Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarriage


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.

The bill passed by legislators amends Utah’s criminal
statute to allow the state to charge a woman with criminal homicide for inducing a miscarriage or obtaining an illegal abortion. The
basis for the law was a recent case 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. Although the girl
gave birth to a baby later given up for adoption, she was
initially charged with attempted murder. However the charges were dropped because,
at the time, under Utah state law a woman could not be prosecuted for
attempting to arrange an abortion, lawful or unlawful.

The bill passed by the Utah legislature would change that. 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.

"What is really radical and different about this statute is
that all of the other states’ feticide laws are directed to third party
attackers," Paltrow explained. "[Other states' feticide laws] were passed in
response to a pregnant woman who has been beaten up by a husband or boyfriend.
Utah’s law is directed to the woman herself and that’s what makes it different
and dangerous."

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.

"This creates a law that makes any pregnant woman who has a
miscarriage potentially criminally liable for murder," says Missy Bird,
executive director of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Utah. Bird says there are
no exemptions in the bill for victims of domestic violence or for those who are
substance abusers. The standard is so broad, Bird says, "there nothing in the
bill to exempt a woman for not wearing her seatbelt who got into a car
accident."

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 home was arrested under the suspicion she was trying to terminate
her pregnancy.

"This statute and the standards chosen leave a large number
of pregnant women vulnerable to arrest even though they have no intention of
ending a pregnancy," Paltrow said. "Whether or not the legislature intended
this bill to become a tool for policing and punishing all pregnant women, if
enacted this law would permit prosecution of a pregnant woman who stayed with
her abusive husband because she was unable to leave. Not leaving would, under
the ‘reckless’ standard, constitute conduct that consciously disregarded a
substantial risk," Paltrow explained.

While many states have fetal homicide laws most apply only
in the third trimester. Utah’s bill would
apply throughout the entirety of a woman’s pregnancy. Even first trimester
miscarriages could become the basis for a murder trial.

Bird said she is also concerned that the law will drive pregnant
women with substance abuse problems "underground;" afraid to seek treatment
lest they have a miscarriage and be charged for murder. She said it directly
reverses the attempts made, though a bill passed in 2008, to encourage pregnant
women to seek treatment for addiction.

Paltrow added that the commonly thought belief that pregnant
women who use drugs are engaging in behavior that is likely to cause a stillbirth
or a miscarriage is wrong.

"Science now makes clear that drug use by pregnant women
does not create unique risks for pregnant women, although it is likely that
among those targeted for prosecutions by this statute will be women who go to
term under drug usage," she said.

The bill does exempt from prosecution fetal deaths due to failure
to follow medical advice, accept treatment or refuse a cesarean section. Bird said
this exemption was likely because of a 2004 case where a woman who was
pregnant with twins was later charged with criminal homicide after one
of the babies was stillborn, which the state deemed due to her refusal
to have a cesarean section.

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Utah worked together to "amend
the hell out of the bill," Bird said. One of their few accomplishments was at
least dropping the legal standard of "negligence" from the bill, a much lower
standard than "recklessness."

Bird was shaken with emotion after the Senate vote. "I broke
down and cried," she admitted. "I normally never let these kind of [legislative]
battles get to me."

"What really sucks is that we had three supposed allies in
the Senate, three [Democratic] women, who voted for the bill," Bird said,
adding she didn’t yet know why the three senators switched votes.

Marina Lowe is legislative and policy counsel for the ACLU
of Utah. She worked in tandem with Bird on trying to derail or at least
mitigate the worst aspects of the bill. Lowe says at this point she doesn’t
know if there is a potential constitutional challenge to the law once it is
signed by the governor.

But she points to cases like the one in Iowa as exactly the
kind of situation that might arise once this law is put into place.

Paltrow says this bill puts a lie to the idea that the
pro-life movement cares about women.

"For all these years the anti-choice movement has said ‘we
want to outlaw abortion, not put women in jail, but what this law says is ‘no,
we really want to put women in jail.’"

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  • soclosetolife

    Didn’t you know that the only women who deserve to be mothers and deserve their freedom and rights are the women who have the money and dedication to stay on bed-rest from the very moment they find out they are pregnant? Real women have babies, not jobs.

    /sarcasm

    In seriousness, though, things like this bill make life during pregnancy even harder. If it weren’t enough that people think they have rights to touch you and lecture you in public now you can’t even do normal things without worrying. Five miles over the limit on a clear road? Nope, sorry. You very well could be put in prison.

  • catseye71352

    Advocates of forced childbirth have had this as an unspoken goal for years. Welcome to “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

    Catseye  ( (|) )

  • davel

    If I’m not mistaken, doesn’t the list of things known to increase the risk of miscarriage include things like horseback riding and coffee?

  • wendy-banks

    Absolutly apalling! It’s got to be unconsitutional! The far-righters won’t be happy until women are mere chattle again will they?

  • hatmaker510

    Two things come to mind with the barbaric legislation:
    1) What if the miscarriage happens and the woman doesn’t find out until after the "incident"? 2) Isn’t this double punishment for a woman who loses a child she desperately wanted and then to be held criminally responsible?
    If men were the ones who carried the pregnancies such outrageous laws like this would be doomed at the outset. It just seems to be getting worse all the time.

  • sheila65

    I DO NOT AGREE AT ALL WITH THIS LAW, I BELIEVE IN THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE. I DO BELIEVE THOUGH THAT THE GIRL THAT WAS 7 MONTHS PREGNANT AND HAD SOMEONE BEAT HER UP TO PURPOSELY TRY TO KILL HER UNBORN CHILD WAS A CRIME ABSOLUTELY. THAT IS JUST DISGUSTING AND INHUMANE, I DONT CARE THAT SHE WAS ONLY 17, THAT IS OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG AND IF SHE DIDNT WAS THE BABY SHE SHOULD HAVE HAD AN ABORTION IN THE BEGINING OF THE PREGNANCY. SHE COULD HAVE GIVEN IT UP FOR ADOPTION. I DO HOPE THAT SHE WENT TO JAIL BECAUSE THE WAY I SEE IT THAT IS EITHER MURDER IF THE BABY DIED OR ATTEMPTED MURDER IF THE BABY LIVED AND THE PERSON THAT DID THE BEATING SHOULD ASO BE PUNISHED FOR MURDER OR ATTEMPTED MURDER.

  • crowepps

    Depends on whether one is talking about KNOWN to cause or ASSOCIATED with. Smoking, drinking and drug use are not proven causes of miscarriage — if they were, there wouldn’t be any crack babies or infants with fetal alcohol syndrome because those women would have had miscarriages.

     

    The most frightening thing about this law is that the cause of a spontaneous abortion usually has no connection whatsoever to what the woman chooses to do, but of course in the case of a woman who is leading an ‘irregular’ life, someone can always be found who will testify that it does. Remember all that sworn testimony at the witch trials? Before the hangings and burnings?

    The cause of a miscarriage cannot always be determined. The most common known causes of miscarriage in the first third of pregnancy (1st trimester) are chromosomal abnormalities, collagen vascular disease (such as lupus), diabetes, other hormonal problems infection, and congenital (present at birth) abnormalities of the uterus. Chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus are the most common cause of early miscarriages, including blighted ovum.

     

    Chromosomes are microscopic components of every cell in the body that carry all of the genetic material that determine hair color, eye color, and our overall appearance and makeup. These chromosomes duplicate themselves and divide many times during the process of development, and there are numerous points along the way where a problem can occur. Certain genetic abnormalities are known to be more prevalent in couples that experience repeated pregnancy losses. These genetic traits can be screened for by blood tests prior to attempting to become pregnant. Half of the fetal tissue from 1st trimester miscarriages contain abnormal chromosomes. This number drops to 20% with 2nd trimester miscarriages. In other words, abnormal chromosomes are more common with 1st trimester than with 2nd trimester miscarriages. First trimester miscarriages are so very common that unless they occur more than once, they are not considered “abnormal” per se. They do not prompt further evaluation unless they occur more than once. In contrast, 2nd trimester miscarriages are more unusual, and therefore may trigger evaluation even after a first occurrence. It is therefore clear that causes of miscarriages seem to vary according to trimester.

    Collagen vascular diseases are illnesses in which a person’s own immune system attacks their own organs. These diseases can be potentially very serious, either during or between pregnancies. In these diseases, a woman makes antibodies to her own body’s tissues. Examples of collagen vascular diseases associated with an increased risk of miscarriage are systemic lupus erythematosus, and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Blood tests can confirm the presence of abnormal antibodies and are used to diagnose these conditions.

     

    Diabetes generally can be well-managed during pregnancy, if a woman and her doctor work closely together. However, if the diabetes is insufficiently controlled, not only is the risk of miscarriages higher, but the baby can have major birth defects. Other problems can also occur in relation to diabetes during pregnancy. Good control of blood sugars during pregnancy is very important.

     

    Hormonal factors may be associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, including Cushing’s Syndrome, thyroid disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. It has also been suggested that inadequate function of the corpus luteum in the ovary (which produced progesterone necessary for maintenance of the very early stages of pregnancy) may lead to miscarriage. Termed luteal phase defect, this is a controversial issue, since several studies have not supported the theory of luteal phase defect as a cause of pregnancy loss.

     

    Maternal infection with a large number of different organisms has been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. Fetal or placental infection by the offending organism then leads to pregnancy loss. Examples of infections that have been associated with miscarriage include infections by Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, parvovirus B19, rubella, herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. Abnormal anatomy of the uterus can also cause miscarriages. In some women there can be a tissue bridge (uterine septum), that acts like a partial wall dividing the uterine cavity into sections. The septum usually has a very poor blood supply, and is not well suited for placental attachment and growth. Therefore, an embryo implanting on the septum would be at increased risk of miscarriage.

     

    Other structural abnormalities can result from benign growths in the uterus called fibroids. Fibroid tumors (leiomyomata) are benign growths of muscle cells in the uterus. While most fibroid tumors do not cause miscarriages, (in fact, they are a rare cause of infertility), some can interfere with the embryo implantation and the embryo’s blood supply, thereby causing miscarriage.

     

    Invasive surgical procedures in the uterus, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, also slightly increase the risk of miscarriage.

     

    http://www.medicinenet.com/miscarriage/page2.htm

  • midwifetx

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anembryonic_gestation

    Pregnancy without a fetus is a common reason for miscarriage in early pregnancy. But you wouldn’t know it exists unless you get a sonogram.

    How many women will be convicted under this bill for killing a fetus that doesn’t exist?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, all the way ’round.

  • curtisp

    Lets just call it what it is…Totalitarianism. So what if some kid had a guy beat her up to miscarry. This was used as an excuse to pass such a law that conservatives have been itching to pass for a long time. The people who voted in favor of this bill are morally and ethically bankrupt. They are using pregnancy as a weapon to impose totalitarianism on women as a way to push back on the gains we have made.

  • curtisp

    Governor Gary Herbert

    800-705-2464 ph
    800-705-2464 fax

    gherbert@utah.gov

    Go ahead an contact the guy. Messages should be short and polite.

    Thanks

  • ahunt

    My heart aches for the women who will be persecuted if this law makes it onto the books.

     

    But I’m one for grasping at straws. In this age of the internet, where information is disseminated at the speed of light…the split second a sister/daughter/wife/mistress of prominent individuals is prosecuted under this law…the law will come under heavy duty fire. Such is the way of the world.

     

     We can only hope…(she says, uncorking the soave classico.)

  • elyzabeth

    She probably didn’t have the option of getting an abortion early in the pregnancy.  Utah’s restrictions have made abortions impossible to obtain for many women. 

     

    If the girl was so desperate to stop being pregnant that she was willing to be brutally beaten for it, the pregnancy must have been a hell for her.  She must have been terrified of spending another two months suffering through it.

     

  • mnrgarcia

    No, no, she paid this sicko because her boyfriend said he would break up with her if she had the baby.

     

    Not really great on the "good reasons". She wasn’t terrified or tortured with a painful or hellish pregnancy by any account. She simply wanted to keep a non deserving boyfriend. 

     

    That male was as slimey as they come. 

     

    As far as this bill goes; I deeply concerned about its actual use. I’m also not confident in its cohesive peace with refusing to accept medical advice. The two portions seem to be at odd with each other. It appears to be a low quality example of work–regardless of issue and opinion.

     

    If I have a homebirth and my baby dies, does this law apply? If I have an UNplanned birth at home but I call the EMS and baby dies, does this apply?

     

    What exactly is the practical application of this bill??

     

    Regina

  • mnrgarcia

    Well, I have to say I’m not a bit surprised that Margaret Dayton is the sponsoring senator for this bill. She has a real issue with women doing anything of their own accord without her husband’s profession being involved–an obstetrician. She’s absolutely against home birth in all forms, and here, you can see she again is against anything that takes money out of the "fellow’s" pockets. However;

    The actual bill reads as follows:
    http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillenr/hb0012.htm

    76-5-201. Criminal homicide — Elements — Designations of offenses.
    60 (1) (a) [A] Except as provided in Subsections (3) and (4), a person commits criminal
    61 homicide if [he] the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, with criminal negligence, or
    62 acting with a mental state otherwise specified in the statute defining the offense, causes the
    63 death of another human being, including an unborn child at any stage of its development.
    64 (b) There shall be no cause of action for criminal homicide for the death of an unborn
    65 child caused by an abortion, as defined in Section 76-7-301 .
    66 (2) Criminal homicide is aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, child abuse
    67 homicide, homicide by assault, negligent homicide, or automobile homicide.
    68 (3) A person is not guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child if the sole reason
    69 for the death of the unborn child is that the person:
    70 (a) refused to consent to:
    71 (i) medical treatment; or
    72 (ii) a cesarean section; or
    73 (b) failed to follow medical advice.
    74 (4) A woman is not guilty of criminal homicide of her own unborn child if the death of
    75 her unborn child:
    76 (a) is caused by a criminally negligent act of the woman; and
    77 (b) is not caused by an intentional, knowing, or reckless act of the woman.

    Clearly, other than the word "reckless", this bill isn’t as sensational as the article makes it out to be. I do have a problem with the word "reckless" because WHO exactly defines it? But a reasonable person (I realize I open a door for argument there but lets not get overzealous here) can clearly see that it’s a mostly benign legislative act, due to it’s own definitions its potentially bound with contradictions easily fought and over come. In order to be prosecuted the DA would have to PROVE without a shadow of a doubt that a woman has a full understanding and absolute INTENTION of killing her unborn baby but she cannot be pursued if she sought out a legal medical abortion. Seriously read the words accepted in this bill, just WHAT exactly are they going to use this bill for?? Almost nothing applies.
    To tell you the truth, I think this is just a token thrown out there for those outraged by the act of this young lady without any REAL purpose, merit, or ammunition.

    Regina

  • homasapiens

    Yet another reason not to live in Utah.

  • ahunt

    Um…this bill opens the door to harassment, invasion of privacy, state interference in how women manage their pregnancies, draconian restrictions on what women may and may not do while pregnant, besides having residual effects on employment opportunities…

     

    This is NUTS!

