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Abortion bill would decriminalize causing a miscarriage

Updated February 21, 2019 - 11:12 pm

If abortion advocates believed their own rhetoric, they’d oppose the Trust Nevada Women Act.

As you may have guessed, the Trust Nevada Women Act, formally known as Senate Bill 179, is an abortion bill. Abortion advocates prefer euphemisms when talking about abortion. They want to avoid reminding the public that they support sticking scissors into the skulls of pre-born babies. Instead, they say that abortion is a personal decision that should be between a woman and her doctor.

That’s obviously not true. It’s the existence of a third person — the pre-born child — that makes pregnancy different from removing a tumor.

For the sake of discussing this bill, however, assume that argument is true: Your top priority is preserving the ability of a woman to decide when and how to end her pregnancy.

But SB179 does just the opposite. Currently, it’s a felony for someone to cause a woman to miscarry. It carries a punishment of one to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. That makes sense from a pro-life perspective. A pre-born baby is a human being with a right to life. The law should punish those who take away that life. But it also makes sense from a feminist perspective. A woman — not some criminal — should decide if and when she terminates her pregnancy.

SB179 repeals that law. It would allow an abusive boyfriend to punch his girlfriend in the stomach, causing a miscarriage, and only be charged with hurting his girlfriend. That’s a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail, up to a $1,000 fine and no more than 120 hours of community service. It’d likely be less than that. The minimum sentence for first-time battery constituting domestic violence is two days. Nevada’s battery law imposes higher penalties if the attack causes “substantial bodily harm” or is done with a deadly weapon.

Repealing this section also would decriminalize a man slipping a pregnant woman RU486, the abortion pill. Ending her pregnancy against her will would no longer be a crime.

This isn’t just idle speculation. New York’s recently passed abortion bill had a similar provision. New York prosecutors had wanted to charge Anthony Hobson, accused of murdering his pregnant girlfriend, with both murder and killing the pre-born baby. But after New York’s abortion bill passed, they had to drop the second charge.

SB179 makes other changes that should be concerning to feminists. Nevada currently requires that abortionists certify in writing that a woman “freely and without coercion” consents to an abortion. The bill repeals that law. That’s concerning, because survey evidence and numerous personal stories suggest that coercion already plays a role in why many women get abortions.

The bill also repeals the requirements that a doctor tell a woman how many weeks pregnant she is and the emotional implications of having an abortion. So much for trusting women with information.

Nevada’s pro-abortion lobby is now so extreme that they want to decriminalize abortions done without a mother’s consent.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 9 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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