Utah bill would criminalize miscarriage

You know, if they were really pro-life, they would also criminalize masturbation and menstruation. Every sperm is sacred! Every egg is a potential baby!

Snark aside, I do think it’s interesting that anti-choicers will put significant effort into a bill like this and into, say, prosecuting women who use drugs while pregnant, but they do absolutely nothing about the fact that enormous numbers of fertilized eggs — unique, individual lives, they argue — naturally fail to implant and are flushed out of a woman’s body. When I bring this up with anti-choice people, they always point to the causation factor — abortion is bad because a woman takes steps to end a pregnancy. It’s the difference between murder and natural death. Prosecuting women who used drugs while pregnant and gave birth to stillborns is acceptable because the woman did something which may have ended the baby’s life (that’s scientifically debatable, but a detour from the actual point of this post, so I’ll leave it alone for now). 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.

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42 comments for “Utah bill would criminalize miscarriage

  1. Lance
    February 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Please, don’t give them any ideas…

  2. February 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks for your post. I think we need to step back even further, and remember that the idea of what constitutes a life is historically constructed. If you read the book Eve’s Herbs, you will learn that several hundred years ago in Western Europe, doctors called the moment when fetal “life” began the moment of “quickening,” aka., fetal movement. One of the most interesting aspects of quickening is that it was a moment that a woman alone could identify–as she alone could identify when a fetus started to move inside of her womb. So, the conservative attempt to define “life” as the moment of “conception” not only goes against history, it also takes the definition of life away from women, and puts it in the hands of (mostly male) doctors. The current Western conception of when “life” begins, like every other conception or idea, is historically constructed–it is not a natural, objective, innate part of reality.

  3. Caro
    February 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    My similar question is: if they believe life begins at contraception, why aren’t more anti-choicers more outraged about all the extra fertilized eggs created for IVF procedures that are then just frozen and then kept on ice, sometimes indefinitely? Or the embryos that can be destroyed in the freezing process itself? (See: http://www.ivf.com/cryoperm.html) Yes, I know there are certainly many anti-abortion people who are also against IVF or against stem cell research using discarded embryos for these reasons (for instance, the “snowflake children” adoption movement). But not all of them — and you don’t exactly see people protesting outside fertility doctor’s offices or harassing women who go in to get IVF.

  4. February 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Here are some arguments that I have thrown at anti-choicers, to which they have no answer:

    Let’s say a woman who is about to attempt to get pregnant is told that 3 embryos will die (she will have 3 miscarriages or embryos which fail to implant) before she has a successful pregnancy and gives birth.  If she chooses to go ahead and try to have a child anyway, she is knowingly causing the deaths of unborn children.

    What exactly are you trying to avoid?  Isn’t it the loss of the “unborn children”?  Why are the deaths of only some unborn children worthy of trying to be prevented?  What you are not admitting to yourself is that your real goal is to punish women, it is NOT to save unborn children, because if it were truly about the unborn, you would try to stop miscarriages and implantation failures as vigorously as you are trying to prevent abortion.

    Just admit to yourself, at least, that what you are truly after is punishing women who choose not to continue pregnancies. If you were truly trying to prevent the loss of “unborn children”, you would not discriminate between miscarriage, implantation failure, and abortion.

  5. February 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Here’s one more:

    Many miscarriages and implantation failures are NOT the cause of chromosomal mistakes, but are caused by something being wrong with the uterine environment, and are also caused by actions of the woman.
    Drinking coffee, exercising, and breast feeding have all been shown to cause miscarriage and implantation failure.

  6. biscuit
    February 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Indeed! This argument has been taken in bioethics, with at least one ethicist making a powerful argument that the ‘every potential conception is morally important’ line does not bear up to scrutiny: if pro-lifers really felt that, they would have to take action directed at embryo loss, rather than focus their activities and vitriol against women.
    See ‘The Scourge’

    Or read the full text here if you don’t have journal access:

  7. Rachel
    February 23, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, great, now I have the song in my head from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

    Every sperm is sacred/Every sperm is great.
    If a sperm is wasted/God gets quite irate…

  8. February 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    This is not something that is pushed by most pro-lifers. Hell, I doubt most of them even know about it.

