One particular aspect of the abortion debate that is rarely discussed is that if performing-slash-undergoing an abortion should be deemed an illegal act, then what is due punishment for the woman who commits this “crime”? Last year, Anna Quindlen of Newsweek wrote a compelling article addressing this conundrum, titled “How Much Jail Time?”.
Quindlen is not surprised by the responses of pro-lifers to this question in a mini-documentary:
The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It’s as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: “I’ve never really thought about it.” “I don’t have an answer for that.” “I don’t know.” “Just pray for them.”
It poses questions to those who classify abortion as murder. What do you propose as punishment? You consider it murder, so the first step would be incarcerating the medical team that perform and assist in the procedure. Will there be a non-parole period? Should the sentence differ if the aborted foetus is 1 week old or 28 weeks old? Surely not if you believe that “life begins at conception”. What of the woman that seeks out the aborting of a foetus? She’s a willing participant – perhaps a lesser sentence of say, manslaughter?
It’s stupid for me to play the guessing game, I’m pro-choice and believe abortion should be legal – so you tell me the answers. I’m fairly certain there would an uproar if we started to see women put through our courts and flung into jail for a harrowing decision they have made about their own body and pregnancy. Read the rest of this entry »