Reclaiming the abortion debate.

Last night in the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, the candidates were asked what the punishment should be for women if abortion is banned.

The question of “How Much Time Should She Do?” is one that we heard from Anna Quindlen this summer and is now resurfacing once again. Now that the political heat is high, this message – while it’s certainly not new – might just reframe the abortion debate and put conservatives on the defensive for a change.
Pro-choice candidates have consistently been forced by anti-choice rhetoric into positions where they end up compromising on reproductive rights issues; this is no big news. But asking anti-choice individuals about criminalization isn’t an easy question to answer, as you can see in this video. And as mentioned in the Quindlen article, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa asked anti-choice Republican Jim Nussle publicly during the 2006 governor’s race the very same question, in which he lost the race to pro-choice Governor Chet Culver.
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The National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Messaging Project gave PPGI resources for their campaign, which focuses specifically on “How Much Time?” after doing research which showed that this question resonated with the public more than a number of other pro-choice messages. While the majority of Americans are pro-choice, the majority of them aren’t activists and many don’t even consider a candidate’s position on choice to be a priority. But putting criminalization at the forefront of the argument could not only change the debate, but prioritize the public’s expectations in candidates.
Jill also wrote a great piece about this when the Quindlen article came out that asks more than the one question. Last night, the candidates naturally turn the question to the doctors (because you know, the women seeking abortions are too distraught and not mentally well enough to be held responsible). The criminalization of doctors is also being researched by the National Institute in creating effective messaging; because if doctors are put in jail, women won’t have anywhere to go and this country will regress back to dangerous, illegal abortions.
In short, Journey’s question last night is an opportunity to not only reframe the abortion debate, but to reclaim it altogether.
RH Reality Check has more details on the debate.

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99 Comments

  1. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, glad you posted on this! I watched this last night (while drinking copious amounts of bourbon). Fred Thompson characterizing women seeking abortions as “girls… young girls” cooked my goose, too.

  2. UltraMagnus
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a good statagery and Amanda at Pandagon had something about this yesterday when, lo and behold, Chris Matthews grilled the leader of the National Right to Life group on this very subject. He pretty much hemmed and hawed about “not punishing women” cause they don’t “know” that it’s a life they’re taking but a “doctor” does. When you give answers like that the only next logical question is, “So you think women are stupid?” because that’s exactly what they think and they can’t fathom any kind of women (aside from baby killing feminists) who’d actually want to get out of their God ordained mission in life.
    I want further grilling, like actually asking them if they believe educated women don’t know they’re terminating a pregnancy, or why a women who pays the doctor isn’t charged at least for what’s essentially hiring an assassin. And if they don’t think that women can be held accountable for making the decision to abort, what other things can’t women be held accountable for?
    All is does is really show how little they think of women as people and thinking beings. It’s women as children who need to be protected by the big male Christian government, cause they don’t know any better.

  3. sgzax
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Any rhetorical device that force anti-choicers to defend and explain their positions is fine by me. The more they have to address what they actually think about women the more people they will turn off with their unhinged rhetoric.
    Liberals have allowed conservatives to frame all debates for far too long, and as a result we are living in crazyworld where good is bad and lies are truths if enough people say they believe in them. Any activity which encourages people to think critically about their positions will be beneficial to liberals.

  4. Jessica
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    So glad you posted on this, V. Last night I said to Monty’s Daddy that I was hoping someone would ask this question BUT would preface it with an acknowledgment that no anti-choicer is ever honest about the fact that women have to be punished if abortion is criminalized. Of course, like Amanda and Jill have previously pointed out, their answers were the predictable poor widdle girls don’t understand that the big bad abortion doctor is, you know, going to give them an abortion. It’s just a way of further infantalizing us. And I’m fucking sick of it.