  9. CBrachyrhynchos
    February 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    It’s scary to me when political life starts imitating Sheri S. Tepper science fiction.

  10. Lizzie
    February 23, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    There WAS a disease – or rather, a group of diseases – that killed such numbers of 5-year-olds. That is, historically, your chances of reaching age 5 were about 2 out of 3. These diseases were: cholera, mumps, measles, typhoid, diptheria, influenza, polio, diarrhea, smallpox etc. And quite rightly, we put in BILLIONS to fight them. Partly by vaccines and antibiotics, mostly by sewerage and providing clean water supplies. The latter involved totally digging up and rebuilding every city and town in the civilised world from the (under)ground up. So clearly, when a third of babies ARE dying (and in some years it was indeed half or more, eg the Black Death), society responds by completely changing our way of life.

    Many natural miscarriages are caused by chromosomal abnormalities and stuff like that, things that render a fetus nonviable, and another massive slice are caused by problems from the woman’s end eg not enough lining in the womb, poor placenta. The former are theoretically curable with gene therapy and stem cell research, the latter with artificial wombs.

    If society really thought a third of babies were dying from problems we have the tools to fix, we would invest those billions, as we did before. But we don’t, even those of us who feel very strongly that fetuses are babies. So clearly in our heart of hearts, most people, even hardcore pro-lifers, don’t really feel that a baby is a baby until it’s, well, a baby.

    Indeed if you could transfer all fetuses to artificial wombs safely, the issue of a woman’s bodily autonomy would be negated and there would be no argument for abortion. So building such wombs would not just prevent many miscarriages but all abortions. If the pro life movement cared about saving the children more than controlling women, that is where their focus would be.

  11. Henry
    February 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    This statute fails badly at the line drawing stage – yes you should be prosecuted for paying someone to beat you while pregnant to cause a miscarriage, which then fails and the baby is born with who knows what problems (which was the original impetus for the bill). No one would have wanted their mom doing that to them while pregnant. It’s not the abortion they should be targeting, but the method chosen – one that has a high risk of failing and is harmful to both mother (and child if it fails). And the perpetrator of the contracted assault should be the most culpable -not the pregnant woman, since the perpetrator is most likely motivated, not by some mental condition or desparation, but instead for financial reasons. Giving the pregnant woman life for a crime of this sort (non-evil motives for lack of a better description) is also way over the top.

    But extending it to women who “recklessly” endanger their fetus (e.g. drug use, not being careful when driving) that’s just crazy and smacks of some sort of baby production movement to increase poplulation, sort of like more healthy babies for the third reich w/o the racism component.

  12. February 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    The true disconnect to me, is that their reservations don’t go any deeper than protecting babies from being killed while we set out all of these very rational, very in-depth arguments to support our cause.

  13. Ista
    February 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Ah my home state. You know, here is how I like to look at it. This is not a full time state legislature, instead, it’s a forty-five day legislature. If anything, that might be proof that God exists, because if this is the insanity that they do in forty-five days, imagine what it would be like if they were at it full time?

    Also, really, please. Don’t give them ideas.

  14. PrettyAmiable
    February 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I’m sorry: miscarrying with the attempt to end a pregnancy and abortion – where is the line drawn? Is this one of those laws designed to protect us uterus-holders from ourselves?

  15. Blue Jean
    February 23, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    yes you should be prosecuted for paying someone to beat you while pregnant to cause a miscarriage, which then fails and the baby is born with who knows what problems (which was the original impetus for the bill).

    I don’t know, Henry; a lot of pregnant women get beaten by their husbands/boyfriends/fathers/etc, not because the woman wants to miscarry, but because the guy is drunk, had a bad day at work, just for the hell of it, etc. I can just see some woman trying to leave an abusive situation, only to find her violent SO showing up at the police station to say “Yeah, she paid me to beat her up. Throw her in jail!”

  16. Bushfire
    February 23, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Lots of ’em HAVE criminalized masturbation and menstruation. Not within the state laws, but definitely in church and culture.

  17. Julie
    February 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    Wow, that is amazingly scary. I have been wanting to have another baby for awhile, but all of these laws are making me wanting to get my tubes tied. I miscarried once and I was very ambivalent about having the baby- I was 18, in college, not committed to the father (we were dating, but had only been together a couple weeks) and people even asked my mother if she was “sure” it was a miscarriage. To think that I could be investigated due to a natural process is scary as hell.

