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Here's the thing: I read a good four or five newspapers every morning. (Online) In addition to the Dallas Morning News, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the BBC and the Salt Lake Tribune, I also check up on AP, NPR and Huffington Post throughout the day. I like to think I'm moderately informed on stuff happening in the world. Please notice that I said I read the SL Tribune.

Yesterday, after switching through four news channels to make sure I caught all of the health care summit, I got an email from my sister, who linked me to this article in Jezebel. This morning I got another link from entrenous88 to Reality Check's article about the same thing. For those that don't want to click yet, here's the summation from those two sites: Utah is passing a bill that will CRIMINALIZE MISCARRIAGE. AS IN, FIRST TRIMESTER MISCARRIAGE. [The Actual bill here.]

And, while you softly beat your head on the wall, about 20% of ALL pregnancies end in miscarriage, so what are they playing at? Oh, you see, it's not just any ol' miscarriage, it's only those that look SUSPICIOUS. Those that seem a little hinky. Those that kind of feel like a woman was doing something reckless in order to "naturally" abort, because THAT my friends, is an ILLEGAL ABORTION in the state of Utah. It's those that were maybe caused by a man BEATING A PREGNANT WOMAN UNTIL SHE MISCARRIES. Who's criminalized in that case? THE WOMAN. But hey, she'd be criminalized in ALL the cases, not the person that helped, that causes the end result, not them. The potential mother is penalized.


Now, this isn't official law yet, because the governor's signature is still needed. Which means that the state house and senate thumbs up'd this already. How on earth did this pass me by? I read their main paper EVERY MORNING. Oh, here's how. The SL Tribune, which is "liberal" (the Deseret News is the Mormon-owned/themed paper) just talked about an "illegal abortion" law that was moving through the houses. Illegal abortion, you know, the clothes hangar in the dark alleyway, the mouthful of gun powder swallowed before you jump off the top of your fridge, the fall onto your stomach, all of the old things women were forced to do because a baby was being forced onto them, because we women had NO CHOICE.

There is NO distinction for women who are being abused. There is NO distinction for women with a substance abuse problem who may not even know they are pregnant. And for the real kicker, there is no distinction for those women who might not have their seatbelt on and get hit in an accident and lose their baby as a result. Even if that woman WANTED to have the baby, and for whatever reason, ran to the end of the street in her car, someone broadsides her, and she loses the baby. She's now responsible for a criminal homicide. A woman in Iowa was prosecuted under a similar law for falling down the stairs - people claimed she was trying to lose her baby.

You know, for all the lip service the right gives to "less regulation" and "stop growing the government," this sure as hell looks like an intrusive government trying to create more regulation and growing the government's role in a person's life. I don't care how you feel about abortion, THIS IS WRONG.

First of all, abortion is legal, even though Utah has done all they can to make it nearly impossible for women to have access to them. It is NOT your business what a woman chooses to do. You have not walked in her shoes, you have not lived her life, you do not get to make her choices for her. Do we all wish that people didn't NEED abortions? Of course. Better access to health, to education, the ability to freely live a life that doesn't pin you in, we want that for everyone. But life is messy, in case you didn't know. YOU (general you) have no say in a woman's future of being a mother. You don't. If she doesn't want a baby, she shouldn't be forced to raise a baby. In an ideal world, that situation wouldn't arise, but we don't live in an ideal world. Your religious beliefs are YOURS. It is completely unAmerican for you to force YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS on another person, and then criminalize them for not practicing your belief system.

This is yet another example of how women are nothing but brood mares for the men in power in the state of Utah. They lie when they say women are equal. They like to use a "separate but equal" definition, but that is clearly wrong. Women are objects, women have no say, and women have no power but through the health of their uterus.

In case you always wondered why I was "so angry" about having been Mormon or having lived in Utah, for those who derided me for "wasting my time complaining" about that state, I HOPE THIS MAKES IT CLEAR WHY I "WASTE MY ENERGY." This is abuse of male power, pure and simple. And to any Mormon, legislative or citizen, that might be reading this, I would remind you that even your own prophet, ironically the one that was the most abusive, claimed this to be the word of God:

"...but when we undertake [...] to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

"... it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion." D&C 121: 34-40.

