If Tennessee is the Buckle of the Bible Belt Then Utah is the Backside

by matttbastard

Well, isn’t this lovely:

The Utah House of Representatives will hear a controversial proposal that could hold physicians responsible for homicide if they perform abortions deemed illegal by the state.

Under current state law, abortion is allowed only in cases of rape or incest, if the fetus cannot survive outside the womb or is unlikely to survive, or to save the mother’s life or preserve her health.

Abortions that don’t meet any of those standards can result in third-degree felony charges.

Under House Bill 90, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, physicians who perform illegal abortions could be charged with second-degree felony criminal homicide.

“In my opinion, illegal abortion is the same as murder,” Ray said. “This is the right step for Utah to take to protect the lives of unborn children, because they don’t have a voice.”

Note how it’s  the doctors who performed the “illegal” abortions potentially facing charges under this proposed new law, not the women who ‘contracted’ the “killing”. In a (perverse) sense, it’s almost gratifying to see the fetus fetishists explicitly affirm their belief that women are merely empty vessels that bear teh innocent baybees over to this mortal coil–boxes on a biological assembly line, if you will.

Which perhaps answers the question posed via IM by Sylvia/M (h/t):

“Will women be accomplices, then? Or scenes of the crime?”

Take action:

If you live in Utah or you want to send some strongly-worded letters to the Democrats in their House of Representatives about this bill, here’s the UT House websiteTell these representatives that doctors protecting women’s health is not an air quotation myth.

Update: Jill Miller Zimon  has compiled a plethora of info on this proposed anti-woman legislation. Go.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

17 thoughts on “If Tennessee is the Buckle of the Bible Belt Then Utah is the Backside

  1. Thanks very much for writing about this Matt. That all-male South Carolina state senate concerns me almost as much – I just cannot even imagine how devoid their perspectives could possibly be – don’t know for sure, could be wrong, but still, very very concerned.


  2. That story is somewhat erroneous and misleading. Utah, like every other state, is subject to the SCOTUS decision known as Roe v. Wade, which made such laws unenforceable.

    The State of Utah may outlaw late-term abortions, in which case that proposed law might apply only to abortions performed in those specific instances. But as it stands right now, if Utah does have a law making all abortions illegal (with the noted exceptions), that law cannot be enforced, and therefore any law penalizing doctors for performing such abortions would be similarly unenforceable.

    Now, if RvW was overturned, then any such laws would become relevant once again.


  3. @oemissions Depends. Is the person having the multiple births white?

    @alexad fairly sure Mattt knows about Roe v. Wade. however, considering that Roe is only one case hitting the Supreme Court away from overturning, we should be VERY concerned about state laws. We might have a majority in Congress and a sympathetic prez, but the swing vote on Roe was Sandra Day and she’s been replaced by Alito.


  4. Gee, a “SCOTUS decision known as Roe. v. Wade.” You don’t say. Must’ve been drunk, or under a rock, or otherwise occupied when that one came down. Thank you ever so much for the (unsolicited) enlightenment.

    So, is state-sanctioned school segregation still an ongoing issue in the US? Y’know, because apparently I don’t have a fucking clue.

    I mean, it’s not like reproductive liberty in so-called Red States isn’t being incrementally chipped away, regardless of what the bloody SCOT-fucking-US says, by these meaningless state laws or anything. Geez, someone should have told all those Chicken Little pro-choice orgs before they unnecessarily dropped all the time, money and effort fighting that state ballot measure in SD several years ago, huh?

    Really, after all the HELL that people like (eg) Phil Kline in Kansas have caused for women and abortion providers via (apparently irrelevant!) state abortion laws that (technically!) have been rendered moot by R v. W, can anyone say with a straight face that we shouldn’t give a fuck, because (technically!) state law is null and void?



  5. lol Dude, what are you, 12? Grow up and learn to write without all the profanity. People will take you more seriously. You don’t do sarcasm well, either, so you might wish to dispense with that also.

    I was commenting on the news story itself and the accuracy of that writer, not your little bit of text. Please learn to read and try to utilize some comprehension skills before you attack someone else for what they write.

    I’ve written far more about being pro-choice and female reproductive rights than you ever will, so please don’t lecture me about what is involved here.

    My post was simply pointing out that such laws were unenforceable. A law like this is not going to come anywhere near overturning RvW, your tirade and ranting notwithstanding.


  6. Even if it does not hold water against the Roe decision as it is now and the countless other abortion-related decisions after it, there should be measures to make sure it’s killed. All it takes is a challenge to Roe to get the case reopened, and the numbers and perspectives on the Court are NOT in favor of keeping Roe-related decisions as active law.

    It’s smug to think that a state law cannot lead to overturning Roe when it was a state law and a series of challenges that brought Roe before the Supreme Court in the first place. The right to privacy footing that Roe and countless other reproductive rights decision is not very stable, and Scalia and his crew would be happy to eradicate the shanty house of privacy protection surrounding decisions like Roe and Griswold and Lawrence. Developments like these are important despite the way things are now, namely because these new laws and propositions are trying to CHANGE the way things are now.


  7. It’s smug to think that a state law cannot lead to overturning Roe…

    Agreed. But any such law would have to be directed at removing the right to an abortion, though. This new law does no such thing and thus could not be used as a direct attack on Roe (or the right to an abortion).

    I’m not at all arguing that there’s no need to be concerned with this kind of stuff, but if you’re going to launch a tirade against something, you’d be better served to attack it on legitimate grounds. Otherwise you just make yourself look silly.


  8. Criminalizing doctors who perform abortions under certain conditions wouldn’t endanger women’s rights to abortions? I’m wondering how exactly those two premises are unrelated since a large point of legalizing abortions through Roe is having doctors safely perform the procedures.

    If doctors are given ways out of performing abortions for religious reasons, for example, through something as simple as an executive order, it undermines the right to seek a safe legal abortion without retribution. Or if doctors are told they can be charged with criminal felonies if certain, loosely-strung circumstances are not in place, that not only makes doctors think twice about the ethics of abortion practice; it affects women seeking abortions. There’s no point in having Roe if every measure that undermines its potency is permitted. Hence, it is a legitimate concern.

    Perhaps you have a rolodex of Utah doctors performing abortions who aren’t afraid of felony homicide charges; but that may not be the case for every other woman. The fact this provision even made it to a floor debate is a big problem.


  9. Oooooh, matttt you big dummy head! You don’t know nothing because you swear! Don’t you know that the word “fucking” is only legitimately used as a verb?


  10. Yes mattt. be more FUCKING polite and stop fucking swearing. I mean my gawds.

    And stop using all those things like “facts” too.
    Threatening Doctors with criminal charges and long court cases and shit like that is TOTALLY meaningless and won’t have an effect? Hmmm. Jeebus. Talk about lack of logic.


  11. Thank you, Mattt.

    I remember seeing a video on Pharyngula recently of abortion protesters filmed outside a clinic. The filmmaker asked a bunch of protesters, “If abortion were to become illegal, what should happen to women who get abortions?” They all answered with variations on “I hadn’t thought of that before” and “That’s between her and God.” (See http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/this_must_be_a_very_hard_quest.php)

    A number of commenters on Pharyngula found those protesters to be somewhat disingenuous– rather than believe that folks who have been actively involved in clinic protests for five, six years have never thought about the mother’s culpability in seeking an abortion, they posited that protesters simply didn’t feel right saying what they believed on camera.

    I’m sure you already know that there *are* nations like El Salvador, where women who seek abortions risk jail terms. I suppose I should be grateful that the law recognizes their agency …


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