The law, signed into effect yesterday, was supposedly a more careful one than the original bill that could have sent women who miscarried to jail for any "reckless" behavior. However, the new law represents the real possibility that women could be prosecuted for miscarrying. According to Democratic Senator Ben McAdams,
the revised bill still sets a dangerous precedent that would "open up a Pandora’s box" of unintended legal consequences that will be hard to reverse. "Even the word 'knowingly' will result in unintended consequences."So why is the media reporting that the new law won't send women and girls to jail for miscarrying? According to the AP story,
The version of the bill Herbert signed excludes language in an original version that opponents feared could lead to pregnant women who have natural miscarriages or miscarriages while engaging in activities like skiing being investigated for criminal homicide.But in fact both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union continue to voice concern that the version passed will make any woman who miscarries a "potential criminal" who would have to "prove" her innocence. Instead of reporting on the dangers of the Utah law, the media is spending a lot of time reporting on the rather sad criminal case that inspired its drafting: a 17 year-old girl who paid a young man $150 to beat her up so that she could terminate her 7-month pregnancy. The beating did not result in a termination of the pregnancy (the baby was born and subsequently adopted), but it did result in prosecution for both the young woman and the man who beat her. A fascinating story, full of tragedy, but the real story is the effects of the Christian Taliban on this country and particularly our young people. Barred from the knowledge of how to control their fertility or keep their bodies free of sexually transmitted diseases, steeped in shame about having sex in the first place, fed a steady media diet that both makes everything about sex and also makes sex a problem, young people act rashly, stupidly even, and then pay the price of STDs and unwanted pregnancies. Now, in Utah, some of them will also go to jail.