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UT Governor Signs Anti-Choice Bill

A Utah bill that criminalizes seeking an illegal abortion or intentionally inducing a miscarriage was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert (R) Monday. The bill originally criminalized miscarriages caused by women’s intentional or unintentional reckless actions and was withdrawn by its sponsor, State Representative Carl Wimmer (R), for revisions last week after the governor sent the bill back to the legislature for changes without a signature or an outright veto. Governor Herbert wrote that the revised version of the bill “is more consistent with the true intent of the legislation and addresses those situations in which the termination of a pregnancy is intentional and is not conducted at a physician’s direction,” reported the Salt Lake Tribune. The new law (see PDF) “describes the difference between abortion and criminal homicide of an unborn child,” “removes prohibitions against prosecution of a woman for killing an unborn child or committing criminal homicide of an unborn child,” and “clarifies that a woman is not criminally liable for seeking to obtain, or obtaining, an abortion that is permitted by law.” The first bill (see PDF) initially stated “a person commits criminal homicide if the person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, with criminal negligence, or acting with a mental state otherwise specified in the statute defining the offense, causes the death of another human being, including an unborn child at any stage of its development.”

Sources:

Utah HB12, HB462; Salt Lake Tribune 3/9/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/5/10

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