  5. Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    how not surprised am i at any of this? especially at certain candidates who like to skirt these issues by saying “i would never legislate that, let’s leave it to the states”. while failing to answer the question, it also confuses me greatly. i have to ask, genuinely, how the fuck does “leaving it up to the states” make anything right or fair? i might be ignorant in some manner i suppose for not knowing this myself, but really, what will that accomplish? IMHO, if you are not willing to federally legislate it as being legal, then you are damning women to death, and pretty much flipping them the bird. a non action, sometimes, speaks more loudly than an action. they don’t fucking care about us, and they can blame doctors all they want and pretend otherwise, but they would sure as hell stand in line to throw tomatoes at us in the stocks in town square.
    ugh! and people actually YELL at me for not liking paul, the great constitutional hope for america…give me a fucking break…on any of these hosers…just give me a break…

  6. tyro
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    The next time I talk politics with my mother I’m going to ask her this. I love her but she’s misguided about this issue.
    It’s a fantastic way to reframe the debate and point out how crazy all of this is. I love hardball questions, but those don’t seem to get thrown often enough these days.

  7. Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The criminalization of doctors is also being researched by the National Institute in creating effective messaging; because if doctors are put in jail, women won’t have anywhere to go and this country will regress back to dangerous, illegal abortions.
    So the question we should really be asking is if abortion were made illegal and a woman induced abortion by herself, how much time does she do (if she survives)? Their answer will probably be, “Well, what does El Salvador do?” Or is it the clothes hanger’s fault?

  8. Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for writing about this, Vanessa. Journey is a rock star! She submitted a host of questions about reproductive/sexual health to YouTube – all of which were thoughtful, nuanced and badass in my opinion. But this one definitely brings the discourse to a different place – if we continue to push this message. How can we criminalize abortion and NOT criminalize the woman who obtains an abortion?! Journey’s got her response video to the candidates – it’s in my post and on YouTube. And if you watch via YouTube maybe you can help her out and post a thank-you comment? I talked to her and she’s getting a LOT of hate mail today. Anti-choicers can be a hateful group when they’re forced to look at the hypocrisy of their position.

  9. sgzax
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    In some ways I think “how much time should she do” is a faulty question because, in the world envisioned by anti-choicers the woman involved in an abortion wouldn’t do any time at all. She would be dead.
    Is that an extreme characterization of their position? Based on all available evidence, I can’t bring myself to think so.

  10. Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad this question was asked. Next debate, I want someone to ask the Republican candidates how they feel about pharmacists or doctors refusing birth control to their patients. I’d love to hear their answers on THAT.

  11. rileystclair
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    nice post.
    i looove that jill filipovic article you linked to.

  12. Chickensh*tEagle
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    To pick up on A.J. from New Jersey’s question, a president has three options on any bill (not counting Dubya’s signing statements): sign it, veto it, or sit on it, letting it become law without his/her signature.
    I believe every questioner should pin the candidates down on those choices.

  13. Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Fred Thompon’s phrasing, “these girls” gave me serious pause, just what we need, a Daddy in the White house to take care of all of us little girls who can’t make decisions on our own.

  14. sotonohito
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    gretchen I’d be surprised if they didn’t have a rote response about “freedom for doctors” or some crap that essentially says: “if they want to punish sluts, its their business”.
    As for the question, I think its one of the most brilliant and useful frames that has been invented recently. It puts the anti-choice loons off guard, it displays the idiocy of their position, etc.

  15. hopeisawakingdream
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    If it is left up to the states…I am definitely leaving Idaho. Bummer too, because I really enjoy our mountains.

  16. Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I would fully expect a response like that, sotonohito. I just think it might serve as a bit of a wake-up call for women who use birth control and vote Republican (not to mention their partners, too).

  17. hlynn
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I watched the video where a variety of abortion demenstrators were asked about illegalizing abortion. If I didn’t have pro-life friends, I would sincerely be surprised how long these people could defend this without thinking about the women involved. I haven’t put the criminalization question to my pro-life friends, but I think I’ll give it a shot. Anyway, the logic goes: if abortion = murder, murder = incarceration. And do are jails have enough room? Nope. Also, if ‘women don’t know better,’ then the doctors go to prison, and the doctors have, you know, organizations that aren’t going to like that idea. And there’s something a little dirty about putting doctors in jail because, you know, you’re supposed to *trust* doctors.

