Saturday, November 24, 2007

What do forced pregnancy people think the penalty for abortion should be?

Digby is pointing out an interesting wrinkle in the abortion debate: If the anti-choicers really believe that abortion is killing a human being, shouldn't women who get them and the doctors who perform them be prosecuted for murder? Do anti-choicers want this? Apparently not:
MATTHEWS: I have always wondered something about the pro-life movement. If—if you believe that killing—well, killing a fetus or killing an unborn child is—is murder, why don‘t you bring murder charge or seek a murder penalty against a woman who has an abortion? Why do you let her off, if you really believe it‘s murder?

O‘STEEN: We have never sought criminal penalties against a woman.

MATTHEWS: Why not?

O‘STEEN: There haven‘t been criminal penalties against a woman.

MATTHEWS: Well, why not?

O‘STEEN: Well, you don‘t know the circumstances and how she‘s been forced into this. And that‘s...

MATTHEWS: Forced into it?


O‘STEEN: ... to be effective.

We‘re out—we‘re not out—we‘re out to try to protect unborn children.


MATTHEWS: See, this is where the hypocrisy comes in, sir. If it‘s wrong to have an abortion, why don‘t you criminalize it?


O‘STEEN: I don‘t think that‘s the way you‘re going to protect unborn children.
The reason they don't want to talk about criminal penalties is because it would immediately put the focus back on the woman and the dilemma she's going through. And it would hurt their movement politically a great deal. At least that's my guess, otherwise why don't they come out and say what they think the penalty should be?

And all those statutes ready to outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned, what penalty do they impose for abortion? A fine? Jail time? How much? For the doctor or the woman?

Of course, my pet theory is that they don't really want to outlaw abortion, they just want to cast shame and aspersion on women who get them. They want it to be a dirty, shameful, dangerous process so that people who had a kind of sex they don't approve of suffer negative consequences for it. I'm probably being unfair here to the anti-choicers, but Internal Monologue is hardly the place to a find a good representation of the anti-choice viewpoint.


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