This is gonna be another one of my soapbox posts. Let me say first, that I admit I don’t know a lot about politics. I do not have a college degree. I am well aware that I am not in any way qualified to make or change laws. I understand that, and I get that, I really do.
Still, I know the difference between right and wrong.
Last month, there was a bill passed in Utah, called The Criminal Homicide and Abortion Amendment. This bill makes it possible to charge women with murder for a miscarriage caused by “intentional or knowing” acts. Really?
Fist of all, I was not aware that in Utah abortion is only legal if there was rape or incest, if the mother’s life is in danger, or if the child will be born with “grave birth defects”. Apparently, each state is allowed to determine when abortion is legal.
This bill came into being because a 17 year old girl who was 7 months pregnant paid a friend 150 dollars to beat her up to cause a miscarriage. Her boyfriend had threatened to leave her if she didn’t terminate her pregnancy. The baby survived the beating, and was adopted.
Clearly, this was a horrible thing to do. I am not at all suggesting that I support this in any way. I agree that there should be some type of consequence for these actions. Criminalizing miscarriages, however, is not the proper consequence.
Imagine a woman married to a man who physically abuses her. For whatever reason, she stays with him, and becomes pregnant. Eventually, he beats her so badly she miscarries her baby. Is she a murderer? By staying with her abuser, she committed an “intentional and knowing” act. Do you want to see her sent to prison? That would be ridiculous. Isn’t that where this bill leads though?
This is what I think. The abortion debate has raged for years, and the decision to have an abortion is a personal one that I believe is ultimately the woman’s decision, as she is the one who will ultimately have to live with the consequences of her decision. To label a woman a murderess because of that decision, will help no one.