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Author Topic: Utah, miscarriage and murder  (Read 2543 times)

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Offline AcinonyxTopic starter

Utah, miscarriage and murder
« on: March 01, 2010, 02:15:45 AM »
I find this shocking (here's another link).

Utah passed a bill that makes miscarriages a case of homicide following a life-long prison sentence, as long as it is determined that the woman is somehow at fault.

1. The bill is worded so vaguely ("reckless act" + miscarriage = homicide) that any woman could be charged with murder, if a persecuter wishes to charge her.
2. The bill seems oblivious of the fact that miscarriages are necessary, natural and not infrequent things, no matter what the woman has done before (taken a too hot bath, maybe?)
3. Nobody seems to wonder what a woman must have gone through emotionally who pays someone to beat her up so she has a miscarriage. In future, we may add a life-long prison sentence to that.


I find this especially toe-nail curling:
"I know it's well-intentioned," Dayton said of the attempt to lift "reckless acts" from the bill, "but I don't think we want to go down the road of carefully defining the behavior of a woman."

Yeah - who the hell needs clearly defined terms in justice? It's much more fun otherwise, right, especially when it's about homicide?
Apparenlty Iowa has some similar laws - it seems a woman there was recently investigated for - grasp that - falling down the stairs leading to a miscarriage for attempted "feticide".

Ugh! >_<
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 02:17:08 AM by Acinonyx »

Online Doomsday

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010, 03:12:47 AM »
Utah, the Misogyny State.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010, 02:14:46 PM »
What were you doing recklessly climbing those stairs while pregnant?

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 04:34:22 PM »
It will never hold up in court. But I do support harsher sentencing for women that purposefully do things that will harm a child and the child comes out affected - doing illegal drugs, drinking alcohol in unreasonable amounts and so on. The child as a person ,even unborn, has as much right as the mother and if the mother is doing drugs and it would harm the innocent party its fair to punish her IMHO.

Liberty at its fullest has to go both ways to me.

Offline Serephino

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2010, 10:39:32 PM »
This is what happens when religion mixes with legislation.  It may not say that anywhere... but Utah has a high Mormon population and that sounds like something they'd do.  And the scary part is, while doing research for someone I read that like 35% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first 12 weeks.  It can happen if the woman does absolutely nothing wrong; something about defective chromosomes, though sometimes it's spontaneous and there really is no cause. 

Offline Kotah

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2010, 11:41:05 PM »
The whole first trimester is pretty up in the air. A lot of women miscarry in that time. This is just freaking scary.

Offline Brandon

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010, 12:04:01 AM »
The problem with vague criteria is its a double edged sword. On one hand if you make things clear and concise then if something happens outside of that criteria you can claim it doesnt fall within the bounds of law for punishment. On the other hand, general criteria avoids that problem but also allows just about any situation to fall within the same criteria for punishment.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 10:50:42 AM »
A woman can miscarry before she even knows she's pregnant.  Sometimes it looks like nothing more than a heavier-than-normal, but late, menstrual cycle.  If you don't know you're carrying an embryo, you have no way to alter your behavior (if necessary) to avoid 'dangerous' practices - like falling down stairs.  :P

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2010, 12:02:05 PM »
2 Centuries to the REAR.. MARCH! Welcome to the 1800s!

Yup.. I can see Utah doing this. Women's rights to some of the more 'religious' factions being eager to do stuff like this. Last year I saw a documentary on the 'lost boys' that came from the polygamy groups in Utah. They are teenagers who are simply tossed out on their ear for any offense so that the elders don't have any competition.

 

Offline AcinonyxTopic starter

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2010, 02:35:13 PM »
By all logic, there must be spontaneous abortions/miscarriages.

Imagine there's a fatal or lethal defect in a gene and that gene (or that spacific malfuntion of the gene) isn't expressed until the fetus has already grown a bit. There's no point in bringing up the enormous energy cost of either nourishing a baby for 9-10 months that won't survive anyway, or carrying a corpse around. Not to mention how dangerous birth is for the mother, too. Instead, nature would urge the mother to make room for a new, healthy baby and get rid of the extra-baggage and everything that comes with it.

The fetus needs to leave the body, and you can be sure that nature has a mechanism for that: MISCARRIAGE.

Under the new Utah law, when this happens, the woman now needs to go back and wonder what she did wrong, and I am sure finding something that she could potentially have done wrong isn't so hard. How would the woman herself know whether the miscarriage is really not her fault? What if she looked forward to the baby and is now running into a post-trauma guilt-trip? She'd get convicted for it on top of it all, just because the random sperm that won that special race and her own randomly-generated egg-cell weren't such a great match!

Offline Torch

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2010, 03:13:36 PM »
But I do support harsher sentencing for women that purposefully do things that will harm a child and the child comes out affected - doing illegal drugs, drinking alcohol in unreasonable amounts and so on. The child as a person ,even unborn, has as much right as the mother and if the mother is doing drugs and it would harm the innocent party its fair to punish her IMHO.

Liberty at its fullest has to go both ways to me.

That may be your opinion, but the law sees it differently. Fetuses have no rights that override a mother's right to privacy. Which is as it should be. Your presumption reduces a woman's body to nothing more than a cogitation vessel or little more than an inanimate object.

There are doctors who recommend women drink no alcohol during pregnancy. There are doctors who are fine with their patients drinking alcohol minimally. Who is right? Who gets to decide what is safe and what isn't? Are you going to throw a pregnant woman in jail because she had a glass of champagne at a wedding?

As someone who has given birth twice, I'll be damned if a government entity is going to hang over my shoulder, monitoring everything I do during my pregnancy. No thank you, Big Brother.

