IB35AC Human Biological Variation Fall 2010 Paper Topic #2 Should a pregnant woman be held accountable for the implications that her health and lifestyle during pregnancy have on the health of her child? Last year a 17-year-old girl in Utah paid a man to beat her in hopes that it would end her unwanted pregnancy; the attempt was unsuccessful. She was not held criminally responsible since the judge ruled that she did not break any of the current laws in the state. In response, Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer proposed a law last March (H.B. 12, http://le.utah.gov/~2010/bills/hbillenr/hb0012.htm ) that would criminalize her actions. There were a range of reactions to this proposed bill (see the New York Times article listed below). For example, the ACLU came out against it for fear of the implications for women who miscarry unintentionally ( http://www.acluutah.org/HB12.htm ). Both Houses in the State Legislature passed this law. The governor vetoed the first version of the bill that would criminalize “reckless”
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time magazine, York Times article, human biological variation, Utah State Representative, Matern Fetal Neonatal