  18. Blue Jean
    February 23, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Besides, Henry, if a woman wants an abortion there are lots of ways that are surer, safer, and far less painful than having someone beat her up.

  19. ThankGoddess
    February 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Prosecuting women who used drugs while pregnant and gave birth to stillborns is acceptable because the woman did something which may have ended the baby’s life (that’s scientifically debatable, but a detour from the actual point of this post, so I’ll leave it alone for now). The Utah miscarriage law is understandable because it targets women who intended to have miscarriages.

    Is the emphasized text your opinion? Am I missing something here?

    If a woman causes her own miscarriage, so what? Why should that be in any way a crime? The only issue with a self induced miscarriage is that it might hurt the woman inducing it. Even then it should not be a crime. While I prefer abortions be done in a safe space, I don’t want to get injured after all, why should we ever even consider for a moment criminalizing it?

    • February 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

      Is the emphasized text your opinion? Am I missing something here?

      Uh, yes, you are missing a lot. I was summarizing the anti-choice position — in context, it’s pretty clear…

  20. ThankGoddess
    February 24, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Also, I understand the points about natural abortions. But they’re about as useful in explaining reality as offering a truck to a hungry dog (as my papa used to say). “Pro-lifers” are talking about what they consider to be murder. The fact that fetuses will miscarry naturally, is irrelevant to them. Would we consider murder valid, simply because actual persons die of natural causes?

    The best case above was by Debbie:

    Let’s say a woman who is about to attempt to get pregnant is told that 3 embryos will die (she will have 3 miscarriages or embryos which fail to implant) before she has a successful pregnancy and gives birth. If she chooses to go ahead and try to have a child anyway, she is knowingly causing the deaths of unborn children.

  21. karak
    February 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

    What about a woman who knows she has a medial condition which prevents her from carrying pregnancies to term, and she CHOOSES to get pregnant, willfully knowing she will miscarry and the fetus will most likely die? How does that not make her a criminal under this law?

  22. Sarah
    February 24, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I know a few anti-choice folks, and they’re quite sincere in believing that a genocide of babies is going on. So in that sense they don’t have different values than I do (if nearly a million newborns were being killed every year, I’d be angry too. I’m just as anti-baby-killing as they are.)

    I really think the case for not considering a fetus the same as a baby lies in how we treat miscarriage. A quarter of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Doctors are very matter-of-fact and brusque when a woman has a miscarriage — there’s none of the solemnity used when a relative has died. We don’t have social norms of mourning miscarried fetuses. We don’t have a society-wide push to find a cure for miscarriage. (If a quarter of all five-year-olds were dying, you can bet we’d be working on it.)

    It just isn’t in line with most people’s common sense to treat a fetus as a living baby. There’s an intuitive absurdity to it. Now, my Catholic friends may want us all to change our minds and start thinking of a fertilized egg as a person, no matter how counter-intuitive. I just find that unrealistic.

  23. Wednesday
    February 24, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Hey, Utah… y’know, when 17-year-olds pay someone to beat them so that they miscarry, that’s generally a sign that legal abortion isn’t available to them and they’re desperate.

    This should be a wake-up call – teenagers are so desperate that they let themselves be beaten – seek it out. Your response to this should be to say “what can we do so that pregnant teens don’t resort to having themselves beaten”, and maybe pass some bills making abortion AND prenatal care AND postnatal support for teen mothers more available.

    Instead, your response was “what can we do to punish pregnant girls and women who are desperate enough that they’d rather be beaten than carry to term.”

  24. Niki
    February 24, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Bravo. This is a great point.

  25. Emily
    February 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Going back to the impetus for the creation of this heinous bill — a young woman gets herself into a situation where she’s 7 months pregnant and the only thing she can see to get herself out of the situation she doesn’t want to be in is to pay someone to beat the shit out of her.

    And we are writing laws to figure out how best to punish future people who behave in this way?

    Why isn’t the response to find out what went wrong with HER situation and make sure that nobody gets to that point? Why isn’t the response to increase funding for sex education and free birth control for anyone who wants it and education about the symptoms of pregnancy and where you can get an abortion if you need one?