They smile at you with a countenance full of "love and humility" but that's just to distract you from the lasso they're sneaking around your neck.

SHAME ON YOU, UTAH. "The Handmaid's Tale" was not a How To book.

HERE IS A LETTER THE ACLU OF UTAH HAS WRITTEN TO THE GOVERNOR. The address to write your own letter is at the top. I highly recommend all of you who lean towards upholding the Constitution of the United States of America write in. I highly recommend that all of you that believe we are actually a Free Society to write in. I highly recommend that all of you that believe that a woman has a Lawful Right to be in control of her body to write in. Be respectful, be concise, and be up front: this is a travesty. This is unrighteous dominion. Use the language of their religion to shame them, because that's what they deserve for this hateful piece of backwards legislature.

And I hate to say "I told you so" about that state - in this respect, at least. I am cross-posting this to my book journal, 0hmyheck, and please feel free to link to this, to email this, to repost this. The more people stand up to these bullies, the better off the poor women of Utah will be. (And to ivyfree who didn't buy my sympathy for the forced choices of the female characters on Big Love? THIS IS WHY. Women don't REALLY have choice in that state. It's a choice between a rock and a hard place.)

And please note that the new bill that will make Utah-made guns EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL LAW is getting more discussion from male leadership. A pox on all your houses, Utah.


( 61 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 26th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh Stoney, what the fuck?

I caught some discussion of this a few days ago, but missed the fact that this was a fully passed bill that just needed the governor's signature.
Feb. 26th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'm appalled that I didn't know anything about the extent of this until yesterday!! I mean, NO ONE is talking about this, minus the fem-mags.

... - mpoetess - Feb. 26th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
... - stoney321 - Feb. 26th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 26th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
The criminalization of miscarriages just...I can't even wrap my head around the kind of crazy logic that is being used to support this. Women aren't just incubators, sheesh.

Re: guns - Here in Tennessee, they passed a similar bill last year exempting all Tennessee-made guns and ammunitions from federal law. I don't recall if it was eventually smacked down by the gov't or not. We do get to carry our guns in bars, though. That one blows my mind.
Feb. 26th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Women are just meat, they exist to serve and bring forth, that's it. :(

The bill in Utah re: guns is being modeled after one that is in litigation in Montana. Why is this a good idea? I'm so sick of the frontier mentality in this modern world. The old days of the Wild West are gone, and these yahoos want to bring it back.
Feb. 26th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
The best comment I've yet seen on this is that they ought to outlaw masturbation. Don't they know that every sperm is sacred?

(I'm still too WTF? about it to say anything else.)
Feb. 26th, 2010 02:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, the LDS church would LOVE to outlaw masturbation. And it's not that every sperm is sacred, it's that you aren't supposed to derive pleasure from your body, only your spouse is. THere's practically an entire BOOK about that, "The Miracle Of Forgiveness."

(They also wrote an anti-masturbation pamphlet that was distributed to all men in the church.) WHAT.
... - elisi - Feb. 26th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
I was just shocked when I saw that in Jezebel. It's enraging.

Have you seen this about Angie Jackson ? http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/02/25/live-tweeting-abortion/

There is just so much hate in this world directed toward women.
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
There really is so much hate towards women, and I'm continually shocked by that. You'd think I wouldn't be, given the climate/culture I was raised in...

Thanks for the link - I hadn't heard about that.
... - lambourngb - Feb. 26th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'm appalled.
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
...Whack te fhut?

*is incoherent*
Feb. 26th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Once I stopped screaming and feeling like I had to vomit, no wait still feel sick...

I am never ever going to Utah because if I were to have a miscarriage there I would be subject to their laws. Maybe I should let the Utah board of tourism know that.

