Illegal Abortions Now Illegal

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23rd, 2010 by bl1y

The Utah state House and Senate have passed a law that would criminalize the procurement of an illegal abortion.  (The law does not penalize abortions obtained through regular legal avenues.)   Basically, the law makes it illegal to ask your boyfriend to hit you in the stomach to terminate your pregnancy.

Seems pretty reasonable, but plenty of raging panties are already bundled up about it.  Feministe.com is running an article with the headline “Utah bill would criminalize miscarriage.“  Here’s the complaint from NYU Law grad Jill:

The Utah miscarriage law is understandable because it targets women who intended to have miscarriages.

I understand that. We do hold people more culpable for things that they do on purpose; we also hold people accountable for a lot of things that they do negligently. My question, though, isn’t with the punishment aspect, but with the activism aspect. Let’s say that we take anti-choicers on their word that they really, truly believe that a fertilized egg is a unique, individual human being, and that the death of that egg is like the death of a person. If that’s the truth, then why no activism around trying to find a cure for the close to 50 percent of fertilized eggs that naturally don’t implant, and are flushed out of the woman’s body? Sure, it’s not intentional, but if there were some disease that killed 50 percent of all five-year-olds, I’m pretty sure we’d be doing something about it, no?

I realize this is all pretty far afield from the actual Utah legislation, but it’s illustrative, I think, insofar as it demonstrates that the concern here isn’t really about fetuses or life or any of that. It’s about punishing women.

This isn’t at all about “punishing women.”  It’s already a crime for a third party to end the life of your fetus (outside of consensual abortion, of course).  All this does it make the law more fair by punishing women who obtain illegal abortions.

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