Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarrage

Last week, the Utah House and Senate passed a bill that would make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, and would in most instances make induced abortion a crime. The bill still needs the signature of the governor to be signed into law, but already it is causing concern across the United States.

The bill amends Utah's criminal statute to allow the state go charge a woman with criminal homicide for inducing a miscarriage or obtaining an illegal abortion. The case on which the bill was based was one in which a 17-year-old girl who was seven months pregnant paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. The gave birth and later gave the child up for adoption, but was initially charged with attempted murder. The charges, however, were dropped because under Utah law at the time, a woman could not be prosecuted for attempting to arrange an abortion, whether it was lawful or unlawful. The bill recently passed by Utah legislature would change that.

The bill does not affect legally obtained abortions, but it does criminalize the actions taken by a woman to induce a miscarriage or an abortion outside a doctor's care. Penalties range up to life in prison.

Perhaps the most troubling part of the bill is a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by so-called "reckless" behavior. Under the "reckless behavior" standard, an attorney only needs to show that the woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she did not intend to lose the pregnancy. Under this law, if a woman drinks too much and has a miscarriage, she could face prosecution.

Many states have fetal homicide laws, most of which apply only in the third trimester. Utah's bill, however, would apply through the entire duration of a woman's pregnancy. Even common first trimester miscarriages could trigger a murder trial.

The bill does exempt from prosecution fetal deaths due to failure to follow medical advice, accept treatment, or refuse a cesarean section.

***** UPDATE:*********
Utah Decides to Tone Down "Miscarriage Bill", But Some Miscarriages Would Still be a Felony

Comments

Without a doubt, that was the most misleading headline I have ever read.

No it isn't.

Did you read the last 3 paragraphs?

How is it misleading? Are you unintelligent, inarticulate, or do you just have no reading comprehension?

You are truly a waste of human if you can read that article and come away from it not realizing that they did indeed criminalize miscarriages. If that bill is passed there will be an investigation following every miscarriage.

Do us all a favor and kill yourself so that you can not pass on your retarded genes.

dumbass

Wow. You're a dick.

Agreed, definitely a dick

You guys are worse than fark...

You are illiterate if you failed to read that the intent of the law is to make it a criminal offense if a woman deliberately induces a miscarriage. On purpose! Not for the unfortunate ones who happen to have a miscarriage through no doing of their own.

Learn to read and not be so critical of others. Dumbass.

I agree with that one person you should be shot for saying something that ignorant. Do us all a favor and keep your mouth shut if you don't have an IQ higher than a grapefruit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I agree. This headline was totally misleading. I clicked on it because I knew it was misleading. My first thought was, "I finally found a foxnews headline that was sensationalized," (because they have such a bad rep, but I've never agreed) then saw I was on cnn.com O.o

not shocking, compared to the changes we saw in health insurance in 2010. But nonetheless, I agree with the tagline... it does read newsworthy, which is the point of headlines anyway!

im what way was that misleading?

about time some one thinks about the children!

Are the fourteen-, fifteen-, sixteen-, and seventeen-year-old girls who may be affected by this ridiculous bill not technically children? Are they not important? Do you propose that they be punished for trying to make something of their lives?

There are better ways to make something of their lives than have underage unprotected sex then finding unsafe illegal ways to get rid of their "mistake." If they want to have sex so young then feel they can't take responsiblity there is legal abortion and adoption. Illegal abortion should never be an answer.

But I do find it odd that they would prosecute a woman that just plain miscarries. She will already be mourning the loss of her unborn child why force her to go through the stress of court?

Is this by any chance the same republican party in favour of keeping government out of peoples private lives? Boys and girls can you spell hypocrite?

Makes perfect sense for people who don't think women are full human beings with rights.

that sounds like the republican party I know and love

Just another example of how conservative politicians are intruding into the most personal aspects of our private life. Even our own bodies. Women are *not* mobile incubators and should never have to give up their rights as separate,private individuals because of the sick, twisted, *so-called* "pro-life" agenda. If they have their way, women will eventually be stripped of all rights over our own bodies altogether and be treated as property of the government for the soul purpose of breeding. Can you say "Handmaid's Tale"?

What an insanely misleading headline.

What is misleading about it?

Nothing is misleading about it. The poster you refer to is just a butt hurt christfaggot.

So if you break this law, what's the penalty?

I hope it's the death penalty. I'm a huge fan of hypocrisy.

They still having gunshot weddings out there?

