Monday, July 31, 2006
A crime without a punishment
The interviewer makes a very good point -- this would be a crime without a punishment. Which makes the whole point of making it illegal dumb. If I knew I wouldn't be punished if I had an abortion, why wouldn't I have one if I needed one? Of course, they're willing to punish the doctors who perform them and the people who drive women to their appointments, but not the women themselves. Exactly what other crime does that? Particularly one that results in the killing of another human being? I mean, if you're mugging someone on the street and accidently kill someone, you're still charged with murder regardless of the fact that you didn't start intending to kill anyone. (Or maybe you get charged with a lesser offense. I don't know. Depends on the state. Point is, you don't get a free pass.)
At least one women in this video admitted she'd never thought about what happens to the women, she only thought about the babies. How you can not think about what happens to the women is beyond me, seeing as how it's the women who are pregnant and deciding to abort. They're the ones who have to live with the outcome of any pregnancy. They're fucking central to the whole argument. Without them, hey, no abortion contraversy! Maybe these people think babies should grow on trees or something.
Frankly, this is the point I think pro-choicers should hammer home. You cannot outlaw abortion without punishing women. You cannot say abortion is the taking of a human life and then let those central to that action have a free pass. You cannot, logically, make the claim that a fetus is equal to a human and make its death less meaningful in the law. It doesn't work that way. Either it's a human life with all attendant rights or it's not. (Frankly, my personal view comes down somewhere in the middle on that issue, depending on the point of gestation. But the anti-choicers have polarized this issue so much that there's no room for compromise anymore.)
Women who have had abortions also need to be more open about them. At least, those women who in positions to talk about them should be. I understand that there are lots of women who have abortions in situations where it would be more dangerous for them to admit that. I know that if I'd had to have an abortion when I had my pregnancy scare, I'd never be able to talk to my family about it. And my family wouldn't do anything drastic or dangerous to me. But women who have had abortions, who can safely talk about them, should do so. Right now, the anti-choicers have control of the debate. They get to paint the face of abortion, even though the facts point out just how wrong they are.
Frankly, I'm praying for early menopause so I won't have to worry about accidental pregnancy. My mother started menopause in her late 30s, so I'm hoping I get lucky too. *sigh*