  • ack

    Any act by a pregnant woman that results in a miscarriage would qualify, since they don’t define "reckless" as it’s used in this section. "Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" is very common language in assault and murder statutes, but it should not have been included here. The result is the criminalization of behavior that endangers the fetus. They don’t have to prove intent or knowledge, just recklessness.

  • ahunt

    Precisely. Depraved indifference? 

     

    http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/1f153a.htm

     

    http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/pmiscarriage/0,,qjhs,00.html

     

    Just for starters…

  • crowepps

    "A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a provision of law defining an offense when the person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists; the risk must be of such a nature and degree that disregard of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation; a person who is unaware of a risk of which the person would have been aware had that person not been intoxicated acts recklessly with respect to that risk."

  • wuambat

    The constitution backs the rights of the baby. Life, Liberty, ect…. I would like to ask the so called “Pro Choice” people this question – What about the  babies choice? Taking it away should be a crime. Good for Utah, I hope they make it a Federal Law.

  • wuambat

    The baby was 7 months along. Lungs, Heart, Brain, all there. The inocent baby has little help from the outside world to plead his or her case. The most inocent humans have so little rights. The woman already made her choice. Her  “pro choice” was made when she had sex. You can choose your actions, but you can not always choose your consequence.

  • m-williams

    Once again, we see women’s rights under attack. This is the most outrageous law I have heard of! Forcing women to have babies they don’t want and WILL NOT care for properly is just as bad, if not worse, than abortion or miscarriage. If people like wuambat think women should be forced to reproduce (Should they be locked up until they have their child? Perhaps in an asylum of some sort, as though they had no rights at all.) then I can only assume that s/he is willing to take on the responsibility of raising and caring for a child the mother does NOT want! Or perhaps they like to believe that having been forced to carry a child to term, under penalty of law, the mother will somehow look upon that child with love. Don’t be so ridiculous. There are enough unwanted children in this world as it is. And unless people like the Utah legislature, which I assume is predominately male, are willing to take the responsibility of caring for ALL children until they reach adulthood, they should stop trying to legislate morality. And before you ask, I am the mother of two children who are very much loved, BUT it was MY decision and had anyone attempted to interfere, I would have told them in no uncertain terms what every woman should tell the Utah legislature, BUTT OUT! 

  • frolicnaked

    Her  “pro choice” was made when she had sex.

     

    Do we actually know that this woman chose to have sex? As in, do we know that the sex that resulted in this pregnancy involved her free consent?

     

    It’s certainly possible, of course, but the fact that she was willing to cause harm to herself (regardless of whether the pregnancy was wanted) in order to keep her boyfriend from leaving her sends up a red flag to me about the power dynamic of their relationship.

     

    Without claiming that I know for certain one way or the other, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to wonder if their relationship involved abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, etc.), which is probably more common than a lot of people are willing to admit.

  • whys

    This law will need to be amended.  It’s intentions are understandable, but in this form it can’t possibly survive a supreme court review.  Then again, these are the days of Alito. :P

     

    Keep safe abortions legal!

  • cmm

    Can we use this law to sue the employer who does not provide health care benefits? Can we use statistics to prove using number that lack of employer-provided health care benefits causes miscarriages? Can we sue the state for recklessly not providing the best health-care conditions to prevent miscarriages even though they know that some benefits would help?

  • broknprism

    The intent of the law, to protect unborn children, is long overdue.  I’m amazed at the venom in posts by women who have serious chips on their shoulders about power, or a perceived lack of it, in this world.  Power to kill your children is not power you have; it’s power had over you by the worst impulse of your humanity: self-centeredness.  The one choice I never hear feminists goading you to make is the choice to keep your knees together if you don’t want a baby.  They don’t come by stork, so make those choices the night before, not the morning after.  In the race to be equal with men in the 60s, women chose the worst traits of men — sexual profligacy, infidelity, multiple indiscriminate mating relationships — to emulate.  Why, given the role models, didn’t more of you want to be Ghandis than Kennedys…?

  • saltyc

    Choice is based on consciousness and reflection, which feti and embryos are incapable of. Next question.

  • jayn

    The constitution backs the rights of the baby. Life, Liberty, ect….

     

    When ‘right to use another person’s body for your own benefit’ gets added to those, you’ll have a point.

  • oneofeleven

     

    What’s next .. join the Taliban .. force women to wear the burka.  This law hopefully won’t stand the test of time … but before it goes down .. many women will be will be unjustly caught in it’s web.  

    As per my user name, I am one of eleven children born to a women who wasn’t allowed to have her tubes tied without her husbands signature until she had 9 living children (2 of the 11 died) – the results put her in an early grave.  

    For those who tout birth control - they are not 100% effective  I have one of those children and so does my daughter — we chose to bear those children.

    I love the preachers of do-good.  They are daily paraded across the TV screen.  They make & tout the rules and then place themselves above it. Ask Edwards, minister Baker, Jones etc.    It’s the poor that are caught in the web of laws .. the rich can afford to do as they please.  Rush Limbaugh is a great example of that .. you know Mr Anti-Drug until he got caught for prescription mis-use.

    My last thought - I wonder how Utah would treat Jaycee Dugard ?


     

     

     

     

     

  • oneofeleven

     

     

    What’s next .. join the Taliban .. force women to wear the burka.  This law hopefully won’t stand the test of time … but before it goes down .. many women will be will be unjustly caught in it’s web.  

    As per my user name, I am one of eleven children born to a women who wasn’t allowed to have her tubes tied without her husbands signature until she had 9 living children (2 of the 11 died) – the results put her in an early grave.  

    For those who tout birth control - they are not 100% effective  I have one of those children and so does my daughter — we chose to bear those children.

    I love the preachers of do-good.  They are daily paraded across the TV screen.  They make & tout the rules and then place themselves above it. Ask Edwards, minister Baker, Jones etc.    It’s the poor that are caught in the web of laws .. the rich can afford to do as they please.  Rush Limbaugh is a great example of that .. you know Mr Anti-Drug until he got caught for prescription mis-use.

    My last thought - I wonder how Utah would treat Jaycee Dugard ?


     

     

     

     

     

  • julie-watkins

    A dead person (even a dead woman) can’t be forced to donate organs or even corneas. Since there aren’t laws (nor is there aggitation for laws) that would force donations of people live or dead — society believes “people” can’t be forced to make donations. Unfortunately, it seems too many laws and people believe pregnant women aren’t “people”.

  • saltyc

    Wrong, wrong and wrong. Relying on fiction is a losing argument. No one here wants the right to kill any children, we want the right to bodily autonomy and the right to be pregnant without punishing state intervention. Any law that seeks to protect a fetus from its future mother is wrong-headed: The only way to help a fetus is to help the woman who’s bearing it. The reason some women and girls resort to extreme measures to end a pregnancy, as the case this law was supposed to address, is that they lack access to abortion. The best was to address it is to assist women to access abortion (which I do by volunteering for a fund which provides women money to reduce the cost of their abortions), de-stigmatize abortion and educate.

  • ahunt

    Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.

     

    Lather, rinse. repeat.

  • crowepps

    “The one choice I never hear feminists goading you to make is the choice to keep your knees together if you don’t want a baby.”

     

    And yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen ProLife activitists outside of a strip club or a bar or down in the red light district beseeching men to abandon sexual profligancy, infidelity and multiple indiscriminate mating relationships, all of which contribute to the rate of abortions.

     

    “In the race to be equal with men in the 60s, women chose the worst traits of men — sexual profligacy, infidelity, multiple indiscriminate mating relationships — to emulate.  Why, given the role models, didn’t more of you want to be Ghandis than Kennedys…?”

     

    Probably for the same reasons so many men aspire to be Kennedys — or Elliot Spitzers, or Mark Sanfords, or Jimmy Swaggarts.  So just what are the proportions among men, given those role models, of those emulating Ghandi?

     

    The equality women fought for was the ability to have something else besides our vaginas and uteruses be the focus of our lives.   It’s kind of sad that you seem to have missed entirely the fact that women actually are accomplishing a multitude of other things because your focus is still entirely on the crotch.

  • davidpun

    Frankly the people of Utah deserve what they get. They elected these stupid politicians. They should take the consequences. However if the women of Utah feel disenfranchised, I suggest you stop having sexual relations with the men of Utah. That way you’ll achieve two results. 1. Youll punish these idiots for their stupidity 2. You’ll do the rest of the country a favor by removing their genes from the gene pool.

  • beforeits2late

    Clearly some things have to be thought out there.

    People having responsibility for their actions and the lifes they have started no matter how little that being is, doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.. and to think that it could really make people who stay in abusive relationships get away from them when they wouldn’t do that for themselve otherwise perhaps could also be a good thing for some. I do believe in choice but when an individuals conscious choice effects anothers wellbeing I think the law should be there to protect.

  • ahunt

    This is what makes me nuts in the neverending discussion about female behavior. Goes something like this:

     

    If some women make specific decisions regarding how they conduct their lives, then ALL women should make the similiar decisions because….drum roll please…women are all alike! Or should be.

     

    The irrationality of this POV is always lost on those who insist on its validity.

    Women are women, dammit…and men are men…like the drones in the hive.

     

    But wait…men are not confined to such rigid behaviorial analysis and definition…why is that…does anyone think.

     

     

  • ahunt

    Clearly some things have to be thought out there

     

    Oh, ya think?

     

    People having responsibility for their actions and the lifes they have started no matter how little that being is, doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me..

     

    And once again, we are back to the demand that women behave as if they are perpetually pregnant.

     

    and to think that it could really make people who stay in abusive relationships get away from them when they wouldn’t do that for themselve otherwise perhaps could also be a good thing for some

     

    Reality…meet beforeits2late…the pair of you should sit down and get to know one another.

  • darrenshark

    HHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM, if this law is passed, will they prosecute women over the age of 35 that give birth, knowing that they are more likely to have children born with syndromes like Down’s Syndrome, and miscarriage!

     

    Wake up America….what are we trying to do….become the new communist states of america?

  • beforeits2late

    Yes completely unrealistic to wish that some would not put their human rights before anothers human rights.

     

     

  • ahunt

    completely unrealistic

     

    We’re making progress! You appear to be acknowleging that women are entitiled to human rights.

  • nmrabbit

    You can tell who wrote and will pass this bill.  MEN!  Did your wife buy a new pair of sissors lately?  A miscarrage by medical definition–is a woman having birthed before her term limit.  Now there are probably over 100 reasons -medically- that this can happen  Only in Utah would this bill get even read in the House.  49 other states would castorate the man for even writing it.  The men of Utah are not GODS, though some may think they are.  Leave the having of babies to the women.  A man could not stand the pain.  Besides—-an abortion is between the woman and her GOD–Not man.  An old man of 74.

  • princess-rot

    In the race to be equal with men in the 60s, women chose the worst traits of men — sexual profligacy, infidelity, multiple indiscriminate mating relationships — to emulate.  Why, given the role models, didn’t more of you want to be Ghandis than Kennedys…?

     

    Generally because feminists think of women as people, not one-dimensional caricatures who are pathetically attempting to copy the presumed male default instead of being good little girls and ignoring those things when men do it, like they ought. I honestly do not understand people who think being human is a zero-sum game with no room for nuance, and that we are all essentially a hive mind which will automatically choose to be bad if we aren’t controlled. Sounds more like you fear that you will be treated in such a manner and that you will be the one powerless to do anything about it.

  • colleen

    Wake up America….what are we trying to do….become the new communist states of america?

    Just a quibble.
    While communism is an authoritarian and, thus, shitty form of government I believe that what the US is inexorably heading towards is more akin to theocratic fascism or neo-feudalism. See: The Handmaids Tale or, for that matter, think about the Inquisitions (as I do every time I look at the Opus Dei five on the Supreme Court)

    ——————————————
    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

      Dr Warren Hern, MD
  • soshaljustice

    This is feminisms nightmaric dream and the ultimate solution-gateway to no more excessive amounts of men. Go to sperm bank-use turkey baster or implanted/abort legally if male. Only other option is to be treated as human incubator/cook/maid/2nd income… take total power and eliminate need for men except a few ready-to-ejaculate-anytime adolescent donors from the gene pool. Been thru the holy wars-gender wars to follow and they are.

  • emma

    and to think that it could really make people who stay in abusive relationships get away from them when they wouldn’t do that for themselve

    What, you mean when they end up in jail? Yeah, this is actually a fabulously humane law that will be wonderfully beneficial to dirty sluts walking, talking incubators women.

  • jcrew

    Why do people over-exaggerate so much?  This bill is mainly just an pro-life bill…but there really isn’t anything NEW about it.  Reading over the details on this bill, it is just another push for baby life.  Anyway… babies are people too…and I think that they should be able to choose for themselves…if they want to kill themselves later in life.  :p  Good job UTAH!!  wish my state will follow in your footsteps!

    • reasonophilic

      “over-exaggerate” is redundant. You probably just meant “exaggerate”.

      And babies *can’t* choose for themselves. It’s physically impossible. You might as well give the right to choose to be inflamed and cirrhotic to your liver every time you have a glass of wine, or give the right to choose to the person who gets robbed. It’s a ridiculous argument.

  • sally-q

    Does this legislation require that Utah actively protect and nurture all pregnant women and their fetuses with comprehensive medical care and appropriate counseling? I’d vote for that!

  • beforeits2late

    Um.. I never ever said that I was against women (or men for that matter) being entitled to human rights. Some of those babies who will be saved will one day be women too. It looks like there’s just too many people here twisting words and looking for an argument for arguments sake that you don’t even seem to see that we agree on somethings.

  • atunionbob

    To penilize a woman for having a miscarrage regardless of how it came about is stupid, idiotic, and totally assinine! The State of Utah senators are now putting MD behind their name it seems. As far as abortion is consirned I always ask people against it what should be done with the child if the parent is not able to care for the child, because of mental unstability, health, maturity or what ever the reason. I am almost always answered with the child should be placed up for adoption. Then I ask how many have you adopted? They almost all answer the same…”None”! Why????? I am pro adoption, and pro abortion, and I have two sons that I adopted and would like to adopt more but my health is now bad and I have few years left on earth to live. So do not try to force people into your religious beliefs or personal battles until YOU can say you have adopted or taken the walk that they have to take! Inother words don’t talk the talk until you walk the walk!

  • mwild3coxnet

    You mean to say that drug use or binge drinking should not be considered a crime when you are pregnant ? Seems to me they are placing the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the one whom it belongs. In my opinion it should extend to the father as well in some respects. Are you angry because of an idea that a fetus should have rights ? Remember the mother had the right not to get pregnant in the first place and surrenders some of those rights when she allows herself to become impregnated. Its a decision that takes place. Lets exclude rape because I know thats the lame argument coming I think we all could aqree on some modification in respect to that.  There were those who argued as fervently against blacks being allowed in their restrooms and in their voting booths. All we are doing here is extending the basic rights of life to a new group of individuals and ensuring that selfish and careless actions dont interfere with their right to live. A right which was obviously extended to those reading this article now.  By defending the weakest of us we protect ourselves as well.

  • ahunt

    and surrenders some of those rights when she allows herself to become impregnated.

     

    Which rights? Please be specific.

