Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The American Taliban Strikes Again

This time they're moving to make having a miscarriage a potential crime.

No, you did not misread that. Excerpt:

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.

And of course, the American Taliban in the State Legislature gets to define "reckless behavior".

Monstrous. Barbaric. Right-Wing.

But I repeat myself.


The Constitutional Crusader said...

You may want to read that article again. It specifically says that women cannot be prosecuted for arranging legal abortions. Did you also miss the part about the woman who paid someone 150 dollars to beat her so that she would lose the child? That is murder, plain and simple. You can argue that it's not really a baby all you want, but that only works if you ignore those pesky little things called facts.

Joseph said...

CC, it also says that even a miscarriage that was NOT done intentionally can be held to be murder if the woman engaged in "risky" behaviors. Who gets to define what a "risky behavior" is?

The Constitutional Crusader said...

You're changing the argument. The "risky behavior" you talk about is defined in the article as behavior that would lead directly to causing a miscarriage. The bill obviously assumes that women are smart enough to make smarter choices than this woman who paid someone to beat her did. THAT is the kind of behavior this bill will protect unborn children against. I honestly don't see why it's such a problem to give unborn children the same protections that children whose parents chose life have.

Also, your blog post is a bit on the biased side, if I may be so bold.

Mehal said...

CC: Regarding the woman who hired someone to beat her: I'd like to know why she chose to have someone beat her instead of going to a doctor for an abortion. If the answer is because there was no clinic she could go to, no doctor willing to perform it for fear of retribution or no health insurance to cover it, I think it gets to a larger issue. If abortion is going to be legal in society, it should be safe and accessible to everyone.

You do not seem to understand Mr. Miller's point. His objection is not that this bill is going to make abortion legal (though it seems close) but that miscarriages are now criminal when they are caused by "reckless" behavior. Consider these hypothetical situations

1) A woman doesn't know she's pregnant, has a couple drinks. Later on, she finds out she does and has a miscarriage.
2) A pregnant woman falls down the stairs because she did not grab the railing or was carrying something that messed with her balance.
3) A young person wants an abortion but fears her parents will throw her out of the house if she gets one. Since sex ed class doesn't exist at her school, she doesn't know about clinics that provide abortion services and tries to induce one through unsafe means.
4) A woman has a miscarriage for some random medical reason.

All four of these women could face arrest, prosecution and possibly jail time.
1) If "drinking while you might be pregnant" is grounds for negligance, then pretty much every sexually active woman is at risk for prosecution.
2) See example here: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/02/15/its-illegal-37-states-for-a-pregnant-woman-fall-down-stairs
3) Of course this girl is making a wrong decision, but criminalizing her actions is not the right course.
4) If someone dies and the cause isn't fully known, there's a death investigation with coroners, homicide investigations and the like. This law would mean that someone would investigate this woman and see if she had performed any "reckless" behavior

You may claim that most of these women won't be convicted. Miscarriages are traumatic enough as it is. In addition to the shame, humiliation and grief that comes with losing a child, do you really want to put women through criminal prosecution?

Also, of course Mr. Miller's blog is biased. It's a blog, filled with opinion pieces.

Finally, explain what you mean by "You can argue that it's not really a baby all you want, but that only works if you ignore those pesky little things called facts." Please cite these pesky little things.

Joseph said...

Mehal strikes again!! Thank you!

pablo said...

Mr. Miller's blog is biased just the way I like it.

The Constitutional Crusader said...

I would very much like you to point me to the part of that article or better yet, that part of the bill itself, that says women who accidentally fall down the stairs will be prosecuted, or that any of the four examples you cited are eligible for prosecution.

As for the woman who paid someone to beat her, YES I would want her to go through criminal prosecution if she intentionally ended a life of any sort, born or unborn, child or adult. Insofar as whether a clinic was there for her to go to, we don't know whether there is or not so that argument doesn't fly.

As far as the part of my last post that you quoted, I felt that the sentence was pretty self explanatory: I was expecting him to use that argument and sought to preempt it.

On my comment about his blog being biased, I was referring to the fact that he did not site the entire article but rather only that part of it that would further his argument.

Finally, I am well aware that J. Miller has his own opinions. He's entitled to them, just as I'm entitled to mine.

God Bless.