A nonsensical law

"The bill does not affect legally obtained abortions, but it does criminalize the actions taken by a woman to induce a miscarriage or an abortion outside a doctor's care. Penalties range up to life in prison."

Source: The Cleveland Leader

The law seems to translate to "we don't care if you kill your kid, but if you take the DIY approach you could be in jail for life". Either it's ethical or it's not...


This is the female accomplice. Darren is still away.

My greatest worry about a law like this is the additional mental trauma it would cause for a woman who has had a natural miscarriage to then face an investigation as to whether she caused it or not. Women who experience miscarriage, myself included, normally carry a lot of guilt over the situation regardless. If someone were to scrutinize everything that I did in the weeks prior to my miscarriage to determine if I had caused it, it would have destroyed me. For example, when I was 7 or 8 weeks along, I sat in a hot tub with Eliana. I was only in from the waist down, but prolonged time in hot tubs and saunas is said to be risky for pregnant women. Would I have been prosecuted for that? For the majority of miscarriages, once they occur, you cannot determine the cause.

Also, how would such a law be enforced, realistically? Investigating every single miscarriage seems over the top, but where would you draw the line?

I was looking at it from the assuming-that-there's-a-reasonable-way-of-determining intent view, but looking at what you said I'd have to agree. I dug up the bill itself to see if it lends clarity but, if anything, it only further confused me.

The bill was based on a case in which a woman "paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage" ... that seems a pretty obvious demonstration of intent (although it seems almost as if an asylum might be a better destination than a jail).

I think that what you're getting at is one of the trends in society right now... the nanny state. Even the question of what's best is a difficult one. A lot of time the advice the "experts" give one day isn't the same the next day.

I read the article linked to in the original post, so I knew the circumstances that started everything. I don't understand the need for a bill like this. As far as I can tell, the existing laws in Utah could have been used for prosecution in this case so the need for a new law confuses me.

The fact that the woman in question was only 17 makes me wonder if her age is a part of the equation. While what she did was definitely atypical behavior, it would seem even more unlikely if a woman in a stable, married relationship with other children did the same thing. Does that mean that authorities would only investigate young, single women who have miscarriages or would that be dismissed as too biased?

As far as I can tell, the existing laws in Utah could have been used for prosecution in this case so the need for a new law confuses me.

I think that it's a problem with the political system and soundbite politics - i.e. the politicians are seen as "doing something" to tackle the problem. Whether or not their "help" is useful is a question that the media seems to ignore.