  • crowepps

    Drop in FAS is great; now let’s screen women and girls

     

    I am thrilled to see the downward trends of fetal alcohol syndrome in the Native community. The rates are not going down in other communities precisely because it is perceived as a Native issue.

     

    I regularly see pregnant women who share that they have consumed alcohol not knowing that they are pregnant yet. Binge drinking rates are high and half of all pregnancies are unintended. Women do get the message about not drinking during pregnancy; they just don’t get it regarding if they could become pregnant. Any woman who drinks during pregnancy can harm her fetus.

     

    We must begin to screen all reproductive-age girls and women for (a) alcohol use patterns and (b) effective contraception if sexually active and drinking. We know that screening and brief intervention strategies work and health care providers often do not identify those at risk.

     

    Unless we come to grips with how we deal with human sexuality and alcohol as a society, we will continue to see women harming fetuses before they know that they are pregnant.

     

    – Marilyn Pierce-Bulger

    FNP, CNM

     

    Anchorage

     

    http://www.adn.com/2010/02/27/1160533/letters-to-the-editor-22810.html

     

    Ms. Pierce-Bulger, Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife, apparently believes that women shouldn’t be allowed to drink at all, just in case there might be a fetus present. She feels strongly enough about it to have sent this letter to the Editor to our local paper.

     

    She may have gotten the idea from the bright idea of an Alaskan legislator, who believes that poverty should be treated as ipso facto ‘evidence’ of likely substance abuse.

     

    Under House Bill 259, the department would have to create a new program providing “random and suspicion-based testing” of welfare recipients for alcohol or illegal drugs including marijuana, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines. A person who failed two tests and refused to get treatment would lose direct cash assistance, though the person or family could still get help if the payment was managed by a third party.

     

    The bill sets specific criteria for how much of which drug would constitute a failed test. But it’s vague on alcohol, saying only that it sought to address “use of alcohol that impairs a recipient’s ability to work or to seek work.”

     

    http://www.adn.com/2010/02/25/1157900/alcohol-testing-bill-needs-work.html

  • crowepps

    Communism is an ECONOMIC system the opposite of Captialism, not a form of government.

     

    The difference between the two is in the first the people as a collective whole own and control capital and in the second individual citizens own and control capital.

     

    Neither economic system necessarily has anything to do with people’s freedom to make choices in their personal lives so far as marriage, sex, reproduction, etc.

     

    A communistic economic system could be governed by a Democracy similarly to the ‘town meeting’ style of government at some Israeli Kibbutz, or, as in Russia, by authoritarians.

     

    “The less reasonable a cult is, the more men seek to establish it by force.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • crowepps

    I do believe in choice but when an individuals conscious choice effects anothers wellbeing I think the law should be there to protect.

    So what do you think of the idea of passing a law requiring all single men to use condoms every time they have sex, and throwing them in jail if their conscious choice not to do so affects another’s wellbeing? That would sure cut down on unwanted pregnancy, abortions and STDs!

  • mydogisfrank

    Outstanding ! As a Small business owner of a Hanger Mfg. Company I see Dramatic sales increase in my Future. Thank you Utah GOP. I also will be hiring soon. No medical experience required.   As Dark as this post is it will be a reality for your Daughters as they soon will be cattle for men like Josua Powell. The New Utah Motto; Breed or die.

     

     

  • mydogisfrank

    There are Many “MEN” who belive in a womans right to choose. Undfortunatly for Women we only have Sheep in Utah.

  • socalgirl6

    Oh where to begin?  Your title?  Misleading.  You initially make it seem as though a woman who suffers a miscarriage (or 5) due to something such a (in my case) an imbalance of hormones would be in danger of being imprisoned for having a miscarriage.  Obviously, when taking time to read your opinion on this legislature, that is not the intention of the law.  However, to the ignorant or uninformed or those who seek to go to any lengths to ensure that the rights of the unborn are violated in the name of “women’s rights”, you would give the impression that authorities in Utah will immediately begin going door to door dragging women from their homes in the night if they have suffered the tragedy of an unintentional miscarriage.  I also highly doubt that if a pregnant woman should happen to go out on a drinking binge and subsequently suffers a miscarriage (as you seek to use as an example in this piece) that she would be charged with a crime.  How could it be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (as is the standard in our courts) that it was specifically her alcoholic stupor that led to the untimely demise of the fetus?

    In the case you mention of this 17 year old idiot (for that is surely what she is) who paid a man to beat her so that she would miscarry, I fail to see how it is any different for a woman (I use the term loosely in this case) to intentionally harm her unborn child as opposed to a violent boyfriend or husband beating his pregnant girlfriend/wife causing her to miscarry her child.  The end result is the same.  And why shouldn’t this teenage bonehead be charged for her crime?  Women everywhere would be crying out for justice if this girl’s boyfriend had paid a friend to take the same action, would they not?

    All in all, it is quite obvious that you believe abortion and the termination of pregnancy on demand at at any stage of pregnancy should remain legal at any cost.  You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but perhaps you may want to consider putting it out there in a manner that is just a bit less misleading?

  • crowepps

    I suppose women from Utah will continue to travel out of state as they do now, although I expect that next will be a law saying you can’t take a possible fetus out of state – they can fit it into the statutes near kidnapping, maybe call it ‘Suspicously Transporting A Uterus Across State Lines’, mandate pregnancy tests before travel, and investigate anyone who miscarries beyond their purview on suspicion of homicide.

     

    I’m sure the present Supreme Court would be happy to confirm that Utah can set up checkpoints at their borders that do ultrasounds on women suspected of being pregnant.  After all, surely State governments have the right to monitor fertile females in order to protect the purported constitutional rights of any zygotes that might happen to exist.  If they’re pregnant, they should be home taking it easy, not ‘gadding’ about.

     

    Historical note:  Were you aware that it used to be illegal for women to be ‘gadding’ (Going about much, needlessly or without purpose)?  There were pretty strict punishments for leaving one’s home too often unless you could prove you were doing so for purposes which the man of the house approved (like doing his laundry or buying his food).

  • crowepps

    Rats!

  • mydogisfrank

    Fair enough, You dont tell me how to live and I wont throw you under the Bus.

  • mydogisfrank

    Whoa. Dont give those Right wing Bat heads any Ideas (This is Utah after all). There is nothing more they would like than to legislate every part of your bedroom activities, If they could get away with it They would make it illegal to be a Non Mormon.

  • gigi

    While I can see the point of it in that one specific case, it is far too broad in it’s language.  Risky could mean anything.  What about lifting? sex? hot tubs?

    bulimia? anorexia? trans fat consumption?  coffee?  drinking chorinated water?

    bacterial infections? common drugs like ibuprophen?  sex with older men who have sperm abnormalities?  On and on go the lists.

    I think it was left ambiguous on purpose just so it can be used in nearly any case and that is wrong.

    All they need to do now is set up a hotline for turning in neighbor, sister, friend, co-worker or someone in your way at work.

    The end all of these laws will be the banning of birth control.  Not one so called pro-life site approves of anything but ‘natural’ birth control.

    The Handmaid’s Tale indeed.

     

     

  • thepianoman

    Why does this not surprise me? Coming from the state of Utah . . .  this sort of thing is to be expected. Hey, fellas, why don’t you just make it a crime to do anything that the church does not approve of. And, who is the church anyway? A bunch of old men who are the epotime of control freakdom. They want the laws structured so “they” (these old men) can have absolute control over women. This is absolutely insane. INSANE! A young woman who has herself beat up does not belong in prrison. The people who made up this law are truely sick, perverted ignormamuses. . . . they are the ones who belong in prison.

  • dmcequality

    This is an interesting law, it seems to want to protect the unborn “child’s” rights during pregnancy ahead of the woman’s choice.  The interesting thing to me is that pregnancy is a temporary moment (only 9 months), whereas termination of a child or potential child is a permanent action.  Although, “pro-choice” groups have argued that only we women should be allowed to choose what happens to our bodies, I’ve always wondered who gets to speak on behalf of the child’s body?  Again coming back to the temporary nature of pregnancy and realizing that the adoption option is possible, it would seem that the law neglects the potential child’s rights in favor of some woman’s inability to cope with the temporary 9 month pregnancy.  Of course, situations where the issues is not temporary (life threatening to the mother) would not apply and should be considered differently.  Interestingly enough, we women did have to participate in the act of having the child in the first place.  So, not only is pregnancy temporary, more than likely we are at least partly to blame (again rape would not apply here).  What’s most interesting is that scientifically, using Darwin as our basis, survival of the fittest would indicate that the potential child has overcome all odds to be born (competing against millions of others) yet we decide to interfere with science and play God.  

    In looking at this new law, I would expect that in most cases where it is not possible to determine what the intentions of the female were (who fell or who put on her seat-belt incorrectly) the judges would use leniency.  

    Regardless, it really is time that we started to protect the children considering that pregnancy is such a temporary moment in a woman’s life.

     

     

  • mydogisfrank

    And Who the do you think you are speaking for said Unborn Children ? Do you also speak to God ? Are you currently channeling some unborn fetus messages you would like to pass along, What ever your beliefs are thay are yours alone, Please dont think that because you have a half a dozen crackpots that think like you that it should be a Law. I would submit to you that If You Christians actually lived by the Law of the Bible Most of the Woman would be Dead anyway. Yes It’s your opinion and thak god thats all it is.

  • reader

    This law is clearly religious in nature. This is to promote the patriarchal dominance over women and children and return to the era where women and children are merely chattel and property. With respect to the “17-year-old” poster-child cited as the catalyst in this bill, I’m curious to know who fathered the child and why this information was conveniently omitted. Moreover, rather than incarcerating a convicted woman to life, this law might as well have required a convicted woman to be subject to a hysterectomy. Lastly, I’m extremely interested in knowing what the three senators who “flip-flopped” their vote traded their vote for. What nefarious plans do they have, too… Good luck, Utah!

  • princess-rot

    Yet strangely, you do not advocate a punishment involving the removal of bodily autonomy and reproductive choice for men who have sex, in fact, you don’t mention their role at all. Couldn’t be because you think men are people, and only women are community property?

  • crystenkari

    I would dearly like to point out that, depending on where you are, that ‘temporary’ time can cost a woman her job. Many places do not have laws in place to protect a woman from losing her job because she is pregnant. What do these women do, without income or benefits, simply because they are carrying a child? Would you have them lose their homes and move to the streets, where a law like this would most likely be able to persecute them?

    On top of that, there are times when even birth control fails – should a woman be forced to give up her livelihood simply because of bad luck?

    Adoption is a possibility, however- how many people do you know who have adopted? Do you know how difficult it can be to adopt a child? There are stringent requirements for adoption, last I checked, and not just anyone can do it!

  • crowepps

    “The interesting thing to me is that pregnancy is a temporary moment (only 9 months), whereas termination of a child or potential child is a permanent action.”

    Temporary moment?  I don’t think I’ve ever read any definition of ‘moment’ that could be stretched to encompass 9 months!

    “What’s most interesting is that scientifically, using Darwin as our basis, survival of the fittest would indicate that the potential child has overcome all odds to be born (competing against millions of others) yet we decide to interfere with science and play God.”

    What’s even more interesting is that scientifically, using actual facts, 15 to 20% of the women getting abortions would have had a miscarriage anyway.

    “In looking at this new law, I would expect that in most cases where it is not possible to determine what the intentions of the female were (who fell or who put on her seat-belt incorrectly) the judges would use leniency.”

    The problem of inequity arises, of course, in that a ‘good Mormon woman’ who made such an error would indeed probably receive leniency, but an ‘immoral, Godless woman’ would likely go to jail for exactly the same error.

     

  • mediumbob

     

    “Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution.”

     

    So is this what you stand for? The right for a woman to get drunk or high and mess up her kid? That’s a civil right? I thought that was illegal everywhere, and am surprised they had a to pass a law to prohibit that.

     

    I am tired of extremists on both sides hyperventilating every nuance of every law. Go away.

     

  • hammurabi

    The wording in the bill, legislation or whatever you call it seems rather open ended for such a powerfull law.I believe that there is some need for something along theses lines but this is not right.I have a 6 month old son.His mother started using again about 3 months in to pregnancy she would say she quit then i would find out later.She ended up shooting up oxy contin .I called dcf and the police and was told nothing they could do at all untill the child was born.That it my opinion is not fair .I can understand wanting an abortion .I can uderstand wanting to shoot up heroin and oxy.I cant understand how its ok to do this pregnant?Repeatedly without any consequences what so ever other than dcf after the child is born.I am so thankfull our son is ok so far .Actually hes amazing and his mother is doing a lot better(not due to dcf who didnt follow through)but due to jail time for an unrelated charge.I would suggest at least madatory drugtesting for someone who is using schedule 1 narcotics while pregnant. Along with treatment and the possibility of jail time.

    Along with removal of the child from the mother if uncompliant.

     

    And please dont say that it would prevent them from seeking help.

    sorry to get off topic this touched a nerve with me.

    This law is way to broad and invasive.

     

  • cipher

    Rachel Larris,

     

    Did you read the bill before you wrote your article?  If you had, you would probably agree with it.  Here is a link http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillenr/hb0012.htm

     

    All this bill does is expand Criminal Homicide to apply to an unborn child.  With clearly defined launguage that this does not apply to abortion or miscarriages(even when it was the womans fault).

     

                68          (3) A person is not guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child if the sole reason
                 69      for the death of the unborn child is that the person:
                 70          (a) refused to consent to:
                 71          (i) medical treatment; or
                 72          (ii) a cesarean section; or
                 73          (b) failed to follow medical advice.

     

  • ahunt

    pregnancy is a temporary moment

     

    dmcequality,  have you given birth? Just wondering.

  • ahunt

    Oh, well that just clears everything up!

     

    Sheesh.

  • ahunt

    sigh

     

    I’m sorry, Guys…everyone else just scroll.

     

    mediumbob…I train horses for a living, a high risk occupation. Say 2.5 mos in, if I take a header in the course of earning my paycheck, and miscarry…am I liable under this law? Reckless? What?

  • crowepps

    Cannot find the part where it says ”A person is not guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child if the sole reason for the death of the unborn child is that the person” had a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) for which the cause could not be determined.  Maybe you could point it out to me?

  • ahunt

    Specifically, point out where women who smoke, drink coffee, own a hot tub and work in high stress/high risk professions are not guilty of criminal homicide.

  • cipher

    How about:

    (2) Criminal homicide is aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, child abuse
                 67      homicide, homicide by assault, negligent homicide, or automobile homicide.

     

    This is a non issue people.  At least half of states have smiliar laws http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14386

  • crowepps

    You know, I was thinking about this as I was listening to the long lists of past injuries suffered by the various female athletes in the Olympics.  In order to avoid charges of ‘recklessly negligent gestating’ are they going to have to provide records of their birth control use or take pregnancy tests before competitions?

     

    These guys seem to think that women don’t have anything else to DO except sit around contemplating their uterus.

     

    Certainly the outraged gobbling about women who DRINK ignores the fact that there isn’t any evidence that the occasional drink ever hurts anything and that the evidence is that fetal alcohol syndrome is caused by HEAVY and FREQUENT drinking.  “My girlfriend used all these terrible drugs and the baby is just fine anyway” isn’t exactly a convincing argument.

