Sunday, December 5, 2010

What If Abortion Were Illegal?

One of my friends on Facebook posted this video (warning: there are some very brief images of aborted babies in this video):

The voice behind the camera in the video claims to be from the AtCenter Network, an online "news" agency. He's going around, asking pro-life protestors questions like, "What should the penalty be for a woman who had an illegal abortion? Should there be a punishment under the law against women who have illegal abortions?"

First of all, the LAST intention of this video is to gather "news." The video is set up to make people who are pro-life look stupid because they supposedly haven't thought about the ramifications of their stance. That's totally misleading, and I think it's purposely misleading. Why haven't abortion protestors thought this question through? Because it hasn't been relevant for the past 35 years. I have to admit that I haven't thought through this question before I saw this video, but it only took me about 1.5 seconds to come up with an answer (to that end, the pro-life people in the video do look a tad slow - how hard is it to come up with an answer?).

Before I give you my answer, it's important to make sure we're all working under the same understandings. I'm working under the assumption that, if abortion were illegal, it would be because the unborn "fetus" would be considered a human life, and the taking of said life would be seen as murder (hence the illegality of the action). If this were the reason for outlawing abortion, then anyone who took part in an abortion (mother, doctor, someone who drove the mother to the abortionist, etc.) would be viewed, legally, as an accessory to murder at the very least, if not charged for 1st degree murder. So then, the answer is, "yes." IF abortion were illegal, and IF abortion were viewed as murder, and IF a mother or doctor were convicted of having an abortion / committing murder, they obviously should be punished under the law. All murderers should be punished. What should the punishment be for murdering an unborn child, exactly? That would vary the same way that punishment for "regular" murder varies.

The guy behind the camera wants these pro-life demonstrators to say that women who have an abortion should be punished, and punished severely. His questions are framed in a context that will force the answer (that he wants) to be seen in a negative light. That way, he can trump up charges of insanity against the pro-life movement for wanting to punish innocent women who have already suffered the trauma of an abortion (but why would it be a trauma? Isn't it a simple medical procedure?) He wants them to look heartless and crazy. It's incredibly deceptive and fallacious. I wonder what pro-choice people would say if asked the same question? Do they have an automatic answer they would spit out? Of course not. Why? Because they likewise haven't considered the question for the past 35 years. Or ask the pro-choicers this: What should the punishment be for a woman who has a late term abortion (which is already illegal)? Come on, someone spit that answer out on the spot! Didn't think so.

Abortion comes down to one question: is the "blob of tissue" in the mother's womb a life? If the definitive answer is "no," than go ahead and do whatever you want to it. People have surgeries to remove tissue all the time. But if the answer is yes (not even "definitively yes," but even just "probably yes") then it should absolutely be illegal to do anything harmful to it, let alone kill it, and anyone who were to harm the unborn life in any way should face the full effects of the law.

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