“U” is for Utah, Uterus, and Un-fucking-believable

It’s starting to look like we need to hold a contest for most repressive and ignorant state in the union. Sure, I know Texas wouldn’t fare too well (or maybe perform fabulously depending on how you rate this), with some of the things we get up to in an average week. Just read about our new history and social studies standards.

But in any competition for biggest, self righteous cocksucker, and I say that with all due respect to my fellow cocksuckers, Utah is a shoe-in for at least one award.

Don't be fooled. The map says it's part of the United States of America, but this maladjusted tetris block of territory is barren of just about anything worthy of the union. Ok, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is hot stuff, but if it's a choice between them and being able to make decisions about one's own body, anyone who goes with the first is welcome to this little slice of American Taliban.

State legislators have now approved a law that makes it criminal to have a miscarriage. It sounds ridiculous; a law that penalizes women for what must already be one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives?

And it is ridiculous. Further, it’s a sensationalist mischaracterization of the law. Wait, wait, don’t kick me out of the feminist club; this is a complicated one and it needs some explaining.

The law specifically targets women who have a miscarriage by an “intentional or knowing act”. Originally it had the word “reckless” in there too, but the language was removed to get the governor’s John Hancock on it. So what on earth does that mean? Abortion is effectively banned in Utah?

Not quite. See there’s this case, shocking to many people of Utah, wherein a young woman paid someone $150 to beat her up and provoke a miscarriage. Apparently, her boyfriend was none too happy about the unwanted pregnancy and she was desperate. So state representative Carl Wimmer was inspired to craft this bill. Under it, decisions like the one this girl made would be punishable by a MINIMUM of 15 years in prison because she would now be charged with murder.

Wimmer makes no bones at all about his aims. He says his work is explicitly aimed at tearing down Roe vs. Wade. He gives many of the standard, weaselly answers when pressed on the matter. He says his beef is a states’ rights matter, that once he succeeds in bringing down Roe vs. Wade that women can just go somewhere else if they want, he sees no conflict between supporting the death penalty and opposing abortion, and he has no interest or plan for providing prenatal care and education or postpartum resources for young mothers. There are plenty of volunteer groups to help, he says, it’s not government’s job. It is government’s job though to make the decision for her, of course.

He’s a member of a national legislator’s association which exchanges plans for bills and describes his work as a model for other states to follow. Don’t pretend it’ll end here.

I thought about offering a series of hypothetical arguments that would expose the fallacies and hypocrisies of this. But a few things stop me. One, let’s be realistic; I’m preaching to the choir here. Two, if I have to explain why this is deranged to anyone because they genuinely don’t get it, it’ll break my heart. Three, I’m just plain tired. So damn tired of all this.

I’m going to go look for some good news now. I don’t know about you, but I need a heap of it if I’m going to keep hope alive and find the will to fight.

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