Thursday, July 14, 2005
"Uh, I never thought about that..."
The most obvious point is that, amid all the rhetoric and slogans, these people hadn't really thought through the consequences of making abortion illegal with actual penalties for women. Their answers also reveal what should have always been obvious about them: The reason these women are anti-abortion is because of compassion. They feel compassion and empathy for the embryo and that has obviously dominated their thoughts about abortion.
Perhaps they've mostly thought of the women getting abortions as sinners rather than criminals or murderers. I don't know. They indicate that the women getting abortions are essentially forgivable (in their eyes). Almost all of the interviewees seem very troubled by the idea of having a woman who has had an abortion serve prison time, much less be executed for "murdering" their aborted fetus.
I think it's clear this is a way of opening a dialog with some of these folks. Perhaps pointing to these inconsistencies will force some of them to become more assertive about criminalizing and imposing jail time on women. But I think it's important that anti-abortionists understand the consequences following the criminalizing of abortion. It will be their sisters, friends, nieces, and daughters who will end up on the sentencing end of a judge or jury's verdict. That isn't a theoretical result; it will clearly be direct result of making abortions illegal.
A question I have to ask is: how many women in the US have had legal abortions? I haven't the faintest idea. 1 in 5? 1 in 3? I'd guess something in that range but if anyone could steer me to some stats on this, I'd appreciate it.