How much time should she do?

This is a great question to keep asking John McCain and other anti-choicers:

Related:
Reclaiming the abortion debate
How much jail time should women get for having an abortion?
Thompson gives her jail time
McCain’s long and ugly record on choice
More on McCain’s dismal record on choice
McCain: Contra-contraception

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19 Comments

  1. Elyse
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I read an article about abortion in the 1920s for one of my classes. The law usually caught women who had to go to the hospital when they suffered complications from their illegal and unsafe abortions. Though medicine is more advanced than it was in the 20s I imagine not many woman suspected of having an illegal abortion would make it all the way thru a trial.

  2. Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    By opposing Roe v. Wade, McCain merely wants the people to decide. All other major industrialized democracies with legal abortion have decided their abortion policies in the democratic realm, i.e. through the democratic establishment of policy. Roe v. Wade prevents the people from weighing in. Funny how feminists claim that women “fought for” the right to have an abortion; if that were true, where’s the law that legalized abortion in all 50 states? Which chief executive signed it? Who were the sponsors of the bill? Oh, that’s right… Seven men in black robes decided in 1973 to pre-empt democracy, and made abortion restrictions illegal (despite democracy).
    If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion does not automatically become illegal all throughout the land. All it means is that the people get to choose. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Choice? Or is it just choice for the few — i.e., choice for the members of the Supreme Court?
    I strongly am pro-choice on Roe. I say let the people decide.

  3. whitelabcoat
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    That’s what you want, isn’t it? Choice? Or is it just choice for the few — i.e., choice for the members of the Supreme Court?
    Are you serious?

  4. wintermute
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    where’s the law that legalized abortion in all 50 states?

    It’s called “The Constitution”. You might have heard of it…

  5. puckalish
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Actually, John, McCain opposes abortion pretty clearly. This is from his website:

    However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion… As John McCain has publicly noted, “At its core, abortion is a human tragedy.”

    By opposing Roe v Wade, McCain wants the opportunity for a movement of anti-choicers to outlaw it on a national and/or state level. And don’t confuse this with just being about states rights; the movement to overturn Roe v Wade is part of a larger strategy to wrest from them women’s sovereignty over their own bodies.
    Also, while I’m no legal expert, I know certain other legal circumstances have been determined by the USSC without legislation being passed. Relevant to Roe v. Wade, one of these rulings is Griswold, where the right to (marital) privacy was established in regards to a ban on contraceptives. The Court has, as one of its mandates, to protect the individual from an overreaching of state power. Whether or not personal privacy falls under this mandate is arguable, but it is also certainly defensible.
    Another analogous ruling was Miranda v Arizona, where dissent argued that the Constitution provides no such protections (as the Miranda warning). However, the Court ruled that the intention behind the 5th and 6th Amendments support these. Even McCullogh v Maryland, in 1819, was founded on an interpretation of implied powers, the “letter and spirit” of the Constitution.
    Certainly, not all countries run their governments the same way. Name one of these “industrialized democracies” you reference which has an electoral system that is similar to ours. We have a unique political process, yet the Roe v Wade decision is couched in that long tradition (which dates back to before the Civil War).
    At the same time, I think it is imperative that a legislative effort be put forward to protect the right to choose and, unfortunately, that momentum was interrupted by the Roe v Wade ruling. It would be wise for us to secure the situation, for sure.
    Finally, to think that a Supreme Court decision is not something that was “fought for” is naive. I’m not sure if you’ve ever worked on an issue related to a Court ruling, but they’re very much influenced by the amount and quality of research and arguments presented in various briefs. Literally, the term “fight” is used in relation to courts on a regular basis and, on larger issues (think Brown v Bd of Ed), a national movement consisting of both public demonstrations as well as a collective legal and research effort are directed by the people at the courts.

  6. Posted August 29, 2008 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Wintermute wrote:

    “[Quoting me:] where’s the law that legalized abortion in all 50 states?
    It’s called “The Constitution”. You might have heard of it…

    Oh yeah, the Constitution! The thing that the Supreme Court interprets. Well then, you should have no problem with McCain, since he’ll be appointing members of the Supreme Court, who will interpret Roe straight out of existence.
    If the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the Constitution is where you put your faith, then that’s what you’ll receive. Power to the people! (The nine people on the court, that is)

  7. wintermute
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, the Constitution! The thing that the Supreme Court interprets. Well then, you should have no problem with McCain, since he’ll be appointing members of the Supreme Court, who will interpret Roe straight out of existence.

    In the (frankly, unlikely) event that McCain gets elected, then you’re sort of right. The supreme court has decided that laws banning abortion are unconstitutional, in the same way that they’ve decided that laws banning interracial marriage are illegal. A later interpretation by a different court might reverse that decision and allow states to pass laws that ban abortion. Such a ruling would be a bad thing, and I’d be among those who’d campaign to return to the compromise of Roe vs Wade.
    The Supreme Court is (in theory) stocked with thoughtful, intelligent scholars of legal history who are better qualified to interpret the Constitution than the average voter. They don’t always make the right decision (Dred Scot), but they’re a very important cog in the wheel of American government.
    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  8. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion does not automatically become illegal all throughout the land. All it means is that the people get to choose. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Choice? Or is it just choice for the few — i.e., choice for the members of the Supreme Court?
    I strongly am pro-choice on Roe. I say let the people decide.

