Friday, November 13, 2009

Utah lawmaker drafting bill to change and toughen Utah abortion laws

Salt Lake (ABC 4) - A new Utah bill is being drafted which gets tough against some women seeking abortions.

The bill comes in response to a Vernal teenage girl who allegedly paid someone to beat her in order to end a pregnancy.

Late last month, a 21 year old Utah man was sentenced to five years in jail.

Prosecutors said he was paid 150 dollars by a 17 year old girl to beat her up in an attempt to cause a miscarriage.

But a judge released her from jail saying she wasn't criminally liable.

And that's where this new bill comes in.

The bill's sponsor, Representative Carl Wimmer says,

"He let the girl go and put the man in jail. Both of them should have been punished."

The "man" Representative Wimmer is talking about is Aaron Harrison.

Recently, Harrison pleaded guilty to beating up a pregnant girl to try and end
her 7 month pregnancy.

Wimmer adds, "An illegal abortion is the same as second degree homicide."

The young girl had been in detention.

But recently, a judge released her, essentially ruling she could not be jailed for trying to get an abortion.

Wimmer was so shocked, he's now drafting a bill to close what he sees as abortion loopholes.

"My bill will clear up that inconsistency and make sure that never happens again."

Wimmer's bill will narrowly define abortion as a doctor performing a medical procedure.

It also removes any immunity for Utah women seeking illegal abortions.

Wimmer claims, "That is part of what is a major problem in society in general is people making excuses for their evil deeds."

Wimmer, however, concedes this bill could be one of the more controversial the legislature debates early next year.

"I think there will be some opposition from some special interest groups, but it's going to be hard to slow this one down because I think the public demands that something be done."

As for the young girl's baby, it was born prematurely but did survive.

Reportedly, the baby is in state care with the mother seeking custody.

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