  • ahunt

    Negligent homicide? As in “reckless”?

     

    Failure to wear a seat belt? Mountain bike racing? Ice skating? Skiing?

  • hammurabi

    Rachel you were correct i hadnt read the entire document. I ended up here through a series of links and i was responding to snippets ,comments and biased journalism towards both sides.

    I would have to say i agree with most of it.the law that is.

    I do however think the posters who point to the vagueness of the term “Risky” have a legitimate argument.Someone above mentioned forced hysterectomy.

    I did not see that anywhere in the document .If it is there could someone point it out?I think that they should clearly define what is and what is not “risky” if they are going to charge a person ,man or women with murder.

    I for one would support it if it was clear and inarguably murder or manslaughter.

    Hmm,Im curious. Is this actually worded exactly as manslaughter or murder ?

    It doesnt seem like it is?Anyone?What is the definition under federal or your state law of murder?Or Manslaughter?

    If this holds up to those deffinitions then i would think it a reasonable law.

    Is the term risky used to define manslaughter or murder?

    I honestly do not know .Perhaps Manslaughter.?

     

     

     

  • ahunt

    So you believe the state has the authority to manage the lives of pregnant women?

     

    Just asking.

  • callah

    You know, one would have thought that this kind of thing would be unimaginable in the United States, but over that past two years, and what has been going on, well I think it is par for the course. I use to room with a Mormon woman back in the 70s, and I couldn’t believe the things she told me about growing up as the daughter of one of the “9″, who rule the Mormon Church. Needless to say, that I am 50 now, and she, has been dead since age 22 by her own hand. her “Father” came into our place and “Kidnapped her”, dragging her back to SLC, along with the three children she had, all “named after Angels”. The Seattle Police said the children were there when she shot herself, because she found out she was pregnate for the fifth time, in Ballard. She didn’t do drugs, she didn’t even drink “coffee or Tea”. She just knew, she didn’t want to live like her MOTHER!

    Her Father had her charged with being a runaway, only she was 20 at the time. Washington said “NO she is over 18 but in Ut, she was under 21.

    What do you think she would think of this bill, newly enacted in her home state if she was still “alive”?

    PS By the way, the “Fathers” of her children were old enough to be her Grandfather.

  • colleen

    (3) A person is not guilty of criminal homicide of an unborn child if the sole reason
    69 for the death of the unborn child is that the person:
    70 (a) refused to consent to:
    71 (i) medical treatment; or
    72 (ii) a cesarean section; or
    73 (b) failed to follow medical advice.

    Apparently someone remembers when, in 2004, the state of Utah unsuccessfully charged a woman with homicide after she refused a cesarean and one of a set of twins was stillborn.
    We should all avoid Catholic hospitals and the entire state of Utah.

  • skitarghee

    A juvenile pays $150 to a 21 yr old man to beat her until she miscarries her 7 mo. old fetus. Baby and mother survive the beating. 21 yr old is sentenced for felonious assault. Juvenile goes unpunished…loses boyfriend who threatened to ditch her if she didn’t get rid of the baby. Was she totally innocent and her hired assailant totally guilty? He gets 15 years and she loses boyfriend…justice denied or justice applied? Can the legislature fix this inequality? Probably not.

  • travis

    Amen ack.  This statute wouldn’t be that bad without the inclusion of “reckless.”  It’s good they fought “negligence” out of the statute.  That would have been a nightmare. 

  • hammurabi

    Do i believe the state has the right to manage the lives of pregnant women .

    If that pregnant women is shooting heroin and refuses treatment or to get an aborttion  ……absolutely.I actually wished my girl would loose the child she was so messed up.And was absolutely powerless.

    As far as the above mormon friend .It doesnt seem relavent whatsoever.

    If you are implying due to her religion she couldnt have an abortion .

    But she could have a homebrewed one i dont know much about mormons but huh?

  • travis

    Whether a fetus is conscious is debatable, SaltyC. 

  • ahunt

    I actually wished my girl would loose the child she was so messed up.

     

    I’m cranky, and anything I say now will be unnecessarily cruel.

     

    I will only point out to folks here that men do in fact play a critical role in the decision to obtain an abortion. I am sorry for your situation, and grateful that your child is currently doing well.

  • crisscrops

    Abortion should not be used as a birth control method, yet, should be made available to those who need them (rape/medical/etc). Abortions should not be performed in the last trimester except for medical reasons. Righties ALWAYS claim that life begins at conception, yet, they celebrate ‘birth’days like the rest of us – how hypocritical is that?

  • ahunt

    This law is an ass…a bizarre overreaction to one case.

  • travis

    Jayn,

     

    If you stumble upon a person drowning in a swimming pool, you have no legal duty to save them.  If you push someone into a swimming pool and they start to drown, you have a duty to help.  They have a right to your body for their own benefit because you created their predicament.

     

    Except in cases of rape, the mother and father create the fetus’ predicament.  They pushed it into the pool, and they have a moral duty to help it out.  The burden of that duty falls primarily – if not exclusively – on the woman, but you have to blame nature, not law or man, for that.

  • callah

    The “friend” in Seattle with the three children had an abortion in Washington when she returned from her “Father’s kidnapping” this is why she had only Three children, till she found out she was pregnate for the fifth time, and killed herself. Her Father , sent PIs and “Fake cops” to try and “steal the children from her, but after she died, the children were abandoned to Washington Child services, by the Grandparents.

    The point of the post is, “Who is really saying what is deemed “Wreakless”?

    And how much Abuse does this law justify, in a State that is well documented to be “Unjust” to women who don’t act in accordance to their religious standards?

    And how Open ended laws like this can be abused.

    You couldn’t get an abortion in UT in those days, you had to be over 21 and go to another state, just like it was in GA in the late 60s.

    You can’t allow a system to establish power like that over anyone, of are we to go back to being second class citizans again, unless we “Bow down” to the Religious Right. I live in a secular country.

    Now as far as the girl, yes dare I say, 17 is not a woman yet, paying to get herself “beaten” to lose a baby…..What do you think would be the motivation force in someone Knawing off their arm to get out of being hand cuffed to a sink? This “Child” needs to be in children’s services custody, and the parents of say, should be the one’s on trial here. Where’s the parental responcibilities here? She is under age, people…and was pregnate….what did they think that “telling her to abstain was working?

    Yes it is fortunate the children of this both Lived, but will this child’s misfortune be the downfall of any woman they deem Unfit?

     

  • radiantgiraffe

    I have to clarify here that, legally, “reckless” is the least level of intent that is required to be proved in this statute. The state does not have to prove a woman intended to cause the death of her child, only that she behaved recklessly. The word “reckless” is no doubt defined quite clearly already in Utah’s criminal statutes and by case law. A common definition might be “gross negligence.” (I am an attorney.)

    Once a statute gets on the books, it’s amazing the creative ways a prosecutor will find to put it to use.

  • ahunt

    As long as we are descending into the theatre of the absurd…try this…

     

    I, in the course of having a good time, push someone into my pool who is suddenly now drowning, and in my efforts to save said person, discover that the drowing person needs to invade my body to survive…

     

    Oh wait…

  • travis

    Not only have the father and the mother created the fetus’ predicament, they also have a special relationship with the fetus.  Although we typically don’t place a duty on one person to care for another, parents have a legal duty to care for their children.  In some states, a doctor who stumbles upon an injured person has a legal duty to help that person because the doctor is in a unique position to help and has taken on certain obligations.   The mother is in a unique position to help a fetus.

  • ahunt

    So…”Dad” does what…? Enforced legally? Just checking?

  • travis

    Yeah, good point.  It’s so absurd to think that if a woman has sex a fetus might invade her body.

     

    Oh wait . . .

  • ahunt

    Which has what to do with your analogy?

  • ahunt

    As an attorney in Utah, do you have any reason to suspect that the law in UTAH will be selectively enforced…specifically in terms of race, creed, and economic level?

  • travis

    The forseeable consequence of knocking someone into a pool is that they might drown  –> legal duty to save them.

     

    The forseeable consequence of sexual intercourse is that a fetus might invade the woman’s body — > moral duty to save it. 

     

    I don’t endorse imposing a legal duty on the mother or criminalizing abortion.  I think this Utah bill is dangerous.  But I’m tired of the “you can’t make someone donate their body for nine months to save a dying virtuoso violinist” argument (or its variations).  It’s stupid because the  relationship between a mother (as long as she was not raped) and a fetus is not analagous to the relationship between some random person on the street with good organs and the virtuoso violinist we want to save.  That’s my only point.

     

  • ahunt

    A significant distinction, Travis, is that it there are two people obliged take responsibility (analogywise) for your one drowning person. Why can’t the drowning person invade the body of the other responsible individual?

  • prochoiceferret

    Abortion should not be used as a birth control method

    Yeah, and dental fillings shouldn’t be used as a substitute for brushing your teeth. The only “extremists” who posit that regular, planned, elective abortions are a desirable form of birth control are on the anti-choice side. And the only people who do use abortion as a form of birth control are those who, for one reason or another, don’t have the means or know-how to use a more conventional approach. Or are you suggesting that women enjoy having that vacuum probe inserted where the sun doesn’t shine?

  • travis

    You are deliberately obtuse.  Obviously, the right not to be pregnant.  And its a fair point.  A woman who has consensual sex knows there is a risk of pregnancy.  Its fair to say she might then owe a moral obligation to the fetus who, because of a choice she made, might have a claim to her help.  I think there are compelling reasons not to make that moral obligation a legal one, but you are poisoning this conversation with sarcasm and making any reasonable debate impossible.  Attitudes like yours make it pointless to have a conversation about abortion.  You’re not going to win over many converts with your sarcasm.  You sound like Glen Beck, only arguing for the other side.

  • ahunt

    Is this where I am supposed to apologize for my reminding you of just who bears the entire burden of your inaccurate analogy?

     

    I think there are compelling reasons not to make that moral obligation a legal one

     

    Cool. We can talk. But do not come sailing in here under the assumption that I owe you deference because of your “new” ideas. The “search” function is your friend.

  • seattledad

    Utah was the first state to grant women the right of suffrage.  They’ve got a lot of women voters.  If they’re all voting for this, even the Democrats, that’s got to mean something.   It seems to mean that they don’t like the idea of a man beating a woman to the point of killing her baby and being paid $150 for it.  I don’t have a lot of respect for men who force their partner to have an abortion (what kind of choice is that?), or who beat women for hire.  I know there are those out there.  There are also those who rape women, and they deserve to rot in jail and burn in h-e-double-hockey-stick.  But this law does not stop victims of rape, incest, or a life-threatening condition from seeking a legal abortion as far as I can tell.  It just says don’t be barbaric.  Maybe it also says something between the lines about how Utah families are willing to adopt if they’re so opposed to ugly abortions.  I know many Utah couples without children are prepared and waiting to adopt a child, and other families would step up to the plate if it would save a life.  As the saying goes, we’re only as sick as our secrets. 

  • travis

    Fair question.  In principle, I agree that the fetus has as much claim to the father’s body as the mother’s.  Unfortunately, men don’t have wombs (that pregnant man in the news was originally a woman, and I don’t think we have the ability yet to allow even a willing father to carry a baby).

     

    The fetus still has a moral claim on the father’s body.  The father has a moral obligation to labor to support his fetus, and he has a legally enforceable obligation to support the fetus once it is born.  Daddy’s responsabilities during the first nine months might be weak-assed compared to mommy’s, but you have nature – not law – to blame for that.

     

    Again, I think there are good reasons not to outlaw abortion, and there are certainly good reasons not to criminalize miscarriages – especially “reckless” miscarriages.  But I believe a fetus has a moral claim on its parents to do what they can to save it from the predicament they created.

     

  • prochoiceferret

    Its fair to say she might then owe a moral obligation to the fetus who, because of a choice she made, might have a claim to her help.

    No, it’s not fair, actually. Women have better things to do than change their lives around for the benefit of unwanted fetuses inside them. And it’s pretty childish of you to suggest that they should, when by dint of your anatomy, you’ll never have to worry about unwanted organisms taking up residence inside you as a result of a healthy sex life. (Well, other than STDs, if you’re not careful.)

     

    If you don’t like women getting rid of unwanted fetuses, I suggest you focus on helping women make better use of contraception, both by education (supporting comprehensive sex-ed) and availability (policies to increase contraceptive access). Women are not going to stop having abortions because you don’t like them, and they’re not going to stop having consensual, enjoyable sex to make you happy. So be a big boy and focus on what works in the real world.

  • ahunt

    But I believe a fetus has a moral claim on its parents to do what they can to save it from the predicament they created.

     

    And this, I can respect…time to get on the men, Travis. Cruise the web, and get back to us with your findings.

     

    Travis, I don’t mean to be cruel here…let us know what you discover.

     

    • travis

      Not sure what you mean.  But if you mean that men are, on whole, falling short in their responsabilities, I agree.  And it certainly is time to get on the men.

  • prochoiceferret

    Fair question. In principle, I agree that the fetus has as much claim to the father’s body as the mother’s. Unfortunately, men don’t have wombs (that pregnant man in the news was originally a woman, and I don’t think we have the ability yet to allow even a willing father to carry a baby).

    Sounds like this principle is dead on arrival. (I believe in the principle that everyone in the world should have a million dollars. Unfortunately, I don’t have a bazillion dollars to give to everyone, so we’ll just have to wait until someone comes along who does…)

    The fetus still has a moral claim on the father’s body.

    So if the fetus needs a blood transfusion, or a skin graft, or even a whole organ, the father is obligated to provide it?

    The father has a moral obligation to labor to support his fetus, and he has a legally enforceable obligation to support the fetus once it is born.

    Oh, so what you really mean is that the fetus has a moral/legal claim on the father’s wallet. Yeah, that’s a lot easier to give than his own body.

    Daddy’s responsabilities during the first nine months might be weak-assed compared to mommy’s, but you have nature – not law – to blame for that.

    Yes, but we have you (and people like you) to blame for thinking it’s okay to reinforce that inequity. Hey, disabled people often can’t use stairs, but you have nature—not law—to blame for that, right?

    Again, I think there are good reasons not to outlaw abortion, and there are certainly good reasons not to criminalize miscarriages – especially “reckless” miscarriages.

    Wow. So maybe you aren’t a soulless, demonic women-hater after all. Baby steps, baby steps…

    But I believe a fetus has a moral claim on its parents to do what they can to save it from the predicament they created.

    Yes, and an abortion is a good way to save an unwanted fetus from the predicament of coming into the world as an unwanted child.

    • travis

      I’ve said it several times here already.  I don’t beleive in criminalizing or otherwise outlawing abortion.  If that’s what you mean by “thinking its okay to reinforce that inequity”, you do not have me to thank for it. 

       

  • prochoiceferret

    Temporary moment? I don’t think I’ve ever read any definition of ‘moment’ that could be stretched to encompass 9 months!

    I haven’t either, but given that it’s out there, maybe we could use it to lobby for a “temporary moment” of paid maternity leave?