    Apparently, John fails to understand that “pro-choice” is about having the choice to decide what to do about your own body, not other people having the choice to decide for you.
    Saying that a SCOTUS decision undermines democracy is rather silly, though. The SCOTUS is part of our democratic system, and it’s their job to ensure laws passed are Constitutional. If they didn’t, Congress could pass any law they wanted that violated the Constitution, and there’s nothing anyone could do about it. What would be the purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at that point?
    I support the right for anyone to choose what they do with their bodies, even if they choose to do something with which I disagree.

  9. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Oops, just a note on that previous comment.
    I strongly am pro-choice on Roe. I say let the people decide. was supposed to be italicized as well, as John said it, not me. :)

  10. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I am not having a good commenting day. I think it’s time to go back to bed.

  11. MLEmac
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely agree John Dias.
    Let’s overturn the ruling on interracial marriage and let the states decide (the law is still on the books in Alabama, I believe). Brown vs. Board of Education should have been left to the states too. My wonderful high school, which is called Little Rock Central High would still have been all white when I went there. I guess we should also automatically make Al Gore the next president because the people actually DID elect him, and the supreme court ruled to let George Bush be president.
    Sometimes, the minority has to be protected. If we put everything up for a vote, then every mob rule would take over and every minority would be squashed by the majority and lose their rights.

  12. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, the minority has to be protected. If we put everything up for a vote, then every mob rule would take over and every minority would be squashed by the majority and lose their rights.
    So true. If everything was mob rule, there’d be no point in having the judiciary whatsoever.

  13. Qwerty
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure this video has been posted here more than once, and im not sure why Feministing diligently involves itself in partisan hackery.
    Mccain has made it clear that only the doctors will be punished. There is no effort by Mccain to “make women criminals”.
    Spreading misinformation, for whatever reason, is wrong and an insult to the intelligence of your readers. You can convince without lying.
    I seriously hope you consider taking the video down and refrain from this dishonesty.

  14. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask one question about abortion. Then I want to turn to Iraq. You’re for a constitutional amendment banning abortion, with some exceptions for life and rape and incest.
    MCCAIN: Rape, incest and the life of the mother. Yes.

    That’s from an interview on ABC’s “This Week” back in November of 2006.
    On John McCain’s own website, under the Issues -> Human Dignity and the Sanctity of Life, a little excerpt:
    “The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need. This work must continue and government must find new ways to empower and strengthen these armies of compassion. These important groups can help build the consensus necessary to end abortion at the state level.”
    Unless we’re going to argue semantics, I’d say that “ending abortion at the state level” is the same as “making abortion illegal at the state level”, unless we suddenly expect no woman to ever need or want an abortion.
    So how is the video dishonest in stating McCain’s opposition to abortion, supporting banning it, and then asking what the punishment is going to be for women who break the hypothetical law?

  15. Qwerty
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Because providing an abortion would be illegal, not having one.
    The video doesn’t acknowledge this, and completely warps McCains position.
    Now, there are some insane anti-choicers who want apply homicide charges to abortion, but this doesn’t apply to McCain.

  16. Qwerty
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Read if you want:
    “On “Meet the Press,” McCain said he had “come to the conclusion that the exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother are legitimate exceptions” to an outright ban on abortions. “I don’t claim to be a theologian, but I have my moral beliefs.” If Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion outlawed, McCain said he believes doctors who performed abortions would be prosecuted. “But I would not prosecute a woman” who obtained an abortion.
    Source: Boston Globe, p. A9 Jan 31, 2000″
    It is possible that he may have changed positions since 2000, but i would like to see some proof.

  17. Allie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    If it’s illegal to provide an abortion, wouldn’t you think the woman who sought, paid for, and presented herself for an abortion, would also be complicit in said illegal act?
    I’m sorry if I don’t agree with you that this video is misleading. I’d say even with your own admissions, it’s just as clear as day.

  18. Nathan Hansen
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    I love this video and think we should apply it more situations. If murder is illegal, murderers WILl go to jail! If something is illegal, someone Will go to jail! Let’s get rid of all the laws because jail sucks and no one should have to go there!

  19. MaggieF
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    This has been argued here before, but by saying he would only make the act of providing an abortion illegal–not the act of seeking one–McCain and others imply that women are helpless little kids who can’t make decisions, and therefore must be protected from the eeeevil doctors who want to kill their babies. That to me is more offensive than making the women criminals, and that single position–that women aren’t capable of rational thought (because if we were we would be culpable for our actions)–tells me everything I need to know about McCain, and about his choice of running mate.

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