctor wouldn't do it? There should be a law against girls who do those kinds of things but the whole "miscarriage" part of the bill should be removed. What are they going to investigate every woman who has a miscarriage? Thats just ridiculous.
Maybe if they changed the bill to say "a reckless act with the direct intent of
self terminating a pregnancy" In other words if anyone terminates the pregnancy then it should be a physician. At least they have a guideline of when and how they can do it I mean since abortion is legal there no reason why they have to do those kinds of things to themselves. I'd say paying someone to kick you is pretty direct intent to self terminate her pregnancy. They better amend the hell out of it to make it really specific because the way it's stated now it seems like it has the potential to do more harm than good.

Jenny - posted on 03/01/2010

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I totally agree Laura. This is completely ridiculous. I am not an incubator, I'm a woman and a human being. I do not acknowledge the authority of the government or ANYONE else to dictate what I can and cannot do with my own body.

Belinda - posted on 03/01/2010

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This is absurd. How are you going to prove that someone intentionally miscarried? "Well Mrs. Henry, you had that cup of coffee last week. That might be why, and since you read about the possible dangers of caffeine, you are going to prison." WTF? Please let's make women who lose babies feel worse about it. Great.

And what about women who have lost multiple babies? Should they be prosecuted because they know that they might lose another? Isn't trying to conceive when you can't carry "reckless".

It is a sloppy bill, (that may have had good intentions...who am I to say), that has too many gray areas.

[deleted account]

So if i fall down the stairs tomorrow and lose my baby if i lived there i would be arrested. No offence but its hard enough coming to terms with a miscarraige without being arrested and treated like a murderer. I agree with the intentional bit like that girl who paid someone to beat her up yes she should be prosecuted but this bill brings every woman who has a miscarraige under suspicion. What about those women out there who get drunk before they find out they are pregnant and then go on to lose that baby no one knows if she would have lost it anyway but how can she be held responsible when she didnt know she was pregnant.

[deleted account]

"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."

This statement is what disturbs me. "Behaved in a manner that is THOUGHT to cause miscarriage." It doesn't even have to be proven that the specific act is what caused the miscarriage. I recently had a miscarriage and my husband and doctor had to reassure me over and over that it was NOT my fault and there is no way of knowing why it happened. But under this law I could be sent to prison for enjoying a small cup of coffee 2-3 times a week. Even though the coffee most likely did not cause my miscarriage. I live in a very polluted area. Perhaps the chemicals in the air caused my miscarriage. Should I be criminalized for chosing to live here? Geez, the saddness and guilt from miscarrying was enough to deal with.

By the way, I am pro-life. And I do think that the girl was wrong. In another community I said she should be prosecuted. But I've changed my mind. She needs professional help.

Isobel - posted on 02/28/2010

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and Kati...the point is...they don't have to prove that it CAUSED the miscarriage...just that the woman knew it could...then she's guilty

[deleted account]

I'm 100% against abortion, but under this bill I could have potentially been prosecuted for my first miscarriage in their twisted round about way. I also fell pretty hard a couple of times while pregnant w/ my son. Thankfully we were both totally ok each time, but if I had lost him and been prosecuted for it.... It probably would've killed me.

[deleted account]

A woman should have the right to make decisions affecting her own life and body, and while abortion is sad, no one should have the right to tell me whether or not I can have one.

Amber - posted on 02/28/2010

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I think that the bill is a great idea.. with that said i believe that they need to make it more clear, and set guide lines. I believe that a women how exseivly drinks or uses drugs while pregnate should be prosicuted, but i think that they need to make sure that "accidental" miscarages are not prossicuted. I dont think that it is fare if you fall and loose your baby that you should have to face charges. Or say you have a medical condition such as placenta previa, and you forget that you only have a 15 pound weight limit and you pick up you 25 pound toddler and have a misscarage. I think they would have to put an envices on intent to kill rather then it just happening. but all together, i think the idea to prosicute a women who is pregnante and is participaing in reclase behaivor is a GREAT idea.

