Anti-abortionists asked what the punishment should be if it’s made illegal have no answers.

This video clip is a couple of years old — it was uploaded to YouTube in January of 2008 — but I only came across it recently via a link on Common Sense Atheism. It was filmed at an anti-abortion protest and in it women are asked a very simple question: If abortion is made illegal what should be the punishment for women who have illegal abortions?

I must admit I was stunned that so many people didn’t have an answer for this question and that many suggested there shouldn’t be any punishment beyond counseling. The interviewer asks simple, non-aggressive followup questions such as “If there’s no punishment then what’s the point of making it illegal?” which, again, they have no answer for. Or the answers they do have are contradictory and silly.

Some of these people have been involved in anti-abortion protesting for years without ever pondering the simple question of what the punishment should be. I find that staggering to consider. I guess I always just assumed they’d want the woman put in prison for a certain number of years; perhaps life or even a death sentence. There’s probably a few folks out there who would say that’s what it should be, but I hadn’t stopped to think there’d be so many who haven’t given the subject of penalties any thought whatsoever.

That’s one of the problems of letting emotions get the better of you when considering laws or pushing for change. Abortion tends to be a highly emotional issue for the folks who are against it and it appears that in their rush to do something about it they’re not taking the time to think the issue through fully and they’re willing to leave the details for someone else to figure out. That often leads to very bad policy at worse or very stupid policy at best.  But then I suppose if they spent any time thinking about the issue they run the risk of changing their minds about it and Lord knows you can’t let that happen.

12 thoughts on “Anti-abortionists asked what the punishment should be if it’s made illegal have no answers.

  1. Making abortions illegal only means more illegally aborted fetuses in dumpsters and portapotties.

    Women WILL do it no matter what. Its best they do it in the presence of a doctor who knows what he/she is doing.

  2. Actually, I’m not surprised by this at all.

    The party line has always been that women who have abortions are ignorant sheep who just didn’t know better, and that the jail time should be reserved for doctors, nurses and other practitioners.

    If you had asked the same people what punishments should be given to doctors who perform illegal abortions, I’m sure you would have gotten much more “well-considered” and definitive answers.

  3. Probably, but you’d think the person most directly responsible for the crime would also deserve some punishment.

  4. I’m not surprised by this either. It’s the same attitude that Republicans have about general politics these days. They know they don’t like the Democrats, but when asked “Okay.. what’s YOUR plan?” They choke… mumble something about anything being better than the Democrat agenda, then change the subject quickly.

    Anti-abortion activists do the same thing… No abortion!! is what they want… They don’t necessarily want a woman to suffer through having a child, but they can’t say abortion is illegal and at the same time say that a woman should not be forced kicking and screaming to go through a pregnancy, and if she has an illegal abortion, they don’t really want her to be hauled off to jail, so they mumble something about the “child” having the right to life and change the subject.

    I don’t think it’s really a Republican thing (although they do seem to be more guilty of this than others), but it shows that these people aren’t really thinking about the underlying problems and how to deal with them. They are just knee-jerk reacting to something they think is wrong. They want it stopped, but that’s as far as they think. Thinking up an alternative to replace it with, or understanding the consequences of stopping whatever it is they see as wrong isn’t something they feel compelled to get involved with, so when asked about it… they stutter.

  5. Now, now, we know they don’t like being called “anti” anything. They prefer the prefix “pro”. They tend to go for “pro-life”, I prefer “pro-putting-unwanted-babies-up-for-adoption” which admittedly doesn’t have the same ring to it, or “pro-dead-teenage-girls” which I feel hits the mark waaaaaaay better.

    I wonder how many of these people have adopted a baby who was not terminated, but was put up for adoption by the mother who couldn’t care for it? And I wonder how many of these people complain about government funding of institutions, when one of those institutions would be orphanages?

  6. Mistermook,

    I guess that’s an answer with respect to the government funding, rather than the adopting….

  7. I’ve asked some of my relatives who were pro-life point blank how many years in prison a woman should serve for an abortion. At least some of them came up with “the same as 1st degree murder,” exclusively male, but few of them wanted to follow that logic to imprison the father in those situations for his part in it, or to allow for imprisoning women who drank, smoked, participated in sports, or traveled in automobiles for attempted murder. Also, none of them seemed to want to be charged with battery for spanking children. Apparently as long as you don’t actually go to the doctor you’re golden?

  8. If abortion is made Illegal, then all of the Anti-choice people should be forced to raise all of the UNWANTED babies!!! At their own expense.

  9. Ask these same people what the punishment should be for Pedophile Priests????? I say, their genitals should be hacked off with an axe, shoved down their throats and their bodies hung from the steeples of their churches!

  10. What should the penalty be for suicide??? I think that the general concensus among the Pro-lifers is that the woman having the abortion is actually a victim. That she has lost something. Ask them instead what should happen to the doctor who aids the abortion. Just the same as it should be for one who would aid suicide.

  11. Please explain how the woman who chooses to have an abortion is a victim. I’d really love to hear that reasoning.

    I mean, based on that logic, why do we charge mothers who kill their children after they’re born with murder? Anti-choice advocates claim abortion is murder so why the distinction?

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