  • princess-rot

    When your attitude boils down to; “Stop thinking you have a right to structure your own life and define your own sexuality because you are a woman – therefore biology and nebulous morals (as defined by a third party) demands you must always sacrafice for others regardless of your personal circumstances and ability to do so”, you do not have a compelling argument and there is nothing to talk about.

     

    By the way, did you miss most of the thread or something? We are discussing a legal attempt to force through a piece of legislation that effectively treats all women and girls as suspected criminals in order to “prevent” rare cases where a desperate poor girl pays a thug to beat her in the hope she’ll miscarry. Instead of examining why these circumstances would come about (lack of proper education, of health care, demonization of female sexuality, poverty, classism, sexism), lawmakers think it better to declare all women property of the state, and not even as whole women, just their reproductive systems. Isn’t it lovely to be considered a national resource of fresh humans?

  • callah

    What they are waiting to adopt children? Really? As a former Parentless child, I say, YOU ARE A LIER! Well unless they need a new Housekeeper or babysittier they don’t have to pay, maybe….How come one of you didn’t apopt my Friend’s three children in BELLEVUE when she killed herself? Why did they end up in Washington children services to split up and sent to foster homes?

    You are talking out your A&&……

  • rebellious-grrl

    Wow, you make pregnancy sound like fun. After all it’s only nine months. (Yes that’s sarcasm). Let’s take a look at some routine side effects of pregnancy;

    Exhaustion, heartburn and indigestion, constipation, weight gain, dizziness and lightheadedness, bloating, swelling, fluid retention, hemorrhoids, abdominal cramps, yeast infections, mild to severe backache and strain, increased headaches, difficulty sleeping, increased urination and incontinence, bleeding gums, breast pain and discharge, swelling of joints, leg cramps, joint pain, difficulty sitting, standing in later pregnancy, inability to take regular medications, shortness of breath, and higher blood pressure.

    And probably the worst side effect of pregnancy is DEATH. Yes, a woman can die from being pregnant or giving birth. “According to a 2007 World Health Organization report, at least 40 other nations have lower maternal mortality rates than the United States. That year an estimated 15.1 maternal deaths occurred per 100,000 live births, which is up from 7.5 per 100,000 in 1982.” http://uncglobalhealth.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/when-it-comes-to-maternal-death-the-united-states-is-falling-behind/

  • tb1979

    Barring rape or molestation, no one is FORCED to get pregnant.  Women CHOOSE behavior which often results in pregnancy.  Why not adopt the child out to someone?  People choose abortion because they are selfish and just care about themselves and not the life of their baby.

    • leftcoaster

      You might crash.

    • pissedoffdaddy

      I ask you about your experience with abortion because anyone who has infact had to choose to get an abortion is stronger then you will ever be.  My wife just had a D&C for a Miscarriage yesturday and is hurting SO bad. She feels like she is too blame, though she knows she could not help it. Can you imagin the pure mental anguish that goes though a girls mind to convince her that it is for the best to end something like this? I personaly thank god abortion is still legal because the amount of un loved starving orphans in the world would get out of hand fast.

       

      Before you act like you know how it feels to lose something like this please get off your fat tree hugging ass and go out and have a kid. Actually dont you would produce more ignorant low life scum that dictates how others feel and act in theIr lives. Let me guess your anti-gay as well? I hope you burn in a lower zone as all the loving gays and abortion mourners play in the clouds of heaven

  • tb1979

    You say that she should have carried the baby to term and given the baby up for adoption, yet you say it would have been ok for her to abort earlier on.  Why not advocate adoption, rather than abortion for unwanted pregnancies, even those in the 1st trimester?

    • pilar608

      Because not everyone who is pregnant wants to or is capable of going through a pregnancy.  Adoption is *hard* for many women who choose to give up their children–I’m sure it’s linked around here somewhere, but women who give up their kids for adoption have many, many more regrets than women who have abortions.  Not to mention that adoption just isn’t desirable or possible for many women.  If they’d carry a pregnancy to term, some women would get thrown out of the house.  Some women’s partners would dump them.  Some women are married and don’t want kids and the full weight of everyone’s disapproval is more than they can stand.  Some women can’t afford pre-natal care.  Some women can’t afford to take time off of work for pregnancy-related illnesses and tests and appointments and birth.  Some women already have kids and don’t want to terrify them about Mommy giving them away.   

      .

      But primarily because the choice at that point is between carrying a pregnancy to term or not.  Once a woman decides to carry a pregnancy to term, she *then* has to decide about parenting herself or giving the baby up for adoption.  Adoption is 

  • tb1979

    So, it’s not morally or ethically bankrupt to have someone suck a living baby out of your womb??  You do know that it is alive in utero, right?? How is that not morally wrong?

    BTW, I am a college educated woman who has made great gains in our society.

  • senorplaid

    We’re just one step closer to punishing masterbaters who are terminating potentially millions of lives each second.

     

    Oh wait. Those would men. We’re interested only in controlling WOMEN’s reproductive rights.

     

    Nevermind.

  • snicked

    Remember, Reality Check isn’t an objective news source.  It’s a blog of sorts. “Reality Check is an online community and publication serving individuals and organizations committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights.”  What that means is they seek to advance the rights of the mother, not the unborn.  As a result, this article doesn’t include anything about how this law might aid, assist or protect those who are not yet born. 

  • saltyc

    This law doesn’t even address this case. What would have driven a girl to have someone beat her up??? I can’t imagine she had truly caring friends in her life or the means to have an abortion in her first trimester, or loving relatives to confide in. How do you legislate that, besides of course funding abortion and counseling.

  • blimfark

    My wife & I are trying to conceive and have had a number of first term miscarriages.  Statistically, our next attempt is likely to turn out the same way.  Knowing that — and granting that a fertilized egg is a “baby” (as some would have it) — are we not “recklessly” killing a “baby” every time we try to have a child?

     

    (To anticipate the argument that our intentions prevent our actions from being “reckless” or “murder” — shall we then do away with the crime of involuntary manslaughter?).

     

     

  • groo

    Go read the CDC statistics on abortion. The great majority are women under 18. Many are 15 and under. They have yet to reach the age of consent in far too many cases. You want less abortions? Fine. So do I, but criminalizing the act will not do much other than get us a whole bunch of dead women AND babies. As a country, we need to focus on a comprehensive sex education for young people; give them the tools to make better choices for their long term sexual health. Teach them about birth control and consequences right alongside abstinence.

    Read this too:

    http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

    Terminating a pregnancy is an awful decision to face and I wouldn’t wish it, or an unwanted pregnancy, on anyone. I don’t think however, it is the government’s place to get between a woman and her doctor. Why do pro-lifers believe that women do not have the right to make their own medical decisions regarding their reproductive health? I know, I know, they speak for the baby. Bollocks. Fetus != baby in any medical sense until well into the second trimester, after which less than 1% of American abortions are performed and those are 100% medically recommended. Fetuses do not feel pain, they have not developed the nervous system to do so.

    • chaoli

      Yep – and, isn’t it amazing how those are the very same people who protest against health care reform, screaming, “Keep government out of my health care!”?    

  • groo

    Amen

  • crisscrops

    As many in the ‘lobbyism’ movements often do, they ALWAYS shoot to the extremes in the hopes of ‘settling’ somewhere in the middle. The NRA wrote the book on these methods. I really don’t believe the NRA wants everyone (including wackos) to carry concealed machine guns, however, they reach for it & SETTLE for watered down versions of what they reached for. Simililar to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that pro-choice folks truly want abortion available up until the 270th day; however, they REACH for that length & SETTLE on a watered down version. FYI, I am not a fan of the NRA, the pro-choice movement & the pro-life movement due to the hypocrisy found in each of those organizations.

  • saltyc

    I think I know the answer. It’s the same reason you don’t hear a ”pro-lifer” going on about the evils of fertility treatments which also involve creating more embryos than can become babies.

     It’s OK because you’re trying to have a baby. It’s those nasty selfish reckless sluts  who are trying to escape their predetermined role as mother that need to be stopped.

  • crowepps

    Utah was the first state to grant women the right of suffrage.

    This is not accurate.

    New Jersey, on confederation of the United States following the Revolutionary War, placed only one restriction on the general suffrage—the possession of at least £50 (about $7,500 in current value) in cash or property.  In 1790, the law was revised to include women specifically, and in 1797 the election laws referred to a voter as “he or she”.  Female voters became so objectionable to professional politicians, that in 1807 the law was revised to exclude them

    Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho

    The first territorial legislature of the Wyoming Territory granted women suffrage in 1869. In the following year, the Utah Territory followed suit. However, in 1887, the United States Congress disenfranchised Utah women with the Edmunds-Tucker Act. 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the first state that allowed women to vote. In 1893, voters of Colorado made that state the second of the woman suffrage states and the first state where the men voted to give women the right to vote. In 1895, Utah adopted a constitution restoring the right of woman suffrage. In 1896 Idaho approved a constitutional amendment in statewide vote giving women the right to vote.

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage_in_the_United_States

  • crowepps

    A better question might be, given that there is an enormous body of evidence proving that all the OTHER laws are selectively enforced in terms of race, creed and economic level, why would anyone assert that this one would uniquely be applied fairly?

  • crisscrops

    As many in the ‘lobbyism’ movements often do, they ALWAYS shoot to the extremes in the hopes of ‘settling’ somewhere in the middle. The NRA wrote the book on these methods. I really don’t believe the NRA wants everyone (including wackos) to carry concealed machine guns, however, they reach for it & SETTLE for watered down versions of what they reached for. Simililar to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that pro-choice folks truly want abortion available up until the 270th day; however, they REACH for that length & SETTLE on a watered down version. FYI, I am not a fan of the NRA, the pro-choice movement & the pro-life movement due to the hypocrisy found in each of those organizations.

  • crowepps

    FYI, I am not a fan of the NRA, the pro-choice movement & the pro-life movement due to the hypocrisy found in each of those organizations.

    Unlike all the other organizations which humans have formed, which are all free of hypocrisy?

    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others. ~Jacob M. Braude

  • rebellious-grrl

    “Women CHOOSE behavior which often result in pregnancy.” What, like SEX?

    Saying that women are “selfish and just care about themselves” is just not accurate.  There are so many factors that go into a women’s decision to have or not have an abortion. Is she physically able, is she mentally prepared, is she financial able, does she have health insurance?

    It’s interesting how you say, “Women CHOOSE behavior which often result in pregnancy.” What, like SEX? Are you referring to vaginal intercourse or anal? Maybe those of us who don’t want to get pregnant should have anal sex because it’s more difficult to get knocked up engaging in that “behavior”. Or, boycott sex with men? 

  • rebellious-grrl

    Exactly! This law is ripe with selective enforcement.

  • crowepps

    The fact that you can find a couple of people to take two opposing sides on a question is irrelevant. It’s easy to dig up a couple of people to take opposing sides on ANY question, although it’s quite likely that neither one of them will have any actual knowledge about the facts with which to illuminate their debate. The fewer facts involved, the longer the debate continues.

    “Reformatory measures are hailed as cure-alls by people who have a happy confidence in the perfectibility of human nature and no discouraging acquaintance with history to dim it.”
    Agenes Repllier, US historian, 1900.

    • travis

      Let me rephrase: It is not established fact that feti are not conscious, as SaltyC suggets.  That is highly relevant to whether we terminate them or not.

  • rebellious-grrl

    And forced birth is morally superior?

  • lisacuddy

    No it isn’t. Or rather, it’s more complicated, and it boils down to personal philosophical opinions: what is life, what is consciousness, what is the difference between a fetus and a baby, when does a fetus become a baby, etc. You present it as sucking out a living baby, others would view it as removing a group of cells that hasn’t reached consciousness yet.
    If the answer was as clear cut as you want it to appear, surely all states and all countries would have similar legislation concerning abortion…

  • crowepps

    Have you got any idea, college educated woman who has made great gains, just how patronizing that statement is?  Do you really think women get abortions because they are too stupid to be aware of what they’re actually doing?

     

    The fetus may be ‘alive’ so long as the woman’s body is providing it total life support and allowing it to plunder her body for supplies with which to grow.  Removing it from the uterus does indeed mean it is removed from that total life support.  It’s entirely up to her whether she chooses to commit those additional months to centering her life around being supplier and total life support for a fetus she doesn’t want.

     

    I find it kind of incredible that you don’t see how morally and ethically bankrupt it would be to force her to do so when she doesn’t want to.

    • wally

      I find it incredible that you don’t see how we all were once fetuses. You were once an “it” and could have been “removed”.  It is not only the woman’s body afffected, by any means.  And if you reason abortion is okay because the person is unwanted, then will you decide others are unwanted – like handicapped people or old people or homeless people- and think a death plan for them is okay too? 

      If you think the woman’s body and mind undergo nothing untoward resulting from an abortion you are mistaken.  It is not a gentle procedure. 

      Most women who have an abortion have NO IDEA what they are doing.  They believe the lies, like you do (“it’s just cells”).  Once they have an abortion, they realize what they have done.  They try to go on and focus ahead and make up for it somehow.  They try to forget.  Some try to pretend it never happened.  They have drenching night sweats soon after an abortion and don’t understand why.  They make excuses of why the abortion was necessary.  All the reasons why they chose the wrong choice do not matter now. Some never get pregnant again.  They had one chance of having a child and they chose death instead of life.  Then when they go through menopause and are having those night sweats again, it all comes back.  And lasts for years, every day and night. Then they understand what regret is. 

      Abortions hurt women as well as children and the majority of abortions are done for birth control because it is an inconvenient time.  Talk about a mistake.  Abortions are a mistake.  Please make them illegal.

      Norma McCorvey now feels fortunate that she was not able to have an abortion when she wanted.  The “Roe” of Roe v Wade is now a pro-life activist.

  • jackbauer24

    1st off, i’m a father of 4. if i had to label myself, it would be pro-choice. because all men should remain silent when it comes to what a woman does about pregnancy. until we can give birth, me proclaiming abortion is wrong, is an opinion, like other parts, we all have opinions. i don’t like abortions however it’s a woman’s choice (hopefully in agreement with her support structure) this law is WRONG in so many ways. but, was sparta murdering people when it discarded the ‘un-perfect’ baby’. it’s the current society that defines right/wrong here. you have to admit, there are way too many people walking this planet, a little planned parenthood is welcomed in my opinion. adopt or abort, just shut up. in this country, we believe in choice. choice of where to live, where to work, who to marry..we fight and scream for choice to carry a gun but god forbid you say choice is up to the woman. BS from a male dominated society. the founding fathers CHOSE to do what they did, so we can sit here and choose what we want. this subject should be no different. choice. choice. choice. everything in the US is choice. every time one group takes choice away from another group, it’s wrong. it goes against what this country was founded on. choice. wake up or leave. unless you’re a woman, shut up about this subject. could care less if you’re adopted or blah blah. if you’re a man you have no say and if you think you do answer this, why? what other choices can 1 gender make for another? none right? why is this one an automatic? 

  • tb1979

    How about not having sex until you are ready to have a child?!?!  Why is that never talked about? I know it bucks the trend of popular culture, but believe it or not, people can actually survive without sex. If you cannot afford a baby or are not ready for a baby, don’t do the ONE thing that is known to cause a baby.

