A teenager who couldn’t get an abortion at seven months because her state bans late-term abortions has been accused of hiring someone to beat her up – in hopes it would terminate the pregnancy.
But now a judge says the abortion laws of the state protect her from prosecution for her part in the beatings.
Except those are the same laws that didn’t protect her in the first place. The girl, seventeen, allegedly paid a twenty-one-year-old male acquaintance $150 to help her terminate her pregnancy because her boyfriend was going to break up with her if she didn’t get an abortion. Possibly one of the worst reasons for an abortion – I’ll grant you that.
The girl was struck and bit – leaving marks on her belly and neck – but the baby survived to be delivered in August. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, prosecutors argued that the girl was guilty of a second-degree felony charge of soliciting murder because she was seeking an abortion from someone other than a medical practitioner.
What’s troubling here is not only the fact that the girl could not access a late term abortion in a legal manner, but Utah law which requires parental notification (and scares the dickens out of teen girls) and parental consent . . . which may well have prevented her from an earlier abortion.
Still, the judge says abortion is still legal in Utah, and he gave the girl a pass. Attempts were made to ban abortion outright in Utah earlier this year, with exceptions being made for cases of rape, incest and permanent physical harm to the mother. It failed when conservative lawmakers said the state could not afford to defend court challenges to the law. The same law passed in the nineties in Utah, only to be overturned as unconstitutional. According to the Tribune, today’s law “defines an abortion as any and all procedures undertaken to kill a live unborn child and includes all procedures undertaken to produce a miscarriage and exempts women who seek or obtain abortions from prosecution.”
The child, by the way, is living in state custody – which seems fair considering the current circumstances (her mom on trial), but she is fighting for custody. Should she get her back?
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