  18. Tom
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It’s called a compromise, people. And there’s nothing at all wrong about it. Millions of Americans think abortion is murder. Millions of people think it’s fine. Millions think something in between. If we’re going to come up with one regime to cover the entire country, taking one extreme won’t work.
    Pro-choicers give great arguments about why abortion should be legal: the fetus’s inability to think or feel pain (in most abortions), the location of the fetus inside the woman, etc. etc. And, like hlynn said, we don’t want another explosion in our prison population.
    Pro-lifers are perfectly justified to respond: fine, we won’t imprison women who seek abortions, but we’ll do the minimum to shut down the clinics–penalize the doctors, who often are more susceptible to criminal penalties than some of the women would be.
    This is the exact same principle that leads cops to go after pimps or johns rather than prostitutes, dealers more than possessors, and masterminds over henchmen. It’s not necessarily that it makes perfect retributive sense–the henchman may be very, very evil, or maybe not. Rather, it’s a practical compromise aimed at stopping the illicit activity.
    You can argue that abortion should be legal, but there’s nothing at all contradictory about a pro-life argument that doesn’t involve imprisoning women. I know this is hard to grasp–but being pro-choice doesn’t exactly put you in the best position to look at the issue from the pro-life strategic point of view.

  19. Ivastar
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    One fact that I recently learned and was astonished by is the fraction of women who will have an abortion in their childbearing years – 40%! This is two out of every five women! Here is a little outdated study with some facts:
    http://www.guttmacher.org/media/nr/prabort2.html
    Are we really going to put 20% of the population of this country behind bars?

  20. sgzax
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    No Tom. The compromise is for people who don’t believe in abortion not to get them. There is no compromise in denying safe healthcare choices to women who want to make complicated medical decisions for themselves. That’s called enslaving people, and you shouldn’t be surprised to find that many women don’t fancy the idea.

  21. sotonohito
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Tom, compromise is a good thing, and I think we should persue it where possible.
    Unfortunately there are some subjects on which compromise simply is not possible. There really isn’t any middle ground when it comes to abortion, either its safe and legal or its unsafe and illegal. We can’t find middle ground because there is no middle ground to find.
    And, while I see your point re: strategy, I don’t think the stupidity of claiming on the one hand that abortion is exactly equal to murder and on the other that women who get abortions shouldn’t be sent to prison can be fully explained by strategy.
    Honestly, in my darker moments, I suspect its because so many of the anti-abortion types are wealthy enough that they know even if they succeed they’ll be able to get relatively safe abortions for themselves or their wives/daughters. Its the poor women who die when abortion is illegal, not the wealthy women. So they push for policies that ensure that, should they succeed, they won’t personally be harmed if they find it necessary to get an abortion.

  22. Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Fred Thompon’s phrasing, “these girls” gave me serious pause,
    The attitude on display with his choice of words probably has a great deal to do with the fact that his wife looks like she’s 30 years his junior.
    [/snark]

  23. Marie Lynn
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    A few weeks ago we had a group on my campus with giant signs about “immoral” sex and homosexuality and so forth, and I ended up asking one of them what the punishment should be. She told me almost without having to think about it that there should be corporal punishment for the women who get abortions.

  24. nascardaughter
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Millions of Americans think abortion is murder. Millions of people think it’s fine. Millions think something in between. If we’re going to come up with one regime to cover the entire country, taking one extreme won’t work.
    Actually the pro-choice position is a very simple, non-extreme way of dealing with that lack of agreement.
    The pro-life position entails forcing people who want to have abortions to instead bear children that they do not want to bear.
    The pro-choice position, on the other hand, doesn’t force anyone to have abortions. It simply means the decision rests with the person whose body is on the line.
    Like the bumper sticker says… Think abortion is murder? Don’t have an abortion.

  25. sgzax
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    [quote]She told me almost without having to think about it that there should be corporal punishment for the women who get abortions.[/quote]
    Corporal punishment? Like spankings? Did she mean capital punishment?