Still ill, horrified, and disgusted. But thank you for sharing this.
Feb. 26th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Gah, it's so horrifying! I'm really glad to see yours is one of the blogs boosting the signal about the terrible measures against women and constrictions of their reproductive freedoms this bill would enact. Many many more people need to know about this.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Completely and utterly agree that more people need to know about this. (I really don't think people i know in Utah understand what's happening!)

And since I know I have a lot of detractors that are LDS/Utahn reading my blog, looking for things to nail me on, my hope is this will serve as a bit of a wake up call.
Feb. 26th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)

I might have to step away from your journal for a while, cause my jaw keeps dropping and dropping the more I read and I am afraid I'll hurt my chin on the floor.

I can't believe I knew nothing about this stuff until a few days ago. There is nothing about Utah or these fundamentalist mormons on the news here in Germany. There was a very short news report when they arrested Jeff Warrens, but it was giving more of the vibe of this being a sect thing and there was no background information. Nothing about those crazies controlling an entire US state.

So much for the land of the free, I guess.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
The thing is, most people in the US don't know about this stuff, either! Utah's catchphrase is "in the world, but not of it."

Um, that's frighteningly accurate, yes? Bah.
Feb. 26th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
How can the world's only super-power (for now; I know China's waiting in the wings) have elements of government that are turning the clock back decades, compared with other states and countries? It's bewildering to watch from across the Atlantic: it must be devastating to actually experience it (unless you're a religious-right man of course). What's the next step? Make it legally compulsory for men to have more than one wife? *very softly beating head on desk as per your advice.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:05 pm (UTC)
I just don't understand this revival of horror, I really don't. Fortunately it's not a majority opinion. And honestly, I don't think many Utahns are even aware of what's going on - I know that I follow their politics/news fairly closely and I didn't know about the extent of this until Jezebel and other sites went in depth two days ago.
Feb. 26th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
I saw that the other day and started to link you to it but ran out of time and/or simultaneously forgot. I did tell all the men I know who were *of course* appalled because it is unconstitutional but did not understand my ire as a female.

Do those without uteri really not comprehend that there are people out there who think they are the ones who own us? I've often wished for men to have to live part of their life as a woman [and vice versa - I actually read an SGA fic once where the society was technologically advanced enough that everyone did do duty as both male and female and often swapped their gender although some only did it once]

wow. talk about jumping off topic!
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
I'm so tired of this backwards movement happening. I think in some respects it's the natural pendulum swing of humans - we moved in one direction towards equality (black president, repealing DADT) and this is the pushback, but GOOD LORD I'm ready for that ball to stop swinging back and forth for a bit.
... - turnonmyheels - Feb. 26th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 26th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
I am so utterly horrified. The notion that women are nothing more than baby producing devices horrifies me, the attempt to tell women we must maintain ourselves as though we could get pregnant at any moment horrifies me, and the notion that we can be punished if we should miscarry in a way deemed suspicious to some jackass with no clue but plenty of assumptions and grudges and THE LAW to back them up enrages me.

Next it will be that any unsuspecting egg that goes unfertilized will be a crime, because god forbid we not be using our bodies to our full baby making potential.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
I don't like to bandy about trite phrases like "a slippery slope" but I think in this case it TOTALLY APPLIES.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. The more you shine a light on injustice like this, the better off we all are, right?
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:08 pm (UTC)
This is so incredibly frightening and horrible. What Utah needs is an influx of non-Mormon citizenry to create some kind of check and balance on this mockery of basic human rights.

I know, it's crazy to think that WOMEN are HUMAN and not just sort-of-human-but-not-as-human-as-men-and-unborn-fetal-cells.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
it really REALLY is frightening!! And hey, they want to get mad at the girl who was 17 and hired someone to beat the everloving shit out of her so she could get an abortion? And why didn't she have a proper abortion? Because in Utah, SHE CAN'T. Nor can she find Plan B or RU-486. SO she had to get beaten to a pulp.

There is so much wrong here, it's just not even calculable.
Feb. 26th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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