Truth to Power

Utah: Where a miscarriage is a crime

Let’s have Dan Savage tell us about the latest from the American Taliban:

When Miscarriages Are a Crime…

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:06 PM

…only criminals will have miscarriages.

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…. 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.

If the governor signs the bill into law a woman in Utah who intentionally or accidentally induces a miscarriage can be charged with criminal homicide and sentenced to life in prison.

Um… Utah?

If every miscarriage is a potential homicide, how does Utah avoid launching a criminal investigation every time a woman has a miscarriage? And women have a lot of miscarriages: one in four pregnancies end in a miscarriage. And how is Utah supposed to know when a pregnant woman has had a miscarriage? You’re going to have to create some sort of pregnancy registry to keep track of all those fetuses, Utah. Perhaps you could start issuing “conception certificates” to women who get pregnant? And then, if there isn’t a baby within nine months of the issuance of a conception certificate, the woman could be hauled in for questioning and she could be indicted for criminal homicide if it’s determined that she intentionally or accidentally induced a miscarriage. Of course, lots of women miscarry before they even realize their pregnant… so Utah will have to pass another law, one that compels all sexually active women–actually, let’s just say all women, Utah, since some sexually active women claim they’re chaste–to come in for mandatory monthly pregnancy tests…</em>

Insane religious fanatics, in control of the government. When the f did we become Iran?

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