Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Old Standby

I don't know why this always works, but it does:

I decided to go up to the young female students who were passing out their "genocide leaflets" to the students walking by and chat.

I asked each one if they wanted to overturn Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal. They all said yes, of course. I asked them if abortion was murder. They all said yes, of course.

I then asked each of them, once this is made illegal, what the preferred prison sentence should be for a woman that has an abortion.

The first girl I talked to seemed bewildered by the question. She literally had never thought about that before. She was willing to stand in front of these horrible pictures and accuse people of murder and genocide, yet she had never even thought what type of penalties women would get if this was made illegal. She looked like a deer caught in the headlights, so I let her go to ponder just what in the hell she's doing out here.

And so on and so forth. You'd think someone in the pro-life movement would have figured out this paradox by now.

Actually, I suspect there are some pro-lifers willing to take their position to the logical conclusion and support long prison sentences (or capital punishment) for women who have abortions. But there are definitely others who are not willing to hold that. What's missing is a terribly compelling reason why.

Also, "Bare Foot and Progressive" is a fantastic name for a blog.



PG said...

I had a long discussion on my blog with a W&L law student who tried to defend the Fred Thompson position that abortionists should get the death penalty but women who obtain abortions and their co-conspirators (if they're the women's mamas) should face no prosecution at all. I stopped responding after she called me a bitch, so clearly that was productive.

People with any interest in law usually have thought through the issue of whether women who seek or obtain abortions should be prosecuted for it. The vast majority say that women shouldn't, either because they're as confused as the W&L student; or because like Fred Thompson they realize they can convince majorities in some states and countries to make abortion procedures illegal so long as the criminal burden falls solely on medical professionals. When abortion was illegal, the majority of prosecutions were against physicians rather than the women seek abortions, though even those prosecutions usually happened only when a woman became sick or died due to the abortion. Making it illegal for a medical professional to perform abortion is a good way to reduce the number of abortions performed by medical professionals.

David Schraub said...

Well of course! These sorts of dialogues are always productive and engaging.

David Schraub said...

And substantively, I agree that the the reasoning is purely political, but that only works when they're not called on it. If, in the public arena, journalists and voters pressed the point and demanded reasons why we shouldn't treat putative murder as murder, I feel like the edifice would collapse.