  26. UltraMagnus
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    A few weeks ago we had a group on my campus with giant signs about “immoral” sex and homosexuality and so forth, and I ended up asking one of them what the punishment should be. She told me almost without having to think about it that there should be corporal punishment for the women who get abortions.
    Wait, she’s saying women who get abortions should be spanked? WOW. I’d laugh but that’s just… pathetic. Even still I’d LOVE to hear her explain why grown women are being spanked, and the fact that getting spanked as an adult can be a FAR different experience than being spanked as a child…;)

  27. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Corporal punishment? Maybe she means caning or 40 lashes like the British schoolteacher was at risk for because she allowed her grammar school students to name the class teddy bear Mohammed.
    Now that we know the Repub dodge on punishment is it would be a state law question, we need to refine the question for these bozos. If Roe v. Wade is overturned and a state banned abortion, would you direct U.S. attorneys to prosecute any women and their drivers for crossing state lines to seek an abortion under the Mann Act (transporting women over state lines for immoral purposes)?

  28. Taisa-Marie
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    e pretty much hemmed and hawed about “not punishing women” cause they don’t “know” that it’s a life they’re taking but a “doctor” does. When you give answers like that the only next logical question is, “So you think women are stupid?”
    Oh! What about if the doctor is a woman? Could she not be charged then because she is too stupid to know she isn’t take a life??
    *sarcasm*
    You know, I almost want these anti-choice candidates to come out and say specifically that the woman wouldnt be punished because they are too stupid to know they are killing something. I just have this hope that a comment like that would piss off enough women (no matter which side they were on) to not vote for the person.

  29. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Oops, I neglected to say the British schoolteacher was in Sudan, story in today’s and yesterday’s news. She got 15 days in jail and is to be deported thereafter, for insulting Islam.

  30. dhsredhead
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    In 30 years that guy was an “OB doctor” and had NEVER seen a case where an abortion needed to be performed for medical reasons and called late-term abortion “partial birth abortion”. WTF, that guy should be ashamed of himself, how dare he refer to himself as an OB. He’s no longer an OB he’s a politican looking for votes. I also found it interested that all of these people claimed they wanted the right to go back to the states. Uh, this is 2007, not 1857. There’s no such things as “states rights” any more on alot of these issues. Also the one guy said he would “love” if there was a consensus against abortion. Because god forbid people should actually disagree on an issue in a democracy!

  31. Faerylore
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Omg it’s really called the Mann Act? lol, though I bet it’s really somebody’s last name…
    That’s what stuck out for me too (besides the whole ‘women are ignorant idiots, we’ll punish the doctor’), they want to ‘leave it up to the states’.
    Bullshit, what that means to me is that in all probability at least one state won’t ban it, giving people who can afford to go there and pay for it access, while denying everyone else the ability to do so.
    If you’re controlling enough to be antichoice, I think you ought to at least try to be consistant. Not that, you know, they’ve had any problems with that before.
    SixtiesLiberal, I saw that too, and I think I’m still shocked by it. I think they shouldn’t have punished her at all for her ‘crime’, but at least that’s better than whipping her. I mean it’s a teddybear for fuck’s sake, and it didn’t seem intentionally offensive (at least to me).
    And fuck, right now I’ve got a few insults for them that wouldn’t be accidental that I bet they wouldn’t like either. Though granted, it’s got nothing directly to do with Islam.
    Kind of makes me wonder what is really going down there btwn christians and muslims. Or if it is more like, western christians and muslims.

  32. loluxe
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    The thing is, I get that republicans have their whole “states rights” thing. Which is interesting in theoretical/historical political study. I just think they should keep in mind that if it’s in the fucking declaration of human rights (artical no. 3:Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of fucking person)then it kind of supercedes what the goddamn state thinks. I don’t know, maybe human rights are a state issue. Whatever. I hate these people.

