Should a Woman Be Prosecuted For "Intentionally Inducing" a Miscarriage?

@anniepa (26607)
United States
March 11, 2010 7:30pm CST
If she lives in Utah she can be! Governor Gary Herbert signed Utah HB 462 into law on Monday which stipulates that a woman can be charged with homicide for "the death of her unborn child", unless the death qualifies as legal abortion, which is defined as "a medical procedure carried out by a physician or through a substance used under the direction of a physician." The original bill, which has been reworked, could have imprisoned women for life for falling down the stairs, not wearing a seatbelt or staying in an abusive relationship if any of the above led to a miscarriage. It was prompted by a pregnant teen who hired someone to beat her in the hopes it would cause a late-term miscarriage. : http://abcnews.go.com/Health/utah-abortion-bill-punishing-miscarriages-preventing-crime/story?id=9955517 : http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/13325 What are your thoughts on this law? Personally, although I'm relieved it's been changed from its original form I still find this bill quite worrisome. For a woman or young girl to be charged with inducing a miscarriage, someone has to make the accusation since nobody is going to walk into a police station or pick up the phone and "confess"; therefore, I see too much opportunity for women to be wrongfully accused of this "crime". Annie
2 people like this
7 responses
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Personally, I don't think the bill needed to be reworked at all. The part about falling down the stairs is complete bull. I'm not accusing you of anything, I'm just saying the person who wrote the article making that claim is full of it. The same goes for the claim of getting life in prison for not wearing a seatbelt. If you read the bill, including the stricken parts of it, you'll see that the requirement to push for that kind of sentence is very rigorous and must include intent. I know the pro-abortion crowd hates anything that could have a healthy child born to this world, but I think this is a very good law and will prevent situations like the one that prompted this where a girl paid a guy to beat her up causing a miscarriage. The child lived and the guy she paid got five years in prison while she walked away scott free. I honestly don't see a downfall to this bill. Not only does it make the child safer, but the pro-abortionists who supposedly care about women should be happy as this encourages women to have abortions done by doctors which is safer.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Oh, just so people can read the bill, here it is. http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillint/hb0462.pdf
@Rollo1 (16681)
• Boston, Massachusetts
12 Mar 10
I read the bill and I can't see how it can be construed to include falling downstairs or failing to take your pre-natal vitamins. I felt a bit ill while reading the surgical bits, knowing that the dismemberment of a child in the womb is not only legal but encouraged by some people. I wondered to myself, if I posted a story about someone who killed kittens this way, by partial birth abortion (or rather, killing the kitten while it is being born) what sort of responses would I get? I imagine most people would be horrified at the thought of someone hurting something tiny and furry. It's so odd to me that they don't feel horrified by the procedures used in the aborting of something tiny and pink and human.
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
13 Mar 10
Why am I not surprised that you guys have managed to twist this issue beyond recognition? First of all, Taskr, what does this even have to do with the "pro-abortion crowd"? Abortion is legal in Utah, which makes this law seem even more nonsensical than it would be otherwise. My feelings against this bill have nothing whatsoever to do with my feelings about abortion; rather it's about the possibility - no, PROBABILITY - of women being unjustly accused of this and, best case scenario being acquitted after going through all kinds of hassles, expense and violation of privacy and worst case scenario being wrongfully imprisoned. You wrote that it will "prevent situations like the one that prompted this where a girl paid a guy to beat her up causing a miscarriage." You imply that this happens all the time! I don't know all the details about this case but I sure don't think the guy should have gotten away scott free either. He was stupid enough to accept the money and he beat up a girl. Maybe she should have been charged and punished as well, as I said I don't know the details of the case. As I understand it she was just a teenager, right? Rollo, I don't think anyone thought someone would be arrested for "failing to take pre-natal vitamins". Most of all, I sure don't know how you got from the topic at hand to late-term abortion, which is illegal unless the mother's life is in danger. Annie
@irishidid (8119)
• United States
12 Mar 10
There's just too many ways that could be used against the woman. Not a good idea.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
12 Mar 10
How about that - we totally agree on this! If what I've heard about Utah still holds true and it's still a "man's world" this law could be used so easily by spiteful men out for revenge against a wife or girlfriend. Something as simple as, for example, a woman saying during an argument or maybe under duress while being threatened or abused by a guy that she doesn't want the baby now or that she hopes she loses it. Everyone says things they don't mean when they're hurt, angry or scared but a man could well use that against her if she does end up having a miscarriage and then it would be his word against hers and I think I know which way that would go in Utah! Annie
@irishidid (8119)
• United States
12 Mar 10
They say it is pretty normal for a pregnant woman to have misgivings. I know I did and my children were all very much wanted. They also say you've probably been pregnant more times than you realize and never know it. What are they going to do, go after women on that premise next? I'll use this to sneak in an announcement about a new grand baby coming in August!
