Thursday, February 25, 2010

Miscarriage: It *is* your fault. Says Utah.

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.


  1. OMG!!!! That is HECTIC! As if miscarriages weren't traumatic enough. And it seems to lack logic!

  2. I was talking to someone about this on Twitter earlier. I think it's craziness. This would only scare women away from seeking medical help when they DO miscarry, out of fear that they did something wrong and could be punished. Baby loss mamas suffer in silence already.

    Utah doesn't have anything else to worry about? Seriously.

  3. That is insane. I hope Utah shoots that down.

  4. There are just NO words that I could use here in this public arena to describe the thoughts going through my head right now....

    *shakes head* I'm backing away from the computer right now...

  5. I know, doesn't that article just make you beyond angry? I did a post about it last night!

  6. they're just using the miscarriage thing for their pro-life agenda, it's deplorable.

  7. That is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.