Utah Bill Criminalizes Miscarriages
The Utah House and Senate passed a bill that could make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage.
The bill amends Utah’s criminal statute to allow the state go charge a woman with criminal homicide for inducing a miscarriage or obtaining an illegal abortion. The case on which the bill was based was one in which a 17-year-old girl who was seven months pregnant paid a man $150 to beat her in an attempt to cause a miscarriage. (She gave birth, but was originally charged with attempted murder)
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.
Perhaps the most troubling part of the bill is a standard that could make women legally responsible for miscarriages caused by so-called “reckless” behavior. Under the “reckless behavior” standard, an attorney only needs to show that the woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she did not intend to lose the pregnancy. Under this law, if a woman drinks too much and has a miscarriage, she could face prosecution.Click here for reuse options!
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