    No, let’s criminalize this act because one woman was in so desperate a situation she did the only thing she could see that would help. Let’s not help her, or the others like her. Let’s just make sure we can prosecute them when their desperation leads them down a dark path.

  26. William
    February 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I think the thing that a lot of commenters here are missing is the actual thought process of the forced-birth crowd. Arguments based around natural miscarriages or masturbation aren’t going to be persuasive because the movement isn’t really about protecting babies. Thats the rhetoric, thats the public statement, but these people long ago learned that they needed to lie to push their agenda.

    The reason that the forced-birth lobby opposes abortion is, and always has been, because abortion represents human beings taking control of their own lives and rejecting god. You could have 9 out of 10 pregnancies end in a natural 3rd trimester miscarriage and it would be chalked up to god’s will. This isn’t about babies, its about controlling women and forcing them to submit to the will of a deity.

  27. Cha-Cha
    February 24, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Yeah, you know, because if we leave women with no alternatives whatsoever, maybe, instead of asking their partners to beat them, they’ll just kill themselves. Thus ending our need to deal with these troublesome women at all.

    @ Henry – all of the women I have met who attempted miscarriage through getting the boyfriend to beat them, or flinging themselves down some stairs, or what have you, were totally desperate and felt they had no alternatives, and by the way I live in MA so I can’t even imagine what the situation in Utah must be like. This proposed legislation by the barefoot-and-pregnant-movement is cruel, and nothing but.

  28. February 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    An article I read in “Natural History” (I happen to still have it) from May, 1992, “Our Phantom Children”, by Jared Diamond, contains the following statistics:

    1) Of pregnancies clearly recognized by the mother, only 15% end in miscarriage,

    2) …modern hormonal tests can detect many other pregnancies that terminate within a couple of weeks, indicating a total miscarriage rate of about 50%…

    3) Outcomes of attempted artificial fertilizations of ova within the fallopian tubes suggest that still more embryos are lost even before implanatation, ading up to a total loss rate as high as 80%.

    Nature is pretty lossy…

    (And the government would have to be pretty invasive to detect this level, but what a large club they’d have if this ever passed).

  29. February 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    [..]have pointed out already, the language in this bill is incredibly dangerous[…] http://feministlookingglass.com/2010/02/24/utah-to-criminalize-reckless-miscarriages/

  30. ShelbyWoo
    February 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Arguments based around natural miscarriages or masturbation aren’t going to be persuasive because the movement isn’t really about protecting babies.

    We are well aware of that the movement isn’t about protecting babies. The whole point of this particular counter-argument is to expose that. There is no logical way to argue that it is important to protect a fetus from “murder” but not important to protect them something that “kills” more than half naturally, especially when one is arguing that full human life, and all the rights that come with it, begins at conception.

  31. ThankGoddess
    February 24, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Is the emphasized text your opinion? Am I missing something here?

    Uh, yes, you are missing a lot. I was summarizing the anti-choice position — in context, it’s pretty clear…

    Alright good. I’d like to clarify though that by the context it was clear to you, not to me. Even if it was clear to a thousand others we all have different experiences and readings from the writings of others. But, that’s why I asked because I said, Jill can’t believe THAT, but the way I read it made me unsure.

    Thanks for clarifying.

  32. Karl
    February 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve never liked attempting to draw a “life begins here” line, but I can see the purpose behind needing that line in abortion debate. But this article has caused me to re-think a few things:

    Mitochondria: Ask a biologist; these are full, independent, living organisms INSIDE every cell of your body. They are part of the egg from before conception, and alive. Life begins well before conception, making that line silly.

    Evolution and failure rate: Again, ask a biologist, this time to explain the astronomical failure rates described in this article (implantation failures, etc.); cells are always trying new things, and for many things the time between meiotic cell division and conception is the ONLY time to test new ideas out. Since the system is entirely based on randomly mixing things up, many of these trials will fail. This is natural. Basic idea here is, many post-conception embryos are not viable. Even if we moved them to artificial wombs and forced them to develop, they would not survive.

    Even individual cells recognize this. If a cell detects a problem in it’s normal life span, it will kill itself.