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
13 Mar 10
CONGRATULATIONS and best wishes!! Annie
@bryanwmc (1052)
• Malaysia
12 Mar 10
seems to have a big shade of grey area where theres is room for a 'miscarriage of justice' (pun intented.) ! All it take is a bit of spite,jealousy or whatevr that causes people to act shamefully,intentionally accusing another of wrongdoing,and in this instance,the grey area can be abused or manipulated by such individuals. Again,its women who are on the receiving end..
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Mar 10
But remember, this was prompted by a case where the MAN was on the receiving end of a 5 year prison sentence while the woman who paid him got off perfectly free.
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Bryanwmc, I'm with you. It's just that "grey area" that makes this law so ludicrous. Annie
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
12 Mar 10
this seems kind of strange since a medical professional can do this. it wouldn't surprise me about such an act if abortion was still illegal.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
12 Mar 10
I know, it makes no sense at all. When I first heard about this I had to do some searching to make sure I'd heard it right! Annie
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
13 Mar 10
A medical professional can also give you powerful and potentially dangerous medications. If you took them on your own though, it would be a criminal offense. Abortion would simply be treated the same way under this law.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Although I read the assurances that women who miscarry as a result of abuse after returning to an abusive partner, I'm not comfortable with it and see that as one of the possible unintended consequences of this legislation. I also see the fear of the possibility of being charged with a crime as a reason why an abused pregnant woman would not seek medical care for herself or her unborn child...with fatal consequences for one or both of them. This legislation seems too convenient to me. The "reason" behind it...the actions of one girl...do not justify this in my opinion.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (26607)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Great point about women being afraid to seek needed medical attention in the even of a miscarriage or possible miscarriage. It's hard to believe a law like this would exist in the United States of America, isn't it? Annie
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
12 Mar 10
Yes, it's very hard to believe...and it's very disturbing.
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (27048)
12 Mar 10
Many ladies don't realize that are pregnant during the early part of pregnancy. Therefore she might live life as she normally does. For example she might go to a fairground and ride on roller coasters. Then might then have a surprise miscarriage. In a court they could not prove if the lady was acting some dangerously she had a miscarriage. If a lady wishes to have an abortion I think it is possible in Utah. I think that this law is wrong. A lady could fall down stairs because everyone suffers accidents. Some ladies do choose to stay in an abusive relationship. Personally I wouldn't ever have an abortion. I think it is a shame that abortion is legal. It will be challenging for them to prove a lady chose to have a miscarriage. Most miscarriages upset the lady because she wanted to have her baby. I guess few ladies choose to have a miscarriage.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Mar 10
The falling down the stairs part is bull so don't worry about that. Also keep in mind that you're innocent until proven guilty so they'd have to prove intent. It's easy to prove if a woman knew she was pregnant by checking medical records and such. If they have no proof (she never went to a gynecologist, etc.), they can't prosecute.
@sunkernjs (219)
• Philippines
12 Mar 10
First is it really a miscarriage or a result of a former planted abortion?. Ethicaly if miscarriage alone it is prohibited to do Dilatation and Curettage to secure the life of the mother however if intentionally, no, no, no. from the eyes of God.!