  33. UltraMagnus
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh! What about if the doctor is a woman? Could she not be charged then because she is too stupid to know she isn’t take a life??
    I thought of that too, Taisa, however, since it’s the whole “doctor” angle, then surely any woman who managed to make it far enough to be a doctor would have to know what she’s doing, right?
    The fact is is that they’re going off of their own “science”, where any doctor should “know” (see: AGREE WITH) that “life” begins at conception and it’s a “life” they’re taking (as opposed to a zygote, or embryo). These silly womenz have no idea what’s going on in their own bodies, cause they’re too stupid be become doctors themselves.
    The real question would be: If a female doctor gets an abortion, should she then be jailed?

  34. sans
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I loved Romney’s answer…Roe v. Wade should be overturned because this is a matter for the states to decide…yet he would LOVE to sign a federal bill banning all abortions in all states.

  35. MiddleageLiberal
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    if it’s in the fucking declaration of human rights (artical no. 3:Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of fucking person)then it kind of supercedes what the goddamn state thinks.

    Are you talking about the U.N. Declaration? I don’t think that’s binding on U.S. law anywhere.
    The candidates are right as to what happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned. That would free each state legislature to pass criminal statutes punishing perpetrators of abortion. We would have 50 battles to fight. I’m confident we would win most of them, but a few states would likely criminalize abortion. In those states a pregnant woman and her driver (husband, boyfriend, father, girlfriend) who leave a state with such a criminal law to enter a state with legal abortion might be subject to federal prosecution under the Mann Act. Or suppose a pregnant woman wanting an abortion gathers up to leave a pro-life state, if someone helps her and the state troopers find out they could be arrested and prosecuted for conspiracy to murder (or to abort).

  36. Faerylore
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    How are they going to control that? Bar all pregnant women from crossing state lines? Put up a big fence, and a sign that says “You must be this male to cross”?

  37. anorak
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Also, if abortion is illegal, many women will try and procure abortion themselves (coat hanger, anybody?) so if there is no doctor involved, (at least till the woman is taken haemorrhaging to the hospital, shudder), would she be charged then?

  38. Dani
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Okay so I’ve been lurking here for a while, since my StumbleUpon came up with the story about a public school in New York searching students’ bags. Anyway, I always love reading the comments here, but Faerylore, you have made possibly the best one ever.
    Put up a big fence, and a sign that says “You must be this male to cross”?
    I can’t tell you how hard I laughed. I had to create an account to comment just to tell you this.

  39. loluxe
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s legally binding to the countries that ratified it. And it’s been cited by judges at the International Court of Justice. But whatever. The U.S. feels exempt from most of those silly rules anyway.

  40. Kapek
    Posted November 29, 2007 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been lurking here for a long time as well, and was only recently moved by another topic to finally sign up and respond. So, if I may, I’d like to say something that might seem off topic. If it is, don’t let it derail this thread. I think the criminalization question in great. It’s a great attempt to put the pro-Lifers on the hotseat (no, please don’t criticize me for the use of that term; I’m still on your side).
    My problem is more fundamental. I could not sit through this debate last night, or any of the other debates. Ninety seconds is not enough time to provide a coherent answer to anything. Given that timeframe, the anti-choice/pro-Life candidates are going to justifiably be able to answer only with regard to the doctors involved every single time, or just mumble some gobbledegook to get through it. If by chance they do somehow screw up by giving a concrete answer, those words will be replayed thousands of times in the media as a thirty second soundbite and used as a hammer to beat them into submission. So if this approach is really going to change things, people like Journey will need to ask specific questions about potential criminal penalties for abortions thousands and thousands and thousands of times, to scare candidates into giving press conferences where they lay out their views in detail.
    So in the short term, I suggest we get on that. But for the long term: we have YouTube now, so why is our public discourse still locked into a self-defeating television sound-bite format?

  41. Posted November 30, 2007 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    the location of the fetus inside the woman
    Wow, Tom, nice way to linguistically marginalize and minimize the primary reason virtually anyone supports abortion: a woman’s basic right to bodily autonomy, i.e., to not have her body put to the physical, medical, spiritual, and emotional service and support of another living entity.
    Also, your remarks about compromise are misguided. The fact that a lot of people disagree about abortion has nothing whatsoever to do with the constitutional requirement of choice, anymore than the percentage of racists in the country has anything to do with which civil liberties black people are entitled to.
    Incidentally, did anyone else get a chill down their spine at Romney’s comments (I mean, aside from the blatant illogic and legal hypocrisy)? He’d be “delighted” to sign a bill outlawing all forms of abortion everywhere in the country? He’d be “delighted” to force desperate women, many of them still children themselves, to make unwise medical decisions resulting not only in the brutal and gruesome (rather than quick and humane) death of the fetus, but quite likely the death (or at least severe injury, including possible infertility) of the woman? If that’s what he finds “delightful,” he really needs to get laid.