     Or use some form of birth control, or multiple forms, before you ACTUALLY get pregnant. 

    • emma

      How about not having sex until you are ready to have a child?!?!

      Which leaves those of us who don’t want children at all…where, exactly?

       

      Also…you work in medicine but don’t use common medical terms like ‘foetus’?

  • tb1979

    I don’t know where you are getting your medical facts…I work in the medical field and babies (or as you call them, fetesus) have pain mechanisms and can actually feel as early as 45 days. 

    • reasonophilic

      I’m pretty sure they’re called “fetuses”, actually. Or, if you want to use the proper spelling, “foetuses”.

       

      Animals feel pain, too. Are you a vegetarian? Plants feel pain, too (according to scientific studies in botany); does that mean we should stop killing them?

       

      The ‘foetuses feel pain’ argument holds no water; what *has* been proved is that foetuses have *nerve responses*. So do quadriplegics and people who’ve lost fingers and limbs. Does that mean they feel pain? No. It means their nerves conduct impulses.

  • bj-survivor

    Silly, crowepps, don’t you know that women’s bodies are community property? Except they can’t expect the community to help feed and clothe them and their children if they are unable to, nor even to provide prenatal care to assure the birth of a healthy infant. Nope, it’s “you should have kept you legs shut, whore; we don’t care if you don’t want/can’t care for a child/will lose your job/can’t afford health insurance.” Can’t you just feel the love for the babies? I mean, I know forced-birthers could care less about women, but if they care so much about unborn babies, as they so emphatically profess, it would only make sense to protect the incubators – pardon me, pregnant women – from losing their jobs and provide high quality, free prenatal care/subsidized day care/preschool, etc.

  • mydogisfrank

    So your point being… Jonny cut the head of his sisters cat, Then Jonnys cousin did it in 8 other states therefor we should do it DUHHHHHHHH, Good grief you sound stupid. Kinda like a goose stepping Nazi. You must be from the Lemming family ?

  • mydogisfrank

    We Have Legislators that are openly Racist and continue to get re-elected year after year, Senators who want to help people with out insurance but only if it helps them first, Law makers of every (Mostly white and Fat) size trying to legislate everything we eat or drink to everything we do in the privacy f our own home. Ironically they would come unglued if it was the feds making these laws ?  They want the right to hold you down and only them.

  • prochoiceferret

    How about not having sex until you are ready to have a child?!?! Why is that never talked about?

    Because when someone makes that argument, they’re basically admitting that they don’t have a sex life. Good luck with that, by the way.

    I know it bucks the trend of popular culture, but believe it or not, people can actually survive without sex.

    They can also survive without music, theatre, sports, automobiles, computers, electricity, and metal. Most prefer not to.

    If you cannot afford a baby or are not ready for a baby, don’t do the ONE thing that is known to cause a baby.

    You say this, but then…

    Or use some form of birth control, or multiple forms, before you ACTUALLY get pregnant.

    So you support comprehensive sex ed (so that people know how to use birth control) and increased access to contraception (so that people can get it even if they don’t have much money) and Planned Parenthood and you’re pro-choice YAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

     

  • ack

    I also highly doubt that if a pregnant woman should happen to go out on a drinking binge and subsequently suffers a miscarriage (as you seek to use as an example in this piece) that she would be charged with a crime.  How could it be proven beyond a reasonable doubt (as is the standard in our courts) that it was specifically her alcoholic stupor that led to the untimely demise of the fetus?>>>>

     

    First, (someone correct me if I’m wrong) “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the highest form of evidentiary proof in our legal system. It’s much more common to adhere to a “preponderance of the evidence,” or “clear and convincing evidence.” Your example of a pregnant woman getting drunk would actually fall under the definition of “reckless,” since any prosecutor could argue that she knew of the risk (it’s printed on every alcohol bottle and posted at every bar) and ignored it.

    I have a lot of faith in prosecutors, but I have read of at least one in this country who uses human smuggling laws, which are intended to charge people who smuggle undocumented immigrants into this country, to charge undocumented immigrants with conspiracy to smuggle themselves. It showed me that if a high-level prosecutor feels strongly about the issue, that prosecutor will get creative.

  • ack

    >>>You mean to say that drug use or binge drinking should not be considered a crime when you are pregnant ?>>>>

     

    Should anorexia, bulimia, or compulsive overeating? All are harmful to fetuses, all are treated with therapy as addictions.

     

    What about smoking? Caffeine?

     

    I’m also going to go out on a limb and assume you’ve never watched someone go through a narcotic withdrawal. It’s not pretty, and I imagine that the last thing that person would be thinking of is a fetus. They just want the pain, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, anxiety, and hallucinations to stop. (And those are just the outward symptoms.) If you had ever seen that, I think you’d give them some leeway.

     

    >>>Remember the mother had the right not to get pregnant in the first place and surrenders some of those rights when she allows herself to become impregnated.>>>

     

    I’m only going to address the parts of this I feel emotionally capable of taking on.

     

    What if she takes every possible precaution? Women are constrained to lives of celibacy if they are not, at that moment, ready to complete a pregnancy and give birth? Is every single man also so constrained?

     

    If you really do believe: please give me the name of your sex toy shop, because they must sell some killer merch that’s enjoyable for both partners in the same way that sex is.

  • ack

    re: pregnancy as a temporary state: I think the regulars have adequately addressed the fact that pregnancy is a physical state akin to torture and would not be mandated under any other circumstances.

     

    re: the adoption option: In my state, over 2,000 children are waiting to be adopted. In the meantime, they’re in our foster system, which is currently undergoing funding cuts that make it nearly impossible for anyone but the highest income bracket to foster children. Furthermore, states are increasingly passing legislation to ban or reduce adoption by same-sex couples or single people. I won’t go into the growing body of research on the effects of adoption on women, because I highly doubt you’d care.

    re: your expectations about judges: Judges are an interesting category of people. Most of them do amazing work for their communities.

    However, they sometimes deny Orders of Protection against abusers who have threatened to kill their partners and/or children because those abusers were never reported. And then those abusers might terrorize or kill their partners and/or children. They sometimes deny Orders of Protection even when the abuse has been documented. And then those abusers might terrorize or kill their partners and/or children. They sometimes convict females of prosititution even though they’re actually minors and should, under the law, be treated as sex trafficking victims.

    They’re not perfect. This will create a page in their bench book from which they will not necessarily deviate to allow for leniency.

    And again, a determined prosecutor can and will use this to whatever means he or she desires.

     

  • groo

    If you’re truly in the medical field then shame on you. You should be championing HIPAA and the right to medical confidentiality.

    Regardless, the fetal pain debate has been interfered with a great deal by pro-lifers. Not that I don’t think that it was an important study, it was.

     

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_pain

     

    “The accepted hypothesis of the means by which pain is perceived states that it requires certain physical structures and operations. These are not formed in fetuses until 20 weeks or more. The general consensus of the scientific community at this time is that only fetuses of this age or older are capable of perceiving pain.”

     

     

     

  • callah

    While researching this bad situation on line, I went to the Deserte, the local paper for SLC to see what the paper had to say about this crazy bill and found that the Utah house wants to make the 12th grade optional. Do the math people, illegal to miscarry, and don’t bother to finish high school? WTF is this all about? HELLO if you don’t go to 12th grade, how are you suppose to go to college? Well I guess if you are “barefoot and pregnate” your whole life, whatch need to go to the 12 grade for?

  • saltyc

     

    The right for a woman to get drunk or high and mess up her kid? That’s a civil right? I thought that was illegal everywhere

     

     

    MediumBob, criminalizing drinking smoking or drugging while pregnant is not necessarily the same as giving women treatment to stop doing those things. They have drugs and cigarettes in jail it may shock you to learn. Throwing a woman in jail is also throwing her fetus in there with her.  Did anyone think of THAT? How happy will that fetus be in jail?

     

    Want to be good to fetuses and future children? Be good to women. Why do we even have to say this???

  • crowepps

    Oh, yeah, it’s very, VERY important to society that all those innocent fetuses be born, no matter how handicapped or futile their short lives may be, because society absolutely must stand up for LIFE.  Once conception happens, then pregnancy is MANDATORY because that baby is PRECIOUS. 

    Until, of course, money gets tight.  Then we hear, “We just by necessity have to cut that optional stuff,” Cooper said.

    SC may gut programs for 26,000 disabled residents

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – Lawmakers are considering cutting all services for nearly 26,000 people with disabilities as South Carolina tries to plug a $560 million budget hole.

     

    Parents say the proposed cuts to day care programs and other services would force them to give up much-needed jobs to stay home and care for their young and adult children.

     

    Andrew J. Imparato, chief executive of the American Association of People with Disabilities, said he is hearing horror stories about budget cuts around the country, but South Carolina is the most extreme example. Shutting down everything but federally required residential care is “the most draconian kind of thing I’ve heard,” he said.

     

    Lawmakers say they have little choice. They are trying to close a shortfall in next year’s budget in a heavily Republican state where tax increases are not considered a viable option.

     

    Mary Bennett, a single mother of three, said the budget cuts would mean sending her 11-year-old autistic son to an institution or giving up her job at a Columbia program that helps parents like her. Her son goes to public school a few days a week and a state-funded program cares for him the other days.

     

    “He’s completely dependent on other people. He can’t do anything himself,” said Bennett, 47. “I wouldn’t be able to work if they cut his services.”

     

    The budget approved by a House committee last week would provide services only for 4,800 people with disabilities living in group homes or institutions, the only type of care the federal government requires the state to provide.

     

    Theoretically, others who need help could move to those facilities, but there are only two open slots in the entire system and those are reserved for those in most dire need.

     

    More than half of the proposed cuts in the current version of next year’s $5 billion budget — about $113 million in all — affect Medicaid and other human services programs. The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs would see its funding slashed by $42 million, or 28 percent.

     

    House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Cooper, a Piedmont Republican, said he’s trying to find a way to soften the cuts, but there’s simply not enough money in other agency budgets to readily make up the difference.

     

    House Minority Leader Harry Ott, a St. Matthews Democrat, railed against the proposed cuts, but doesn’t believe they’re being used as bargaining chips to free up money elsewhere in the budget. They “just misread their numbers in their haste to get the budget out,” Ott said. “They just kept cutting and nobody really looked at the ramifications of what those cuts meant.”

     

    Other states have raised taxes to deal with similar problems, but that’s unlikely in South Carolina.  “There’s just not a willingness to raise taxes in a Republican House,” Cooper said.

     

    On Wednesday, activists and people with disabilities packed the Statehouse lobby to ask legislators not to cut their programs. Disabilities Advocacy Day is an annual event, but has more urgency this year.

     

    State Rep. Lanny Littlejohn, R-Spartanburg, was on the House floor reading letters from disabled people who would lose adult day care and work programs.

     

    “We are the only the ones that can help these people and it’s our responsibility to do that,” he said.

     

    Advocates say the cuts will make it tougher for people to survive or thrive: No more door-widening or ramps for people using wheelchairs; parents caring for adult children with disabilities would lose day care programs where they learn basic skills and earn a little money; 48 percent of the state’s Medicaid recipients would lose prescription coverage as the state imposes a three-drug cap instead of the current maximum of 10.

     

    “We just by necessity have to cut that optional stuff,” Cooper said.

     

    Other states, like Oklahoma and California, are also cutting services for people with disabilities, but the changes are minor in comparison. Advocates say the South Carolina cuts are shortsighted because they eliminate early-intervention programs that could help prevent more expensive problems down the road.

     

    In Aiken County, Board of Disabilities Executive Director Ralph Courtney says budget cuts in the current fiscal year already have forced him to shut down programs that offer in-home help for parents of children ages 3 to 5 who have disabilities including autism or at risk of developing them. The need for help is “generally decreased if you get to them soon enough,” Courtney said.

     

    The state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs estimates that at $9,000 to $13,000 a year, providing in-home services for people with disabilities is less expensive than sending them to an institution or group home, where full-time care costs between $28,500 and $114,000 annually.

     

    Shelia Dull, 46, said that under the proposed budget she would lose day care services for her 24-year-old daughter in Dorchester County that allow her to work a couple of days a week, as well as catheters and other supplies. Her daughter has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair.

     

    “I can’t leave her alone for eight hours by herself,” Dull said. “What happens if she fell in the bathroom? Who would help her?”

     

    Carolyn Myers, an advocate for people with disabilities, said people often believe parents have the sole obligation to provide care. She said many don’t understand how physically demanding it is to care for a child who is older than 13 or an adult.

     

    “You’re talking about someone who has to have a lifetime of this kind of care,” she said. “It’s not like you can go out and hire the neighborhood teenage baby sitter to come in and do the job, either.”

     

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100303/ap_on_re_us/us_spending_cuts_disabilities;_ylt=ApbPfI6oI6CoZr68rQRnwbtvzwcF;_ylu=X3oDMTMyOGhmdWo5BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMzAzL3VzX3NwZW5kaW5nX2N1dHNfZGlzYWJpbGl0aWVzBHBvcwM5BHNlYwN5bl9hcnRpY2xlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDc2NtYXlndXRwcm9n

  • crowepps

    I don’t know where you are getting your medical facts…I work in the medical field

    And just what is your position “in the medical field”?  Are you a researcher on prenatal and neonatal issues?  Are involved in doing prenatal surgery and aware of issues with anesthesiology in those patients? What’s your stand on the scientific consensus on these issues?  Can you refer us to a peer reviewed article that gives the results of a study of this issue that supports your statement?

     

    Here’s one that refutes it:

    A Systematic Multidisciplinary Review of the Evidence

    Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005;294:947-954.

    Evidence Synthesis  Pain perception requires conscious recognition or awareness of a noxious stimulus. Neither withdrawal reflexes nor hormonal stress responses to invasive procedures prove the existence of fetal pain, because they can be elicited by nonpainful stimuli and occur without conscious cortical processing. Fetal awareness of noxious stimuli requires functional thalamocortical connections. Thalamocortical fibers begin appearing between 23 to 30 weeks’ gestational age, while electroencephalography suggests the capacity for functional pain perception in preterm neonates probably does not exist before 29 or 30 weeks. For fetal surgery, women may receive general anesthesia and/or analgesics intended for placental transfer, and parenteral opioids may be administered to the fetus under direct or sonographic visualization. In these circumstances, administration of anesthesia and analgesia serves purposes unrelated to reduction of fetal pain, including inhibition of fetal movement, prevention of fetal hormonal stress responses, and induction of uterine atony.

    Conclusions  Evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester. Little or no evidence addresses the effectiveness of direct fetal anesthetic or analgesic techniques. Similarly, limited or no data exist on the safety of such techniques for pregnant women in the context of abortion. Anesthetic techniques currently used during fetal surgery are not directly applicable to abortion procedures.

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/294/8/947

    I “work in the legal field” but that doesn’t mean I’m qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.

  • crowepps

    Unfortunately, men don’t have wombs (that pregnant man in the news was originally a woman, and I don’t think we have the ability yet to allow even a willing father to carry a baby).