The headline is misleading for the obvious reason that it DOES NOT criminalize miscarriage. It criminalizes behavior which results in the death/miscarriage of the fetus. The arguments for and against this law are the same as always. When does life begin? Can you pay someone to beat your already born child do death? If you don't buckle in you kids or put them in car seats and they die in car crash, guess what? You are going to jail. We accept that gov't has control over our families so if you are someone who believes that a fetus is a living child then there is no difference. There is no giant leap of logic there. People like Handmaid's Tale need to stop being so dense and realize it is too large of a government intruding on ALL aspects of our lives not just conservatives. Do some thinking on your own sometime. What exactly do you think government controlling my healthcare is? I don't see any conservatives championing that intrusion. Do you believe in Obamacare? If so, you are the one that is being a hypocrite here as based on your post you clearly see abortion as a personal health issue. There is no hypocrisy for a conservative who is pro-life to support laws such as these as they support the same laws regarding children already born to protect what they see as life. There is a simple way to not run afoul of this law. Use birth control, abstain, or get yourself a legal abortion should that be your wish. Why are people defending women who get pregnant and act with reckless disregard for their child? If the child was born addicted to drugs or with fetal alcohol syndrome they would be criminally liable and the child would be taken. What exactly is wrong with making them liable when doing the activity that is causing it? Should paying someone to beat you to miscarriage be legal? Should smoking crack while knowingly pregnant be legal? Is that really a defensible position the pro-abortion people are taking here? Fight to keep abortion legal, fine...don't defend the indefensible behavior of these people. The two are in no way related.

You are an idiot. I did not read your post, b'c after I scanned it quickly I realized it was full of republican rhetoric.

You see, there is no god, or higher moral authority; and people should be able to do as they please as long as they do not harm others.

A FETUS IS NOT A LIVING HUMAN BEING. NOT ANYMORE THAN THE SPERM THAT YOU DISCHARGE IN THE SHOWER AFTER YOU MASTURBATE ARE LITTLE PEOPLE. STOP BEING AN IDIOT.

Lets just pose a quick "What if" scenario. What if a woman who has some prior extisting medical conditions get pregnant. Unbeknownst to her at the time that she is pregnant (first trimester), she smokes a few ciggarettes and takes her medication for her prior existing medical conditions before going to bed at night. She wakes up in the middle of the night to find she has had (dramatic gasp) a miscarriage. The doctors confirm nicotine and medications in her blood and state that they are likely the cause of the miscarriage. This woman has now been criminalized because of this new (possible) law. The woman's religion and political affiliation aside. She has just become a murderer under this conservatist's law.

Wow, really misleading headline.

Misleading as shit. I'm for feminism, equal rights, and view myself as quite the liberal, but I have to completely agree with Ogre here. Shit like paying someone to beat you up to induce abortion is messed up and should be illegal, no matter what side of the bill you're on

If you're "for" feminism (oh, that would make you a feminist you inarticulate unread retard) than you would NOT be for this legislation as it lets the government tell women what to do with their bodies.

Please nail all of your doors and windows shut; and then start a substantial fire in your dwelling. DIE IN THAT FIRE DUMBASS

For goodness sake- basing a new law on a case of temporary insanity and sheer desperation is just plain unintelligent. The state should get on with providing the services and facilities that matter. Doctors don't know what causes most miscarriages.

To say healthcare = government intrusion is absurd ! No one is forcing you to get healthcare if you wish to do without it ! Tragically, there are thousands who are desperate for healthcare, but can't possibly afford it.
If conservatives care as much for unborn (though clearly, they don't give a damn for the *born*) they should be demanding healthcare for all ! Did you know that the infant mortality rate in the US is actually rising ? So much for being "pro-life". Apparently, their concerned only extends to dominating women, *not* actually creating a more secure, healthier environment where women and children (both born *and* unborn) can receive necessary medical care. And in case you haven't noticed, they are against legal abortions and affordable birth control, as well. I guess they are taking their cues from the Catholic church now. And we know about *their* policies re: women's autonomy.

The Catholic church endorses the Democratic party. That is the official position of the Baptist and Methodist churches as well. Church leaders are 10:1 registered Democrats.

A TRUE conservative Republican couldn't be bothered with this issue other than the criminal offense of illegal abortion.

Utah, you're not mature enough to govern yourselves. Let the grownups in other states deal with the hard questions. Now go to bed and no, you can't have your dessert.

I AM A LIE. THATS RIGHT, I, JESUS CHRIST, AM A LIE. I WAS MADE UP TO HELP CONTROL PEOPLE. PEOPLE ARE NOW USING THE PURITAN SYSTEM OF BELIEFS--THAT MY INVENTION AND INTRODUCTION INTO SOCIETY SPAWNED--TO FORCE OTHER PEOPLE TO DO THINGS AGAINST THEIR OWN WILL. THINGS LIKE HAVE CHILDREN THAT THEY DO NOT WANT TO HAVE. PEOPLE THINK THAT SEX SHOULD ONLY BE HAD BETWEEN MARRIED PEOPLE.

GUESS WHAT, I'M NOT REAL. YOU SHOULD ALL STOP ACTING LIKE I AM REAL. YOU ARE ALL A BUNCH OF SHEEP AT THE BECK AND CALL OF THE RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT.

Wait...did someone say something? I could've sworn I heard something there a moment ago...

I think reckless behavior is too loosely defined. Miscarriage can even be caused by stress. It's not like women can control for everything that happens in their bodies that can cause a miscarriage. Would not getting help because you are overly stressed be considered "reckless"? Also, if a woman does not have proper health care, or certain conditions aren't covered, that could lead to a miscarriage. I think this bill needs to be thought out very carefully. If this bill passes, there would be a need for more resources to help women who are in circumstances that could cause a miscarriage.