    Fetal development: Every species has an early period where they are not capable of surviving on their own. Some critters spend this time in eggs (birds, reptiles), some in a parent (mammals) and some have more complicated systems (marsupials?). Biologically these are not independent lives. They are not capable of surviving on their own. They do not yet have a biological right to live, despite efforts to give them a legal one.

    “Embryo” and “fetus” both carry obvious connotations of “not an organism yet”.

    I’ve never been anti-choice (interesting spin) but I HAVE pondered the “life begins at” line-in-the-sand. It’s not something I’ve ever had an answer to that I’ve been comfortable with. I don’t think that’s a problem, anymore.

  33. Athena
    February 25, 2010 at 2:44 am

    the idea that a woman could recieve life in prison for falling down the stairs is imply insane. i’m a mother of 4, and let me tell you, pregnancy in itself is reckless! your brain picks strange times to short circuit, you’re off balance, wobbly and your body produces something called relaxin… wanna guess what that does? yeah, it loosens up the body so you’re like a weeble on legs. not to mention that you get so huge you can’t see where you’re going!

    now, as for the “life begins here” line… here’s my view on pregnancy itself… don’t get me wrong, i love my children and never had abortion crossed my mind, even though they weren’t planned. however, i feel like pregnancy is like a parasitic relationship. there is this thing groing inside you, stealing your nutrients, your minerals etc. you loose calcium like crazy, you’re miserable, you have no energy, you’re throwing up all the time, and sometimes, you’re body naturally abort the embryo/fetus because the blood types don’t match up and the body treats it as if it were an invading host…. HELLO, wake up call! your body knows what it can and cannot handle. and if you wanna argue the God factor, God made us that way! and what about rape cases? what about the women who were raped and can’t mentally handle the pregnancy.. too feel like inside you was this alien thing that some evil man put inside you against your will and they simply can’t get past it all to realize that its a part of them as well? what about when these women are so mentally disturbed by this that they become suicidal? is it better to try and force them into having the baby? is it ok to break someone’s mind to bring another life into an already overly populated world? remember, nature has always found a way to thin the herd… but damn us humans, we just keep trying to fight it. is it better to lose 2 lives if you can’t prevent the woman from killing herself? and if every life is precious, why is it legal to eat meat? why do we eat eggs? we’re eating baby chickens, but those pro-lifers aren’t raising a fit about that! oh, will the hipocracy never end? how about this, you worry about your own children, your own lives and your own bodies and leave me to worry about mine. and if you don’t like that idea, i can direct you to a certain part of my anatomy that you can lay a big fat kiss on!

  34. Shelby
    February 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I’ve been seeing a lot of outrage about this story in internet/feminist land and I’m just really, really at a loss for words. I don’t see how this Utah bill is any different than what’s been going on all over the country for a few decades now. Criminalizing pregnant women has been pretty standard since the “crack baby” “welfare queen” era. Poor people & people of color can’t get pre-natal care here without worrying Child Protective Services or the police will come running. Women have BEEN going to jail for this stuff. Having brown skin or being a lil too “uppity” w/ your doctor is really all that’s needed to be accused of drug addiction/mental illness ie. “child abuse.” I mean…yes this bill is awful and people should protest it. But from my end– from my brown urban community– we’ve been screaming about this for a LONG time w/o really any response/help/outrage from anyone. But now that it’s happening in UTAH suddenly all the feminists I know are, “Shelby! Did u hear?! They’re criminalizing PREGNANT WOMEN now!!!” I just…UGH!!

  35. San
    February 28, 2010 at 11:05 am

    All this worry about miscarriages (yes, having yourself beat up to cause a miscarriage is reprehensible; yet so is the desperation and dispair of the young woman who didn’t seem to have choices or some kind of familial or community, or medical support), when there such a lack of care for the baby and mother once the baby gets here.

    The focus should be on helping the desperate pregnant woman solve her situation through legal abortion, or pre-natal care, or food/clothing/shelter/medical care during her pregnancy. Oh, and how about spending our time and money on caring for the baby after it’s born. No, let’s spend our money investigating and prosecuting the woman who fell down the stairs, or slipped in the bathroom, or going for a hike, or perhaps playing pool volleyball with said activity causing a miscarriage. Don’t, for God’s sake spend the money on caring for the very desperate pregnant woman, or the newborn child.