    The blastocyst is actually pretty good at invading the body and doesn’t necessarily need a uterus in which to do so. There have been the rare women who sustained a pregnancy when implantation occurred outside the uterus in the abdomen. It would be really interesting to see how many male ProLife activists would be willing to try the experiment of implanting some snowflake babies in their bellies to see if the blastocyst could continue to mature.

  • prochoicegoth

    If I had a nickel for every time I have to repeat that fact to pro-lifers, I’d be one rich lady……if only that were reality. lol

  • crowepps

    Why would any man think that it would be a great idea to be having unprotected sex with a heroin addict or an alcoholic?  I find it absolutely incredible that men choose to have relationships with incredibly dysfunctional women and then whine about how terrible it is that there are risk to the health of a baby they should never have allowed to be conceived in the first place.

     

    I did a deposition once where the man went on and on and ON about how he should get custody because the woman was a whore and a druggie and then when he was asked how they met he said, “She was a dancer at the strip club I was at and during a break we went out to my car, did a couple lines of coke and had sex.”  It didn’t seem to occur to him that was a pretty clear indication HE couldn’t be trusted with a child either.

  • prochoicegoth

    You CANNOT give a fetus a right that NO OTHER HUMAN has. If my fiance can’t force me to have sex with him, if a dying leukemia patient can’t take my marrow, if a car-crash victim can’t take my liver, why should a fetus be allowed to use my body when I don’t want it to?

     

     

  • crowepps

    As a result, this article doesn’t include anything about how this law might aid, assist or protect those who are not yet born. 

    Neither does your post.  If you think of a way in which prosecuting a woman AFTER the pregnancy has ended badly will “aid, assist or protect” that fetus, why don’t you share it with us?

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t know where you are getting your medical facts…I work in the medical field

    And just what is your position “in the medical field”?

    Maybe he’s one of the many self-starting individuals who have started a new career as a Medical Billing and Insurance Coding professional!

  • prochoiceferret

    It would be really interesting to see how many male ProLife activists would be willing to try the experiment of implanting some snowflake babies in their bellies to see if the blastocyst could continue to mature.

    Normal Rockwell fantasy, meet David Cronenberg reality!

  • soritesparadox

    Travis, the problems with your analogy are that 1.)  you lack a fundamental understanding of the concept of a legal duty, at least as American tort law understands it, rendering your first premise invalid and 2.) you don’t seem to understand how sex works.

     

    I get so tired of watching anti-choicers go on about a legal duty to rescue when no such duty exists, generally speaking, in American tort law.  This means that someone doesn’t even have a legal duty to call 911 if they see me fall into a pool in drown, unless there is a specific duty predicated on their legal relationship to me- for instance, that person is a lifeguard who has accepted the legal duty to rescue swimmers.

    You claim that:

    The forseeable consequence of knocking someone into a pool is that they might drown  –> legal duty to save them.

     

    The forseeable consequence of sexual intercourse is that a fetus might invade the woman’s body — > moral duty to save it.

     

    The foreseeable consequence of drowing does NOT mean that you have a duty to resuce- it means that you have a duty NOT TO PUSH THEM INTO THE POOL.  The only duty that you have to that person is NOT to imperil them in the first place.  For your analogy to hold, this would mean that because pregnancy is a reasonably forseeable consequence of sex (debatable when using contraceptives), a woman has a legal duty NOT to become pregnant.

    Hopefully you see how absurd this proposition is. 

    In the alterantive, I’d like you to show me a case where even when a legal duty to care/ rescue exists, that duty includes the use of the rescuer’s body parts.

     

    As for part 2, I’d really like for you to explain how a having sex “puts” a fetus anywhere.  Maybe you don’t understand how sex works (I’ll blame AOSE if you don’t, it’s ok :) ), but a fetus isn’t involved.  A woman may intentionally put a man’s penis in various locales, but I assure you, she puts a fetus no where. 

    • travis

      First, I’m not “anti-choice.”  I think abortion should be legal, safe, and hopefully rare. 

       

      Second,  I understand tort law.  Tort law varies from state to state, but generally there is no duty to rescue unless (1) you created the hazard/placed another in danger or (2) you have a special relationship with the person in danger.  It is not always true that “[t]he only duty that you have to that person is NOT to imperil them in the first place.”  If you do imperil someone, you may have a duty to rescue.

       

       

      Third, I agree that the analogy falls apart at some point (as most analogies do).  Obviously, a woman does not have a duty to NOT become pregnant.  Yes, to carry the analogy that far would be absurd.  Pro-choice advocates point to the “no duty to rescue” rule in tort law as one argument for not imposing a duty on mothers to “rescue” a fetus.  My point is that the “no duty to rescue” rule is not a strong argument against imposing a duty on a mother because, in the context of a mother/fetus relationship, two exceptions to the rule would likely apply. 

       

      “I’d like you to show me a case where even when a legal duty to care/ rescue exists, that duty includes the use of the rescuer’s body parts.”  Ha ha.  Good point – you know I can’t.  Let’s see, I damage your kidney, so you sue for mine?   

  • soritesparadox

    Show me where that duty to rescue/ care includes the duty to share one’s body. 

     

    Parents of born children have a duty to their children.  That duty does not even include sharing one’s body.  So why does the pregnant have a duty to share her body, a duty required of no other human?

    • travis

      I admit this is a strong point.  The mother/fetus relationship is, however, completely unique among all other human relationships.  This is one reason the mother’s choice should be given great, if not total, deference.  But it should also not be a surprise that ethical and legal considerations involving this relationship are without precedent.  You’re right, though, we don’t impose a legal duty on a parent to donate blood or organs etc. to save their child.  Morally, I think a parent who could save their child by doing so, should.  (The difference in pregnancy being whether we believe a fetus is a “person” – which is really at the crux of this issue).

  • tb1979

    Believing in sex education and contraceptives are all things to prevent a pregnancy, not terminate one.  There is a big difference.

  • prochoiceferret

    Believing in sex education and contraceptives are all things to prevent a pregnancy, not terminate one. There is a big difference.

    Then why are you dilly-dallying around here for? Go harangue the mainstream pro-life groups, most of which are actively hostile to comprehensive sex ed and contraception even when these have been shown to reduce the abortion rate. They and their allies are responsible for increasing the number of abortions performed, whether legal, illegal, or self-administered. While we work to ensure that women have access to abortion, we also work to help people manage their fertility so that they won’t need to get one in the first place. (You know, like dentists telling you to brush your teeth.)

  • tb1979

    While I am personally pro life, I understand that there are MANY factors that go into choosing an abortion.  I have been reading this site trying to understand “the other side to this issue”.  My problem is that although you guys call people “anti-choice”, I have not read many instances where you guys advocate adoption for women in crisis pregnancies. That is a very viable choice.  Also, how many abortion minded women go into Planned Parenthood and are told of all of the services that are available to them to help with their pregnancy and child. 

    I had a child at 17.  My parents were poor, and I had no help from them or the baby’s father.  I was covered by medicaid, and was able to deliver a healthy child. WIC helped me provide formula for my child. I could’ve qualified for foodstamps and some welfare benefits if I so chose.  Because I was a single mother, I was able to qualify at 19 for the federal Pell Grant, as well as government assistance for childcare.  I worked as a waitress during the day, and took online classes at night.  I graduated 5 years later with my undergrad degree.  Was it hard?  Yes.  Did I wish sometimes that my life would’ve been different?  Yes.  Did it make me a stronger person? YES!

    My son will turn 13 in a few months, and he is amazing. 

    My problem is that when someone feels so strongly about an issue, ie abortion, both sides tend to forget about the middle.  Pro-life people become “holier than thou” while pro-choice people sometimes forget that there are other choices than abortion.  When I went into Planned Parenthood, the first think that they told me was that I was too young to have a child, and that I should seriously think about abortion.  Thankfully a neighbor worked at a crisis pregnancy center and explained to me the services that were available.  

    • crowepps

      My son will turn 13 in a few months, and he is amazing. 

      While I’m thrilled that you feel these hard times were good for your character in that they made you stronger and all that other positive stuff, most of this stuff is all about YOU.

       

      It would be really interesting to have a discussion with your son and see just what his opinion is of the impact it had on him to live in poverty and spend his early years in daycare while his father and grandparents ignored his existence and his mother focused on school.

       

      I wonder what he would decide if given the choice of being born into that situation or coming along later after you had finished getting your life on track and found a partner who was willing to share parenting.

       

      Or for that matter, the choice of having been given up for adoption so that he could have two full-time mature parents and a higher standard of living.  It’s kind of weird that you would be asserting that ‘adoption is another option’ when you didn’t make that positive choice for your own child.

      • tb1979

        Actually, we werent in poverty.    He went to daycare part time 3 days a week while I worked and spent one day a weekend with my sister.  I made enough money to pay for a small apartment while I took online classes.  There were many late nights, but it was clearly possible, and not that difficult. 

        When my son was two I met a man, married him when my son was four, and my son has no idea what it is like to live without a father.  I have, in fact, told him my experience, and he told me “I’m glad you didn’t abort me.”

        I agree with you that it would have been easier, and that he would’ve had the newest stroller, the coolest toys, and better clothes had he came later.  My two daughters have had that, but the fact is that HE wouldn’t have came later.  Another child would have came, but HE wouldn’t have. 

        • saltyc

          Your story is not like the stories of women who seek abortions, because you wanted to have the baby and didn’t want to get an abortion. Why did you make your son think that you might have aborted him???? My mom certainly would never have told me that and that was never an anxiety of mine. For a while we did live in poverty in a very bad neighborhood, eating potatoes every night and wearing the same pants every day, and it never occurred to me that I could have been aborted. And she wouldn’t have had a religious problem with abortion she’s always been pro-choice and anti-religion. I have pondered on how unlikely I was to happen, mainly on the unlikeliness of when I was an egg to have been released at the moment when my mom wanted to conceive. I would never ever tell my mom I’m glad she didn’t abort me, she wanted to have me and it would be very strange if my daughter told me that, and she was born ***OUT OF WEDLOCK*** OMG!!!

        • crowepps

          I agree with you that it would have been easier, and that he would’ve had the newest stroller, the coolest toys, and better clothes had he came later. 

          Actually, having seen what real poverty is like firsthand, it wasn’t “the newest stroller, the coolest toys, and better clothes” that I feared he might be missing, but instead high-quality daycare, nutritious food, and a father and circle of loving relatives who cared about him.

           

          Certainly “he” wouldn’t have been here.  Instead, someone else would.  I’m not sure why, aside of course from your own love for him as an individual, you think that would be a tragedy for everybody else in general.  I love my kids and grandkids too, but if they had never been born, the world would have gotten along just fine without them.

           

  • jayn

    “My problem is that although you guys call people “anti-choice”, I have not read many instances where you guys advocate adoption for women in crisis pregnancies.”

     

    I can’t speak for others, but I consider adoption and abortion to be somewhat seperate issues.  Once a woman is pregnant, there are two ways (three, counting miscarriage) to change that–abortion and birth.  If a woman decides she’d rather not carry to term, whether or not she’d keep the child is a bit of a non-issue.  There’s also been some articles on this site with various concerns about the way adoption works in this country–notably, the emotional effects on the woman later in life.

     

    “Also, how many abortion minded women go into Planned Parenthood and are told of all of the services that are available to them to help with their pregnancy and child. “

     

    Looking at the PP website, the two offices local to me provide referrals for pre-natal care and support.

     

    “Did it make me a stronger person? YES!”

     

    This actually hits a (somewhat unrelated) pet peeve of mine, but my thoughts can be summed up as “That which does not kill you may well kill someone else.”  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you were able to make things work out, and more power to you.  I just worry for women who, for whatever reason, aren’t able to hold things together so well.

  • prochoiceferret

    While I am personally pro life, I understand that there are MANY factors that go into choosing an abortion.

    How nice of you to accept that it’s not just wanting to avoid the “inconvenience” of pregnancy.

    My problem is that although you guys call people “anti-choice”, I have not read many instances where you guys advocate adoption for women in crisis pregnancies. That is a very viable choice.

    Sure it is. Just like if you accidentally start a fire in your kitchen, instead of putting it out, you can evacuate the house, let it burn down, and build a brand-new one. It’s a viable choice, but… in practice, part of the whole point of having an abortion is to not go through a full-term pregnancy, which is a pretty big deal in terms of the effect it has on the body, on one’s health, one’s life. Some women do choose to give the child up for adoption, but this is only ever going to be a very small minority.

    I had a child at 17 … Was it hard? Yes. Did I wish sometimes that my life would’ve been different? Yes. Did it make me a stronger person? YES!

    Good for you. Are you going to argue that just because things worked out for you, they can work out for anyone else, so abortions aren’t really needed because any women who thinks she needs one will instead just have a difficult but strengthening experience much like yours?

    My problem is that when someone feels so strongly about an issue, ie abortion, both sides tend to forget about the middle.

    Um, hello McFly? We are the middle. which in case you’ve forgotten, is the pregnant woman herself making the choice that’s best for her. The “other side” from you is the pro-abortion side—the side that says she should have an abortion whether she wants one or not. We don’t like them any more than we like pro-lifers.

    When I went into Planned Parenthood, the first think that they told me was that I was too young to have a child, and that I should seriously think about abortion.

    Sounds like you got a crappy pro-abortion counselor, if in fact you’re not just making that up.

  • niteowle

    Sorry if this was already posted elsewhere, but I didn’t see it:

    http://www.localnews8.com/Global/story.asp?S=12084864

    Utah Gov. Herbert requests altered abortion bill


    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wants a new version of a bill passed by lawmakers that some fear could result in criminal homicide investigations of women who have miscarriages.

    Herbert spokeswoman Angie Welling said Thursday Herbert wants to ensure there are no unintended consequences from the bill that would make abortions not performed by a doctor through a medical procedure illegal.

    For example, Welling says the governor is worried a pregnant woman who has an accident while skiing could be charged with a crime.

    She says Herbert has asked Rep. Carl Wimmer, the bill’s sponsor, to pass a new version of the bill that excludes reckless behavior.

    Wimmer opened a bill file Thursday that he says will address misperceptions about the bill and supplant one lawmakers have already passed.

  • crowepps

    If they remove reckless they might as well just junk the whole bill. They would have to fall back a notch to ‘intentionally’ and good luck proving that!

  • ahunt

    Snerk! Bu, bu but crowepps…such useless law just feeeeeels right!

  • crowepps

    Because it will keep the single issue voters at the polls and get these guys reelected. It will not, of course, change the number of abortions being done one iota, but, hey, if they actually accomplished THAT, what issue could they campaign on?

    “The average person needs to understand that I have sold out my vote so that he has now become a serf in thrall to big corporations and banks too big to fail”?

  • ahunt

    “The average person needs to understand that I have sold out my vote so that he has now become a serf in thrall to big corporations and banks too big to fail”?

     

    Yah…not a good campaign slogan.

     

    I like: tax cuts benefiting the wealthy plus taxpayer underwriting of two unending wars equals prosperity for all!

  • prochoiceferret

    I’ve said it several times here already. I don’t beleive in criminalizing or otherwise outlawing abortion.

