If Abortion Were Illegal…
what should happen to the women who have abortions?
That question was asked of a number of abortion protesters. They seemed stumped. From the Anna Quindlen column at Newsweek
Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. 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.”
You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. “Usually when things are illegal there’s a penalty attached,” he explains patiently. But he can’t get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.
Here’s that “curious little mini-documentary”
Q: And what should happen to those women who have illegal abortions?
A: I don’t know what should really happen to them. I would hope that they would in time come to see what they’ve done and be sorry for it. But, I think we need to treat them with love.
Q: If abortion is made illegal, should women be sent to jail who have abortions?
A: I’ve never really thought about it.
Q: How long have you been working in this movement?
A: A couple years.
Hmm. Does anyone else see a minor disconnect here?
Of course the video, produced by AtCenterNetwork.com, might have cut out all the really amazingly clever answers outlining the exact penalty structure, but if you watch the video, you notice this is not a major theme in rallies. Only one of protesters actually managed to come up with a minorly coherent answer.
According to Quindlen, George H. W. Bush was asked the question over 20 years ago and came up with the answer, “I still haven’t worked out the penalties”. Quindlen’s full column should be read in full and needs more links, blog time and – um – links. A little love thrown at AtCenterNetwork would be nice too. Help me out here folks.
Perhaps this is something the far right needs to work on. Just a hint guys. You can use the prairie dog video for practicing “the look” but you’ll have to get ghetto blasters for the scare music…
(Hat Tip: Wonkette)