I think it is horrible that a girl would have someone beat herself up to cause a miscarriage, but I'm guessing it's because she was only 17 and didn't want to get in trouble with her parents and probably didn't have adequate health care or enough money to get a legal abortion. Of course, someone that age should be using some sort of birth control or at least condoms, but at 17, most people don't have enough money to afford those things and would be afraid to ask for help.

My wife went snowboarding during her first trimester. Nothing bad happened, but if it had would she be charged with murder? All of the doctors said there is little risk of miscarriage due to a jarring impact in the first trimester. They told her that most activity is fine in the first trimester, but also there is some risk so she had to make her own judgment.

So would she have been charged with murder if something went wrong?

A few months later we discovered that the baby had a severe heart defect. So bad, in fact, that he would not survive more than a couple of days after birth. He would be born blue and die (horribly) of oxygen deficiency over the course of the next few days because his heart could only pump blood in all directions at once.

We chose to abort him at 20 weeks. It was the single most difficult thing we've ever done. We don't regret it, but we grieve to this day. So I just love all of you moralistic morons who think government should be involved in something as devastatingly personal as this.

excellent point, tragic story to back it up.
A true example of how this law could add insult to injury.
fortunatley, its way to rediculous to actually pass

It has passed both the house and the senate. The only step left is for the governor of Utah to sign it.

I am very sorry for your loss and the grief that has been beset upon you and your wife. That choice is never an easy one to make, even when you already know the outcome of both choices.

We have another one on the way. We've been assured that this one is perfectly healthy as far as they can tell at this point. The heart is all there and we have a wonderful boy or girl headed into our lives toward the end of July. We've been careful about getting too excited about it up to now, but it's so hard to hold back your emotions.

I don't care if it is your body girls. A mans reproductive rights need to be respected also. It should take both the consent of the male and female who conceived a child to authorize an abortion.

You know what, "About TIme"? You are absolutely right. The male's reproductive rights should be taken into account.

And just as soon as you can carry the fetus to term without help from the female, I'm positive the gov't will get right on that. Until then, the female is not a walking receptacle for your semen, a warm cubby to carry your seed. Unless of course you are going to be buying all of her food, paying for all of her healthcare, covering all of her cost of living for the full term of the pregnancy. Since all of those costs will indeed go up. If she was unwilling to continue with the pregnancy, but you want the child, then you should bear the brunt of those costs. End of discussion.

Otherwise, unfair though it is(and yes, to a point I do believe it is unfair) males like you will simply have to be sure when you shoot without protection that the female you're mating with is willing and able to follow through with an unexpected pregnancy.

And here I am thinking "If I remember correctly, I did buy all her food. I did cover all of her health care costs. I did buy her extra items to have unload the burden of pregnancy. Hell I was the becken call slave through the term of the pregnancy. So why are my rights as the father completely stripped from me when all I have done is provide and care?"

These days, it is slowly getting better for us fathers to have rights concerning children. But we're still being screwed on the whole deal.

My case in point.

I have a stable job, a full time job with full health/medical and educational benifits. I have a blissful marraige with a kind, caring and "love-all" woman. I have no court-order demanding me to pay child support to my ex-girlfriend, but I over-pay because I care for me son.

She is single. No education. No job. Lives with her parents and has no aspirations for her own life. Sued me because she believe $450 every two weeks was enough to raise a child (our son was only a couple months old at the time). And prevents visitation from my side of the family (me included) from seing my son.

Who did the court side with on custody?......her. Who did the court side with on visitation?.......her.

So where's the fathers rights in the whole ordeal?

I like how the person half the group was berading was the only one to put his name on it. The rest of you that criticized him should at least have the guts to put some kind of name up.

Way to tell him off, "guest"...

That is ridiculous. I just miscarried in December, I was 9 weeks. I fell while taking groceries into the house, fell right on the steps. Now would that be considered reckless because I carried way too many bags and lost balance? Did I endanger my unborn child? They really should specify this new law more.

I am 100% pro-choice. A woman paying someone to beat her up in hopes of miscarrying is a far different issue than seeking an abortion from a physician. As well-intentioned as this bill MAY be (and I do certainly question just how well-intentioned it is) it seems like a very dangerous and slippery slope to begin putting women who suffer miscarriages under scrutiny for murder.

In response to several previous comments, it is unfortunate that the people who are "pro-life" and the people who think abstinence is a feasible form of birth control, tend to be one and the same. Teens are going to have sex, period. If you don't want them to have abortions then they should be educated on how to have sex safely. The world is far over-populated as it is. It is also unfortunate that people cannot have conversations about these issues in an adult manner.

I don't care if it is your body girls. A mans reproductive rights need to be respected also. It should take both the consent of the male and female who conceived a child to authorize an abortion.

In a state that is itself a miscarriage one has to assume the intel from there is bad.