    Ah, so you only support stigmatizing it! Sure, keep it legal, but any woman who gets an abortion then deserves all the slut-shaming and abuse hurled at her by sidewalk “counselors” and family and acquaintances. So if she doesn’t want to throw away her reputation and respectability, she’ll think twice about going to that clinic.

    If that’s what you mean by “thinking its okay to reinforce that inequity”, you do not have me to thank for it.

    Inequity is not limited to law. Why do promiscuous women get called “sluts,” and promiscuous men get called “studs?”

    • travis

      I don’t think a woman who gets an abortion deserves “slut-shaming” or abuse hurled at her by sidewalk counselors.  I don’t consider a promiscuous man a “stud” or a promiscous woman a “slut.”   Agreed, there is a double standard in our society.  I don’t endorse it.  I never suggested that an unwanted pregnancy is a “penalty” for promiscuity.  It is a foreseeable consequence of intercourse (even with birth control, as my wife and I learned first hand).  Its a consequence that I think a person – promiscuous or not – should take responsability for.  It is possible that we are terminating conscious feti.  We are certainly terminating some viable feti.  It’s fair to question the morality of that action without being accused of hate-mongering or sexism.

  • saltyc

    Many women regret having an abortion, having sex, not having a child because they used birth control, hooking up with the wrong guy, not hooking up with the right guy, living is doing think you regret.

     

    I don’t regret having had an abortion, because having a child at that time would have changed the trajectory of my life and sentenced me to perpetual poverty. Certain times in your life a slight change in degree of will drastically change the the arc of the rest of your life. I wanted to keep my options open and I’m glad I did, I’m also glad I eventually had a child and that I am raising her now and I will be sure not to instill in her the kind of guilt that you are talking about. Many women are pretty together about trusting their own decisions and that’s the kind of woman I want my daughter to be: the kind who accepts blame when it is warranted and not when it is culturally and arbitrarily imposed such as the idea that it was a mistake. I’ll tell you this quite honestly: when I had my abortion, it was so well–researched, I could tell you exactly how big and what was happending to the embryo, day by day I was creating before I decided I couldn’t go through with finishing it. One thought I kept telling myself and my future self is this: I may later regret it and others may say it was a mistake, and if  so it would be because they did not know, and I would not know, what I knew then in my mind and in my soul, that it was the right decision to make.

     

    You know what helped me? Having friends that I could talk about it before hand, to analyze the question from many angles. It was all I talked about up to the day I did it. I talked with my brothers, my mom, all my friends. Not having that, or having friends who don’t want to listen, having parents who preach instead of listening, can indeed contribute to women keeping it to themselves and feeling guilty.

     

    I think if I didn’t ever have a child it would have bothered me because I always wanted to have one, not everyone does. But in saying trust women I fully support paying women to be able to keep a child, I want to return AFDC and subsidized childcare, increased food stamp allowances, and how about just a paying mothers for the work of child rearing? That would really help women having babies. Making abortion illegal, because some women regret it? That makes no sense, because it would make it illegal for all women, including those who wouldn’t regret. Paying women to have babies, that makes more sense. Would you support that? A government check for every mother. Yes I would support that.

  • prochoiceferret

    And if you reason abortion is okay because the person is unwanted, then will you decide others are unwanted – like handicapped people or old people or homeless people- and think a death plan for them is okay too?

    If they were attached to my body, feeding off of it without my consent and completely dependent on that attachment in order to live, then yes—it would be within my rights to cut them off, even if it kills them. Fortunately, however, born people tend not to live like parasites.

    If you think the woman’s body and mind undergo nothing untoward resulting from an abortion you are mistaken. It is not a gentle procedure.

    It’s a lot easier than a full-term pregnancy and childbirth!

    Most women who have an abortion have NO IDEA what they are doing.

    “Hey lady, don’t go in there, they’re gonna KILL the BABY that’s INSIDE YOU!”

     

    “Oh my gosh! You mean, this is a BABY inside my belly? And not just a clump of cells, or that Chipotle burrito I had last Tuesday?”

     

    “It’s your own little CHILD, ma’am! You’re a MOMMY!”

     

    “I’m a mommy! I’m a mommy! Thank you so much, I almost KILLED my precious little BABY! I’m going to Babies ‘R Us right now and am going to buy all the wonderful clothes my little baby will wear!”

    Once they have an abortion, they realize what they have done … Then they understand what regret is.

    You don’t know women very well, do you?

    Abortions hurt women as well as children and the majority of abortions are done for birth control because it is an inconvenient time. Talk about a mistake. Abortions are a mistake. Please make them illegal.

    Sorry. Your request is denied. Have a nice day!

  • saltyc

    It’s fair to question the morality of that action without being accused of hate-mongering or sexism.

     

    It is already questioned, by the women getting abortions, we have questioned it and answered it. What you are questioning is our ability to make the right decision for ourselves and the people we are responsible for. Trust me, we are better authorities on our own bodies than you are. But we are losing the legal right, losing access and you are not helping.

  • julie-watkins

    It is possible that we are terminating conscious feti.  We are certainly terminating some viable feti. 

    .

    How many? Since it’s a small number, I think this would be better dealth with by medical standards than laws.

    .

    It’s fair to question the morality of that action without being accused of hate-mongering or sexism.

    .

    Since women & poor people shouldn’t be treated as second class by social norms or the laws, what corrective would you propose, other than reproductive choice, for nature’s sexism?

  • travis

    I do propose reproductive choice, as long as there is doubt about the viability etc. of feti.  I also propose birth control and sex education to minimize unwanted pregnancy.

  • julie-watkins

    Thanks for supporting birth control & sex ed. I’m sorry so many other people try to block that. Re “viability”, I believe that’s a better matter for doctors than politicians making laws that raise costs and block access.

  • crowepps

    It is quite well established that consciousness is a function of the brain, and that the part of the brain where it resides develops quite far along in the pregnancy at about the time the fetus becomes viable.  Anencephalic infants, which do not have a brain, die shortly after they are born without ever becoming ‘conscious’, no matter how long the pregnancy lasts.

     

    Consciousness might be a good argument to use in cases of viable third-trimester fetuses, however abortion at that time is extremely rare and almost always because of a gross malformation in the fetus which makes the possibility they would ever become conscious unlikely.

     

    For a fairly easy to read exploration of the brain and what exactly consciousness entails, I highly recommend any of the books on neurology by Oliver Sacks, particularly “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat”.

  • crowepps

    I find it incredible that you don’t see how we all were once fetuses. You were once an “it” and could have been “removed”.

    Certainly everyone now alive was once a fetus, but the converse is not true – not all fetuses are capable of becoming alive.  Yes, I was once an “it” and it is only chance that it was I who survived and some of my mother’s other pregnancies which miscarried.  So what?

    It is not only the woman’s body afffected, by any means.  And if you reason abortion is okay because the person is unwanted, then will you decide others are unwanted – like handicapped people or old people or homeless people- and think a death plan for them is okay too? 

    Visited any nursing homes lately?

    If you think the woman’s body and mind undergo nothing untoward resulting from an abortion you are mistaken.  It is not a gentle procedure. 

    Neither is labor and delivery.

    Most women who have an abortion have NO IDEA what they are doing.

    What an incredibly patronizing statement.  Since the ProLife activists have spent the last 25 years doing massive publicity about exactly what an abortion entails, you must feel they are all WILLFULLY ignorant idiots.

    They believe the lies, like you do (“it’s just cells”).  Once they have an abortion, they realize what they have done.  They try to go on and focus ahead and make up for it somehow.  They try to forget.  Some try to pretend it never happened.  They have drenching night sweats soon after an abortion and don’t understand why.  They make excuses of why the abortion was necessary.  All the reasons why they chose the wrong choice do not matter now. Some never get pregnant again.  They had one chance of having a child and they chose death instead of life.  Then when they go through menopause and are having those night sweats again, it all comes back.  And lasts for years, every day and night. Then they understand what regret is.

    So abortion makes them suddenly become smarter?  Most of this over the top rhetoric is true only among women who are ‘converted’ to ProLife activism.

    Abortions hurt women as well as children and the majority of abortions are done for birth control because it is an inconvenient time.  Talk about a mistake.  Abortions are a mistake.  Please make them illegal.

    Since the evidence is that abortions will continue to happen even if they are illegal, I don’t see what the ‘good’ is in having the women doing all that regretting you so heartrendingly describe AND being able to punish them legally.

    Norma McCorvey now feels fortunate that she was not able to have an abortion when she wanted.  The “Roe” of Roe v Wade is now a pro-life activist.

    Everybody’s got a right to do what it takes to make a living.  What’s her current speaking fee these days?

  • crowepps

    Why did you make your son think that you might have aborted him????

    It’s called “guilt-tripping”.

     

    ‘I could have aborted you!  But I did not so now you owe me and I get to run your life.’

  • prochoiceferret

    I don’t think a woman who gets an abortion deserves “slut-shaming” or abuse hurled at her by sidewalk counselors. I don’t consider a promiscuous man a “stud” or a promiscous woman a “slut.” Agreed, there is a double standard in our society. I don’t endorse it.

    Thank you.

    I never suggested that an unwanted pregnancy is a “penalty” for promiscuity. It is a foreseeable consequence of intercourse (even with birth control, as my wife and I learned first hand).

    Yeah, just like getting injured in a traffic accident is a foreseeable consequence of going driving (even with seat belts, as many people have learned first hand). It’s stupid to suggest that people should act as if the “accident” were their intention all along.

    Its a consequence that I think a person – promiscuous or not – should take responsability for.

    Person A: “I have an unwanted pregnancy, but I don’t give a shiitake about responsibility, so I’m just going to keep doing my thing, and when this thing pops out, it’ll be whatever.”

     

    Person B: “I have an unwanted pregnancy, and I am a responsible person, so I am going to do the responsible thing and have an abortion so that I don’t give birth to an unwanted child.”

  • aaron

    I have read many well-informed, on-topic comments in this thread. However, I think the point the article is trying to make here is not abortion, but the fact that it’s now a criminal act for a woman to have a miscarriage. 

     

    Now despite the fact that the vast majority of miscarriages are unintended by the mother, (For the sinful body often terminates a pregnancy which it deems non-viable) the lawmakers who created this law had the wisdom to realize that a woman whose baby self-aborts is being punished by God, and therefore she must have done SOMETHING wrong somewhere. The criminalization of miscarriages is a way to arrest women who have done crimes for which they were not yet caught. Most likely they were practicing witchcraft, having lustful thoughts (involving other men, strange sexual positions, and farm animals), or misinterpreting something written on the internet.

    • littleblue

      Aaron, those comments are immeasurably offensive!  I can’t believe they’ve not been addressed by other posters here.  Are your comments a joke that I seem to be missing?

       

      First, if this is your god, I’d say it doesn’t deserve a penny of your tithe nor an ounce of your time as it is unconscionably cruel and vindictive.

       

      Second, to follow through with reason and logic, if female sinners are punished with miscarriages, how does that explain that many women (who are all sinners and who are all infidels to somebody’s god) don’t have miscarriages?

       

      BTW, exactly how does this god of yours punish men?

       

  • kiruchan

    As a woman in Utah, I am outraged and disgusted by this law.  This is not about protecting innocent babies or a fetus or anything else along those lines.  This is about the subjugation and control of women.  Women SHOULD have every right to have control over their own bodies.  This is a reproductive rights issue.  Women deserve all the civil rights men enjoy-including the right to enjoy sex.  But that’s an arguement for another time.

    This state is extremely misogynistic and patriarchal and I am worried about raising my daughter in this environment.  This law is simply another way for rich, white, “Christian” men to control their women.  It is sick.  It is degrading.  It is wrong.  The majority of the men in positions of political power in Utah have long held the belief that God has given them the power to rule.  I am strongly reminded of Henry VIII beheading his queens for not giving him male heirs.  The civil rights movement in this state has just stepped back hundreds of years.  This is a symptom of poisonous attitude toward women in this Utah culture.

  • reasonophilic

    If you think the woman’s body and mind undergo nothing untoward resulting from an abortion you are mistaken. It is not a gentle procedure.

    It’s a lot easier than a full-term pregnancy and childbirth!

    No it isn’t.

  • crowepps

    I’ve had two full-term pregnancies with natural deliveries, and both a suction abortion and a D&C abortion after miscarriages. I recovered from the abortions after miscarriage within a few days. The full-term pregnancies took weeks of recovery and the last one caused some permanent problems.

     

    Please, share with us your personal experiences of each and your comparison between the two.

  • crowepps

    An excellent example of the confusion resulting from this borrowing of words from various languages is the word foetus / fetus.  It never was Greek, according to the Oxford team.  It always was Latin: fetus, a noun of the fourth (count them) declension.  The English plural is fetuses.  It is derived, according to Chambers Guide to Australian Usage. from  ferare: to conceive (although my Latin Dictionary doesn’t have this word) rather than foetere: to give birth, (which it doesn’t have either).  But the venerable Oxford people assert that the “oe” diagraph was inserted in the sixteenth century either a) as a very common printer’s error or, b) in a misguided attempt by medieval academics to “correct” the Latin language, which had they felt become corrupted over the centuries.  This judgment would have been made under the incorrect assumption that it was similar in origin to the words mentioned above, or in confusion with foetid, or fetid, which of course means “stinking” and is derived from a totally different word: foetare: to stink.  Notice the -are ending rather than the -ere ending above in ‘to give birth’.  Obviously different… Something to do with declensions…

     

    So, it is essentially snob value which has kept foetus from Early Modern English as the preferred British spelling.  The newly recommended spelling, fetus, does not represent a callous Americanism [those callous Americans!], but is the correction of a centuries old stuff-up (a.k.a. “tradition”).  The spelling of similar words with digraphs has varied from century to century according to academic fashion and perceived correctness, but the fight for ye (pronounced the) olde (silent e)  British spelling is difficult to support.  Editors of most medical journals and text-books, including the Australasian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, now recommend – in fact enforce – the fetus spelling.

     

    I think we have to bite the bullet on this word and accept that fetus is a spelling whose time has come again. Think of it as a rebirth.  According to Chambers, “Writers at large are free to choose, and might prefer fetus either in terms of its own etymology, or because of the general principle of reducing oe digraphs to e – or for both reasons.”  

    http://expat-at-large.com/Fetus_foetus.htm

  • emma

    Really? I had no idea! My lecturers and doctors, for that matter, have always emphasised that we/I should use ‘foetus’ (in Australia). I’ve always hated the ‘oe’ thing; it’s kinda like habit, though.

  • crowepps

    Although actually, it does sound a lot like some theological positions I’ve heard – “Well, the woman wouldn’t die from pregnancy complications unless it was part of God’s plan.  Everybody ought to just pray harder.”

     

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the religious authorities were adamently opposed to the invention of the lightning rod on the basis that “Thunder and lightning were considered tokens of God’s displeasure. It was considered impious to prevent their doing damage.”

    http://www.tektonics.org/lp/norods.html

     

    Apparently death or damage during childbirth are also considered “tokens of God’s displeasure” and so of course preventing those deaths or that damage would also be “impious”.  Anyone who says that Christianity has abolished human sacrifice isn’t paying attention.