  42. dananddanica
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    the states rights part of this discussion really piqued my interest. Some of you think that states rights are an issue that was settled a long, long time ago. This is not true, in my mind the federal government has too much power and the states should be able to take that power back. Especially in the case of say, medical marijuana.
    The issue of abortion is of course far more complex for most people and also highly charged. I, like it seems all of you, am pro-choice and watching that debate was in large part depressing. I agree 90 seconds is not enough time to give a real answer but they wouldnt even want to have more time, it would just give more chances to make a mistake and as in our current culture, soundbytes are more important than real thought/policy that will never happen.
    It was great to see these jokers grilled a bit on the logical conclusions of their policies, what saddens me is that most of them probably dont even really agree with what their saying, they are just seeking votes.
    Lastly, on the states right issue, lets say that in the next 5 or 10 years abortion is outlawed or severely restricted on the federal level, would you still be against the state of Oregon or Maine being able to make their own decision on abortion, knowing they would vote pro-choice?

  43. dananddanica
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    the states rights part of this discussion really piqued my interest. Some of you think that states rights are an issue that was settled a long, long time ago. This is not true, in my mind the federal government has too much power and the states should be able to take that power back. Especially in the case of say, medical marijuana.
    The issue of abortion is of course far more complex for most people and also highly charged. I, like it seems all of you, am pro-choice and watching that debate was in large part depressing. I agree 90 seconds is not enough time to give a real answer but they wouldnt even want to have more time, it would just give more chances to make a mistake and as in our current culture, soundbytes are more important than real thought/policy that will never happen.
    It was great to see these jokers grilled a bit on the logical conclusions of their policies, what saddens me is that most of them probably dont even really agree with what their saying, they are just seeking votes.
    Lastly, on the states right issue, lets say that in the next 5 or 10 years abortion is outlawed or severely restricted on the federal level, would you still be against the state of Oregon or Maine being able to make their own decision on abortion, knowing they would vote pro-choice?

  44. oenophile
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    It’s just a way of further infantalizing us. And I’m fucking sick of it.
    Great. We’ll throw you in jail, if that’s how you would want it.
    Oh, wait? That’s not what you want? You admit that, if abortion were to be illegal, you wouldn’t want women in jail, too?
    Can’t have it both ways – there’s this thing called backlash, and the logical response to, “Well, I want to be treated like a human being and take my lumps,” is, “Fabulous. 25 to life.” You are estopped from complaining about the sentence you asked for.
    Law Fairy,
    Are you dense? No, and I really mean NO, intellectually-honest lawyer thinks there is a constitutional right to abortion. They keep it there for POLICY reasons, but even (sane) pro-choicers admit that Roe and its progeny are bad law.
    For nearly 200 years, there was no constitutional right to have a doctor suck the brains out of your child because you didn’t quite feel like having babies with the men you fuck. Then, lo and behold, there’s a mysterious right hidden there!
    Be honest. Roe isn’t about the Constitution; it’s about the imposition of a policy perspective.
    By the way, were you lying about being a member of the Federalist Society at Chicago?

  45. sgzax
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    What the fuck, Oenophile?
    I think LawFairy’s constitutional right to abortion is actually wrapped up in the idea that private individuals are protected as autonomous beings. That is spread over several amendments. It is being deconstructed of course, by the activist court that believes that only corporations should have privacy rights as discreet individuals. Actual citizens? Eh, not so much.
    And this “For nearly 200 years, there was no constitutional right to have a doctor suck the brains out of your child because you didn’t quite feel like having babies with the men you fuck.”
    Hate women much? Don’t like abortion, don’t get one. I will control my own body regardless of whose precious precious cell cluster is setting up house inside. Deal with it.