    And, of course, when so many governmental units (city, county, state) are cutting back on law enforcement agencies due to economic problems, let’s use those reduced resources to invade a woman’s very intimate, private body and her miscarriage. Forget the robbers, the murders, the terrorists, the arsonists…let’s go after women.

    Only in Utah (I hope).

  36. February 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm


    What about a woman who knows she has a medial condition which prevents her from carrying pregnancies to term, and she CHOOSES to get pregnant, willfully knowing she will miscarry and the fetus will most likely die? How does that not make her a criminal under this law?

    What? Seriously? Yeah, I’m sure that’s a really common problem. /sarcasm

  37. Shelby
    February 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    No. NOT just Utah! This bill is not unique or new or different from what’s been happening to poor ppl & brown ppl for YEARS!!!

  38. Nimita
    March 1, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    I am so enraged by this stupid bill. How stupid are the people who are incharge of making the law of the land.
    Miscarriage? really? They should revise their biology – oh wait, they don’t believe in science!
    They will eventually take us back to stone age.

  39. March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    What are people also so worried about the effect of peoples actions, we need to start thinking about the causes and targetting those. The issues wouldn’t be an issue if we looked more at the cause of the issues rather than the effect. Our whole world is like this, we are a reactive society, we don’t fix something until its cause a problem, we should be focusing more on the root of the problem.

    You take tylenol for a headache but never look into the cause of the headache, a little research would have told you your c6 and c7 are pinching an nerve and one quick chiro adjustment could fix that, but no we just down more tylenol, eventually you go to the ER cause they are getting worse, he gives you a stronger pain med, which in turn helps your headache but begins to ruin your internal organs causing you other health issues. You finally notice this other health issues and go back to see a doctor who prescibes yet another medicine to help with that but has some other ‘Side Effects’ which cause more problems. You’ve now been ‘Taking’ ‘medicine’ for headaches, kidney problems when perhaps the cause should have been looked out long ago, but now you’ve damaged your body.

    Wake up, be aware of your body, use your mind for more than just a door stop. We have this wonderful bodies and powerful minds that can create a wealth of curing abilities, if you Open your mind and raise your awareness and consciousness.

    Creating laws based on effects is stupid. Create Laws based on a cause and that will change the world.

  40. JJ
    March 5, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Hey all,

    First, to chime in on the article, I think the law itself is well intentioned (maybe not its WRITERS). I am against abortion, and intentional miscarriage is basically abortion, but I think this law treads into dangerous territory and can EASILY be abused. Asking if the miscarriage intentional or accidental creates to many innocent victims, and that’s just unacceptable.

    Now, I am against abortion and I’m honesty thoroughly offended at Debbie’s charge that my position is only to punish women. I think that abortion allows people to neglect a basic, well known responsibility that comes with sex.

    Ignoring that basic responsibility is wrong for two related reasons. First, you are terminating a life that would otherwise (miscarriage/complications ASIDE) grow into a human being. Second, that life is being terminated because the mother (and often the father) rejects the responsibilities that come with having sex.

    Now, upfront, I agree with abortion if it is to save the mother’s life. That becomes a case of “which life is more valuable,” and clearly the mother has more to live for since she has a family and friends. Who can logically argue against that? But putting an end to a biological process that, with reasonable certainty, will lead to the life of a human being is wrong (when its not a mother or child choice).

    I’m sorry if I sound like a dick, but a lot of your counter arguments are offensively dim, and I’m going to tackle them one by one, starting with the most stupid. Masturbation is different from abortion because that sperm has not fertilized an egg. It’s not going to grow into a human while sitting in a tissue in my trash can. Are you really equating masturbation with abortion? Do you really NOT see the difference there?

    Now, Debbie, your “argument” has a major flaw.

    Let me simplify this. The woman that wants to get pregnant will lose those three embryos anyway. THEY WILL NEVER BECOME FULL GROWN HUMANS. Nature is making that decision. The woman that gets an abortion is ending a process that will, with reasonable certainty, lead to A FULL GROWN HUMAN. The woman is making that decision.

