Thursday, March 11, 2010

This Week in the News (from Emily)

This week Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a law making it a felony for women to attempt illegal abortions. He only signed it after the clause making it a felony for a miscarriage to occur through a woman's "reckless" behavior was removed, but this law still raises questions about individuals' rights. From what I can tell, this law has nothing to do with protecting women from dangerous abortions, even though it is still legal for a Utah woman to seek an abortion from a medical doctor. Why do I not see this as a measure to protect her from dangerous abortions? Well, all the legislators discussing the situation discuss it solely in terms of the rights of the unborn child. Plus, they were upset that a judge was unable to prosecute the 17-year-old who paid a man to beat her up. My question is how you can be upset over not sending someone that unstable to jail. She obviously had some serious problems.

Let's get something straight: I do not agree with abortion in general. But if someone is desperate enough to get one illegally, they're either uneducated enough or desperate enough to risk life in prison for it. This bill will not stop illegal abortions, but it will stop a lot of women from going to a hospital if the illegal abortion goes wrong.

Also in the news, a Mississippi school has cancelled prom rather than allow a female student to bring a female date to the prom. The school board initially told her she could not wear a tux since that would be cross-dressing and that only heterosexual couples were allowed to attend. When they were informed that this policy was illegal, they chose to cancel the prom, attributing their decision to recent events distracting from educational goals. Whatever anyone may personally think about homosexuality or gay marriage, I think most of us can agree that it wouldn't have hurt anyone to let this girl wear a tux and bring a female date to prom. At the high school Erica and I attended, the school simply sold up to two tickets to each person who wanted to attend our senior prom and gave no discount for date tickets, specifically because they wanted to avoid questions of what constitutes a couple. (Admittedly, I was the one who started this tradition the year before because I thought it was unfair for singles to cover more of the cost by paying more per head than couples).

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