  46. sgzax
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    And yes, Oenophile, in fact I DO want every idiot like you to openly advocate for 25 to life for women who obtain abortions. Because the mass of the country believes that it should be a private choice and if your insanity was made public they’d be motivated to stand in opposition once and for all.
    And then you would be OVER.

  47. sgzax
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Jessica/everyone:
    On reflection I would like to apologize to this community for having called Oenophile an idiot. My head was exploding and (though this isn’t a defense) should have seen the words I didn’t type.

  48. MLEmac
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    oenophile:
    you’re ability to miss the point completely amazes me. No, we don’t think that women should be thrown in jail for having abortions. We don’t think ANYBODY should be thrown in jail for such a reason.
    We’re not the ones suggesting that abortion should be illegal. The reason that the question “how much time should she serve” is posed is to point out the hypocrisy of those who believe that abortion should be banned. If it is such a horrible crime, then why don’t they want to punish those who commit it?
    If I had an abortion, and was sentenced to jailtime, I would naturally think that sentence would be unfair because I don’t think that abortion is murder, and I would never believe myself guilty of a crime against humanity.
    This country has had debates over what should be federally mandated, and what should be left to the states since the begining. We’ve had this debate over slavery, voting rights (for both women and minorites), integration. We are currently having this debate over gay marriage. Nowadays nobody would dream of arguing that slavery should have been a states issue, nor would they say that about suffrage or integration. Though federal laws about slavery and suffrage were eventually written into the constitution, integration never was. There was a lot of bitter debate at the time concerning a state’s right to make it’s policies concerning integration, but now you will find few people who still believe that a state should be allowed to have a policy with such a vast human rights violation. The march of history is a liberal plot. Our federal government has the right, and the power to intervene when a vast injustice is taking place in individual states. YOU may not believe that a right to privacy is written in the constituion, but plenty of “intellectually-honest” lawyers do, and they will continue to fight tooth and nail to keep Roe v. Wade in place.

  49. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Ok so what if oh my god the doctor is a woman? What then? Does a woman doctor “know” what she is doing just as the woman patient couldn’t possibly “know”?
    So let me get this logic straight. These men “know” that abortion is murder or whatever they seem to think. But they are not doctors. But according to them, doctors “know” the same as these men “know.” But a woman who is not a doctor just couldn’t possibly get it.
    rrriiiggghhhhtttt….

  50. UltraMagnus
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Ahhh, oenophile sticks her head out to troll again. It’s like, every time “abortion” is mentioned on this site, a Fetus Signal lights up the sky for her and she has to come running to spill her ignorant drivel at us.
    I want to point out that she’s learning though, she’ll come into an abortion thread, make a remarkably ignorant post, including almost every single time the “suck your babies brains out” (hey oenophile, a majority of abortions happen in the first trimester, when there is no brain, don’t let your own head explode contemplating that logic), and then she’ll, for the most part, dissapear, where as originally she’d come back again and again to try to teach us what horrible baby killing sluts we were. Now she’s like a kid who runs up, throws something at you and calls you a stupid head and then runs off, believing they’ve won.
    But I digress.
    Can’t have it both ways – there’s this thing called backlash, and the logical response to, “Well, I want to be treated like a human being and take my lumps,” is, “Fabulous. 25 to life.” You are estopped from complaining about the sentence you asked for.
    Notice that oenophile believes the punishment for wanting to be treated like a “human being” which, by her own statement means she acknowledges women AREN’T currently being treated like human beings, is that you get thrown in jail for what should be in the country a private medical decision. Apparently only men can “take your lumps” because of course when they reach adulthood, they’re, you know, ADULTS. Unlike women, who, even though we may THINK we age, we only just become taller children.
    So, to her, it’s okay if women are let off the hook because they are stupid, or should be allowed to play stupid, when it comes to abortion. And only the big menz with all their smarts and knowing stuff are the ones who should make medical decisions for us wittle wittle women.

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