Sharon - posted on 02/27/2010

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Nope. Sorry I don't support the bill in any form. No one tells me what I can and cannot do with my body when my choices are made for the benefit of myself and my family at all times.

Kate CP - posted on 02/26/2010

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I agree with Ashley. I'm pro-choice, personally. I don't think I could ever have an abortion (unless a severe birth defect like Tay-Sachs or Anencephaly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anencephaly was discovered during prenatal care) but it's not my right to tell another woman what she can and can't do with her body. Do I think it's sick and wrong for a woman who KNOWS she's pregnant to drink and smoke? Yes, but unless that child would be live outside of the womb then it's not it's own person by law and the mother can't be charged. However, if the fetus would be viable then HELL YES I think the woman should be charged with assault, neglect, endangerment, attempted manslaughter, etc. But this bill scares me. Making it a woman's fault for having a miscarriage? Like women who have miscarriages don't blame themselves enough already. :/

[deleted account]

Just wanted to quickly say that the abortion topic has gotten really ugly more than once so just make sure to debate not attack (I'm not referring to anything that has been posted, just a friendly reminder).

Shelby - posted on 02/26/2010

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I totally agree with the statement of "amend the hell out of this bill", but all in all, I think it is well on the way to the right track.
I am 100% Pro-Life, I won't lie, Yet abortions are still legal, Up to a very disturbing point in a pregnancy...In my opinion, If you are too stupid to go in and abort your baby if you want to get rid of it that bad...Then yes you should pay the consequences for killing a child that would be clearly viable outside of the womb.
And for the mothers who choose to continue the pregnancy yet recklessly endanger the child's life, action should be taken. My mom worked with a 23 year old girl who was pregnant with her 5th kid, Most of them she didn't know who the father was, She only had custody of one, and 2 of the children had FAS, Yet in her 5th pregnancy she continued to heavily drink every day. There should ABSOLUTELY be a price to pay.
While I admit there may never be a "perfect" way to word and enforce this bill, something has to be done.
And the girl who was 7 months pregnant could have very well killed her child by paying some freak to beat her...Thats exactly what happened to my twin. At about 25-29 weeks, My twin died/was killed when my father beat my mother to a pulp. (So I also think that should be punishable also)
All in all I think they are on the right track, and just like everything, Of course it will start off rough, but if they keep working on it, and enough people open their eyes and pull their heads out of their asses and realize that at SOME point you HAVE to realize that that baby in that womb IS a person. I realize a whole lot of people don't want to accept that fact and you all have it that way, Abortion is legal, but surely there has to be a stopping point. When is enough, enough.
As long as abortion is legal however, We still have to maintain that. So as much as it pains me to say, It should be kept to where they are attempting to obtain an illegal abortion. ( I'm guessing somewhere between the second and third trimester)

Nicole - posted on 02/26/2010

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I like the "idea" of this bill, but it does not have the correct wording. It should only be for having an abortion without being under the care of a physician and/or causing miscarriage without legal abortion... or something to that effect. Whatever the wording is chaged to, it should NEVER be passed with it's current wording.



Personally, I don't like abortion, BUT if the fetus is not at a point of viability, I don't see how intentional miscarriage could be LEGALLY called murder. If the pregnancy is at a point of viability and there is PROOF that woman tried to intentionally cause a miscarriage and/or intentionally causes the death of her viable unborn baby, then the law should be able to charge her with a crime. But that would be mighty hard to prove.

Ashley - posted on 02/26/2010

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All this does is make the anti-choice movement stronger. I think this bill is ridiculous. Besides, how could one prove that falling down the stairs was intentional? And women who smoke or drink, while I don't like it, it happens a lot. Would the doctors who tell the smokers not to quit get sued if the woman miscarried from the cigarettes? Or the doctor who told the women a glass of wine was ok?

And with that 17 year old, all she got was a beating and a loss of $150. I guess she didn't realize that at seven months she'd be more likely to have a premature birth than a miscarriage.

I really hope that other states won't follow suit, as it will just be closer to the goal of anti-choice: make abortion illegal.

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