As many of you know, I've had a miscarriage. It sucked. It still sucks. However, when I read articles about how Utah wants to be able to prosecute women who have miscarriages, it makes me angry. Why? Over 15% – 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That's just nature's way of handling an nonviable pregnancy.
The bill responds to a case in which a Vernal woman allegedly paid a man $150 to beat her and cause miscarriage but could not be charged. The Senate approved criminalizing a woman's “intentional, knowing, or reckless act” leading to a pregnancy's illegal termination. But here's the problem — what is a knowing reckless act? If you eat tuna and have a miscarriage, is that reckless? If you fall down while pregnant, can you be charged (and the answer is yes because it happened in Iowa). Writing for RH Reality Check, Rachel Larris says,
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. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution.
That terrifies me. I was sent to the ER when I miscarried. It was a Friday night and my OBGYN wanted me to get checked out even though we both knew what was happening. Would I have went knowing that I chanced going to jail because somebody didn't like me, the way I dress, or anything I said? Hell, no. Heck, I had 2 (aff) different OBGYN's for my pregnancies and both gave me different rules to follow. If the doctor's can't agree, how the heck am I suppose to know if something I did caused a miscarriage. Heck, I have an irritable uterus, so I'm most likely just screwed since my body doens't like being pregnant and puts me into preterm labor. I know, you are stating that they won't go after the “good” people. However, if you read the Iowa story, they do.
I'd love to know what you all think. Is this legislation taking it tad too far?