Lawmakers proposed abortion bill insensitive

By By Anne Roper and By Anne Roper

By Anne Roper

The fight against abortion is picking up again with four state lawmakers writing legislation to place more restrictions on the procedure.

There’s nothing like the “A” word to polarize people, which I hope to avoid doing. I’ve hesitated to label my views as for or against abortion rights because so much relies on circumstance.

However, the restrictions Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman; Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem; Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo; and Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, announced at a press conference and are hoping to put in place next year pending re-election make me uncomfortable.

Although they accept abortion as an option for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and for women whose pregnancies endanger their lives, they want to require doctors performing the procedure to tell the women whether the fetus will experience pain and that they are ending a human life.

The legislation would also make it a felony to abuse a pregnant woman with the intent for her to lose a fetus, which seems reasonable, if not a given.

No one goes to get an abortion because they think it will be a good time, and I can only imagine how hard a decision it must be for someone whose life is endangered because of their pregnancy to choose whether to have an abortion. Guilt-tripping the grieving is a low thing to do.

It also sends mixed messages to women who are victims of rape or incest. These legislators will allow women in these circumstances to have an abortion, but want them to be told they will be ending a life. Chances are the victim already knew this and has had a tumultuous enough emotional roller-coaster ride without the Legislature’s extra two cents.

People on both sides of the issue estimate the cost for putting these bills into action at $3 million to $12 million. The recent financial meltdown has me more than a little leery of the millions of dollars being thrown every which way.

However, if these men want to make abuse of a pregnant woman with the intention to make her lose her fetus a felony, that seems appropriate. It seems strange that it wouldn’t already be illegal, but at least it’s a good fight.

Our representatives in government should be looking out for us, not re-victimizing us.

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Anne Roper