March 1, 2010
Utah's Abortion Bill
Lawmakers in Utah recently approved a bill that would criminalize pregnant women who arrange to have an illegal abortion, and the bill now awaits the governor's signature or veto. The bill was introduced after pregnant teenager allegedly paid a man to kick her stomach when she was seven months pregnant. Here's more from The New York Times.
But critics say legislation inspired by an unusual, perhaps even freakish criminal case, could open up a vast frontier around the question of intent and responsibility and give local prosecutors huge new powers to inquire about a woman’s intentions toward her unborn child.
For example, if a pregnant woman gets into a vehicle, goes on a wild ride way over the speed limit without wearing a seatbelt and crashes and the fetus is killed, is she a reckless driver? Or is she a reckless mother-to-be who criminally ignored the safety of her fetus?
Under the bill, a woman guilty of criminal homicide of her fetus could be punished by up to life in prison.
... At least 38 states have laws against fetal homicide, generally intended to create additional penalties when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed. And two states, Delaware and New York, also have laws specifically making self-abortion a crime. Both laws were passed before the United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
Other items from the news:
-- The Supreme Court declined to hear a lower court decision that Ten Commandments display on public property in Oklahoma must go, according to the Associated Press.
If secular liberals can give up some of their snootiness, and if evangelicals can retire some of their sanctimony, then we all might succeed together in making greater progress against common enemies of humanity, like illiteracy, human trafficking and maternal mortality.
-- The New York Times devotes an editorial to the house on C Street affiliated with the Fellowship, arguing that it should not receive tax exemptions as a religious organization.
-- Former President George W. Bush told a crowd at the Fort Worth Christian School that his faith sustained him during during his years as president.
"I don't see how I could be president without prayer," he said, according to the Associated Press. "The prayers of the people ... sustained me, comforted me and strengthened me in a way I could have never predicted before becoming president, and for that I am extremely grateful."