Utah Governor Signs Miscarriage Bill into Law

In February, Utah sought to criminalize a woman's "reckless act" that led to a miscarriage, which did not go over well with many people in the U.S. This week, the governor signed a reworked bill that designates the "intentional or knowing" miscarriage as criminal homicide.

Governor Gary Herbert signed Utah HB 462 on Monday. The bill stipulates that a woman can be charged with homicide for "the death of her unborn child", unless the death qualifies as legal abortion, which is defined as "a medical procedure carried out by a physician or through a substance used under the direction of a physician."

The original bill could have got women sent away for lifelong prison terms for falling down stairs or staying in an abusive relationship, but criticisms got this part changed. Legislators added provisions that a woman can't be prosecutred if the death of her fetus "is caused by a criminally negligent or reckless act of the woman" or "is not caused by an intentional or knowing act of the woman." What's this mean? Well, now a woman has to intentionally induce her miscarriage in order to be prosecuted.

Utah is not the only state that criminalizes self-induced abortion. Delaware and New York do as well. Many are concerned, however, that this high-profile law may encourage other states to consider similar legislation of their own.

Comments

If a man causes a woman to miscarry because of violence to her body, does he get put away for life?

Vile. Just another way to try to control women.

Get your facts straight, reactionary person.

This story is not well informed... As a Salt Lake City resident I keep up on the news... A couple months ago a girl asked her boyfriend to beat her up forcing a miscarriage... THAT is the reason this law is going into effect is to bring justice to such lunatics as this... this news story posted here is chuck FULL of misinformation.

perhaps you could post a link with some backround on the incident that prompted this legislation.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=9943549

Too bad she couldn't get a safe legal abortion but then the government know best. Can I still have a vasectomy or is that illegal? Do we regulate men's bodies or just women's? Just saying...

Perhaps if right wing fundamentalist political scum didn't make abortion almost unavailable for so many, this wouldn't happen.

What is actually needed is punishment for THESE scum. Beating is too good for them. Public flogging and castration is really the only solution!

If that girl had abortion more readily available to her, then this wouldn't have been an issue. The closest facility she could have gotten an abortion from was nearly 100 miles away. She was only seventeen years old--and 17 year old CAN'T DRIVE. What was she supposed to do, walk? Oh, nope, can't do that, you may miscarry and be put into jail! Not only that, but the girl's boyfriend had been pressuring her into terminating the pregnancy and threatening to leave her if she didn't. Manipulative much? But, oh no, Mr. Dad isn't brought up on charges at all. Only the woman.

I agree. I'm pro-choice, but don't be a fool about it by sticking a coathanger inside of you or intentionally drinking/smoking/using drugs while you know you are pregnant. There are other options.

On the other hand, I don't agree with this law. I would hate to see someone go to prison wrongfully.

For instance, what if the girl who "asked her boyfriend to beat her up so she would miscarriage" was in an abusive relationship and was afraid to speak up about it, so instead lied? It sounds far fetched but I have seen similar things happen.

I could see a law like this really going the WRONG way and getting innocent women thrown in jail for things they can not control.

"Well, now a woman has to intentionally induce her miscarriage in order to be prosecuted."

So they've made Plan B illegal?

So instead of creating a multilevel humanitarian alternative to abortion with a preventative like sex education in schools (because of religious objection) and de-stigmatizing unwed pregnancy so that women aren't shamed into seeking an abortion (because of religious objection) and offering other avenues for women & girls in this situation to feel safe in exploring (cost subsidized adoption process perhaps? A state of the art orphanage run by extensively trained and vetted personnel that the public will feel is safe for kids who would have otherwise been aborted? A support program that will help them if they choose to have their child! Something! ideas people, ideas) (again, not going to happen because religious sheep would rather demand punitive action from the government to console their moral outrage instead of putting their effort into demanding uplifting programs to solve the same problem) we instead put all our effort into finding new and interesting ways to criminalize, intimidate, and jail women who are the most vulnerable in our society (because religion is all about the love of jesus (note the small j) instead of the love for your fellow human being and helping them out of dispair). Nice ... Utah is the scariest of scary places in this way in the entire USA. Rest assured you will all burn in hell for what you've done to each other in Gods name (sorry, I'm an atheist but I couldn't resist as religious people love chanting this silly bit about imaginary places. Plus I love irony). [:-)> --Hi Reddit! --

about the Utah Governor Signing Miscarriage Bill don't know what to say

haha.. he must think a lot to say anything.

I think that A couple months ago a girl asked her boyfriend to beat her up forcing a miscarriage..

A few months ago a girl asked her boyfriend to beat her up forcing a miscarriage..