Offline Lilias

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 03:17:47 PM »
What I find most disturbing is that the particular bill targets (or so it claims) deliberately induced miscarriage as a method of abortion, while legal abortion remains available.

That can only mean that, in an environment where fewer and fewer women can have access to legal abortion, because they can't shoulder the cost, as low as it is, there will be those who will try to revert to old-horror 'homebrew' abortifacents, like beatings and falling down the stairs, or the wire hanger.

That healthcare reform can't come too soon.

Offline Torch

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 03:28:36 PM »
What I find most disturbing is that the particular bill targets (or so it claims) deliberately induced miscarriage as a method of abortion, while legal abortion remains available.

That can only mean that, in an environment where fewer and fewer women can have access to legal abortion, because they can't shoulder the cost, as low as it is, there will be those who will try to revert to old-horror 'homebrew' abortifacents, like beatings and falling down the stairs, or the wire hanger.

Part of the problem isn't cost, it's access. The last estimate I read is that 87% of counties in the United States have no abortion provider. In rural areas, that figure rises to 98%. In the state of South Dakota, there are no abortion providers at all.

This is unconscionable. Access to a safe and legal abortion is a health right that is being denied to the majority of women in this country.

Offline AcinonyxTopic starter

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2010, 02:25:37 PM »
Well, sometimes the risk of providing abortion for desperate women, especially in rural areas, is being shot in the head...

Offline Jude

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 05:48:55 AM »
I had the same thought many of you did when I first read this:  why would someone even want to get an abortion by asking someone to beat the crap out of them?  Obvious answer:  because safe, doctor provided abortion aren't available in those areas.  This is the real problem.  Once that's shored away if you wanna punish women who engage in that sort of behavior, go for it, until then they have no right to pass judgment on people who take desperate measures because of injustice.

And even should that happen, if they ever pass a provision like this, lets hope they use more solid language that doesn't open the door for legalistic misogyny.

Offline Lilias

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2010, 06:07:04 AM »
Part of the problem isn't cost, it's access. The last estimate I read is that 87% of counties in the United States have no abortion provider. In rural areas, that figure rises to 98%. In the state of South Dakota, there are no abortion providers at all.

This is unconscionable. Access to a safe and legal abortion is a health right that is being denied to the majority of women in this country.
I didn't know that. My experience is with situations in Greece and in the UK, neither of which has specialised abortion providers, at least not as a rule. In Greece, abortions take place in maternity hospitals, after referral by any ob-gyn. They are paid, though not exorbitantly, and women from rural areas will need to get into a sizeable town, but in a country the size of Connecticut, even coming to the capital is not that hard. In the UK, the NHS covers 50-90% of the cost of abortion, which again can be carried out in local hospitals, like any other outpatient gyn procedure, as long as there are two doctors' referrals. There are private clinics, but they're not the norm; they rather belong to family planning/counselling services. The situation you mention is nothing short of monstrous.

Offline Sabby

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2010, 01:56:35 AM »
Gah, Utah is messed up. The only time when we stop hearing silliness like this from them will be, A) when they grow the hell up and stop beating their Bibles like red headed step children, or B) when theres a city with at least 35% of the population as Scientologists.

Option B is both more likely, and would be genuinely hilarious. This, however, is not.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2010, 01:59:38 AM »
Actually, Option B wouldn't stop Utah's silliness - although it would overshadow it quite a bit.

Offline Sabby

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2010, 02:49:03 AM »
Gah, Utah is messed up. The only time when we stop hearing silliness like this from them will be, A) when they grow the hell up and stop beating their Bibles like red headed step children, or B) when theres a city with at least 35% of the population as Scientologists.

Option B is both more likely, and would be genuinely hilarious. This, however, is not.

Never said it'd stop xD.

Maybe they should ban stairways... would greatly to the damages of a flood, but fetus murder would go down drastically.

Offline TheLegionary

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2010, 11:59:29 PM »
For this kind of things, I always like to remember Saint Augustin: "Empty head is the devil`s office" (or something like that, I do not know whether I translated it correctly into English)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2010, 02:05:52 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/us/05utah.html

Update :-)  Seems as if cooler heads prevailed.

Offline Caeli

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2010, 03:54:33 AM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/us/05utah.html

Update :-)  Seems as if cooler heads prevailed.
That's a relief. *shakes head*

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2010, 11:09:54 AM »
You know.. I"m wondering why the polygamists aren't trying to get legal recognition (possibly using the same issues that gay marriage advocates use)

Offline Oniya

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2010, 11:47:55 AM »
From what I know of the hardcore polygamists (the FLDS, as the Mormons or LDS dropped the practice decades ago), they really just don't care whether the government says it's okay or not.  I also suspect that if they did go for legal recognition, it would open up everything to scrutiny, and all the dirty little secrets like the 'lost boys' and arranged marriages of pre-consent-aged girls would have to be dealt with.

Offline Torch

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Re: Utah, miscarriage and murder
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2010, 12:06:05 PM »
From what I know of the hardcore polygamists (the FLDS, as the Mormons or LDS dropped the practice decades ago), they really just don't care whether the government says it's okay or not.  I also suspect that if they did go for legal recognition, it would open up everything to scrutiny, and all the dirty little secrets like the 'lost boys' and arranged marriages of pre-consent-aged girls would have to be dealt with.

This.

As far as they are concerned, the marriages are recognized by God, and to them, that's the important thing, not recognition by the state. I'd be curious to know how closely the IRS watches those families, as far as claiming all of those dependents for tax purposes.