    You see the difference, right? In your scenario nature ends a wanted pregnancy and there is nothing we can do about that. That bio material will never become a child. In the abortion scenario the woman ends a pregnancy that (miscarriage/complications aside) will lead to a child. It’s stupid to hold a mother responsible if her child dies from illness (an act of nature), so it’s absurd to hold a mother responsible if the embryos don’t develop naturally and die.

    Be honest, is there something wrong with that logic?

    Now the idea that if pro-life was not about mysoginy “[…] you would try to stop miscarriages and implantation failures as vigorously as you are trying to prevent abortion” is dumb. That is an absurd idea because abortion is the INTENTIONAL termination of life where the above examples are unintentional acts of nature. The mother has little control over these. Do you really equate “[d]rinking coffee, exercising, and breast feeding” with abortion? I think that’s crazy talk. Again, please point out the flaw in my logic.

    In response to Sarah, who says “[w]e don’t have social norms of mourning miscarried fetuses,” I ask how could we? A funeral remembers the person’s life and their accomplishments. A miscarried fetus has none; we never knew them. That said, I only know one couple that miscarried, and they were rightfully devastated. On top of that, I don’t think you can equate an aborted fetus with one that has been miscarried. Again, as I keep coming back to, one is nature, one is human intervention.

    Wednesday said Utah should “maybe pass some bills making abortion AND prenatal care AND postnatal support for teen mothers more available,” and I agree with 2/3 of that idea! I think that if you are in support of abortion bans you must also be in support of such programs that bring that life to term. I do not think that lumping those THREE together is correct, though, since two aim at supporting life, one aims to destroy it.

    I think the big problem with the whole “its my body, I’ll do what I want” mentality is that it ignores the fact that human life grows and is birthed from a women’s body. Sorry ladies, that’s just the way it is. It’s a very self centered attitude and that point of view rejects the basice responsibility that comes with the act of reproduction, AKA sex. Yes, it is your body, but inside (when pregnant) is somebody else’s body, and abortion decides that person will not be given the chance to live.

    I’m not saying the woman is on her own and must raise that child. Hell, the father of that child should be just as legally responsible for that child until birth as the mother. That means chipping in with medical costs, etc. I do NOT want to punish women, since it also takes a man to get her into that situation. I’m all about responsibility, and I think both parties need to take it.

    And dont take this as a “you made it, you raise it.” In California women are able to drop newborns at a firehouse, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, and I think that’s a great idea. Some people just are not fit to parent or are not ready, and by god I dont want them raising a child if they don’t want to. How could I possibily argue that life is sacred if I also said that parents must raise a child they don’t want. That is a TERRIBLE environment for that child, likely full of abuse.

    Now, Athena raises an interesting situation with the rape victim. I’m really uncomfortable going here, but I’m going to say it fits under the “mother’s life or child’s life” scenario, which allows for an abortion, especially considering my main argument is that abortion neglects a responsibility that comes with sex. Rape is not a decision, therefore a pregnant rape victim does not have the same obligations as a woman that willingly engaged in sex and got herself pregnant.

    Karl raises another logical, scientific argument for why abortion is not wrong, but I’m still uncomfortable ending the under-way process that leads to life because the woman does not feel like allowing that biological matter to continue developing. And again, that is totally different that an egg dropping out during menstruation or sperm in a tissue after masturbation, because neither of those will create life alone. Reproduction is (biologically) the goal of sex, and I dont think you can just ignore that. And as I said above I think the father should be legally just as responsible for his actions as the woman is for hers.

    I’m not really religious and I’m a registered democrat. I’m not some idiot fundy conservative that bases his ideology blindly on some religion that’s fully of contradictions. Forgive me if I’ve been a bit abrasive, but I get pissed off reading posts like Debbies, accusing me of hating women and wanting only to punish them. I’ve laid out the reasons why I think abortion is wrong; why I am pro-life. Please, let me have it, I want to know why I’m wrong, and I mean that earnestly. If I’m wrong I want to know, but I dont think I am and reading the responses thus far have not convinced me.

  41. Shawna
    March 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Shelby – I’d appreciate it if you would elaborate on your comments. The issue you brought up sounds really important, and yet, I don’t think I’ve heard it brought up before. Thanks.

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