My friend e-mailed me this article about Utah trying to pass a law that could charge women with homicide if they miscarry. The law allows up to life in prison for "intentional, knowing, or reckless act" that leads to a miscarriage or abortion without a doctor's supervision. Apparently, the bill is in response to to a case where a woman paid a man $150 to beat her causing a miscarriage. Um, how about better funding for mental health issues or better funding to reach out to women about their options if they don't want a pregnancy? That is a saner response to this supposed situation? Instead we get trigger-happy legislation. The kind where policy is driven not by trends but by fear mongering. It's like the calls to create laws forcing doctors to transfer only one embryo because of Octo-mom, ignoring the fact that IVF happens every day without incidents like this.
This is bizarre on so many obvious levels. I am most disturbed by the language punishing women for reckless acts that lead to miscarriage. Reckless is a very subjective standard. What does it mean? Does skipping a dose of Progesterone or Metformin in the first trimester count as reckless? Does getting in a car accident that leads to miscarriage count as reckless if the accident is deemed your fault? And more close to home for me, if I lived in Utah, would I be sitting behind bars for writing this post?
And- I can't miscarry without a doctor's supervision? What does that mean? What if you miscarry while on vacation, unexpectedly, or without even knowing you're having a miscarriage?
I no longer blame myself for my miscarriages but for a long time I did. The first instinct when you miscarry is to beat yourself up since you were in charge of doing the carrying. It took months of therapy for me to believe that I couldn't have prevented my first loss even if I hadn't eaten the raw cookie dough, or lifted the suitcase, or drank a cup of tea. Now there's a law that could put a woman in jail, or at the least make her afraid she could go to jail, as she wades through her grief.
If you live in Utah or know someone who does, please encourage them to contact their representative in Congress and let them know what you think.