Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Should women who have abortions go to prison?" An analysis of the hypocracy of the pro-life movement

Is abortion murder?

The entire anti-abortion movement says "yes".

This argument is the single argument that defines their whole movement. Any and all other pro-life arguments stem from this one single superargument: abortion is murder

No doubts, no grays, no hesitation.

And since abortion is murder, it is perfectly justified to outlaw it. And no argument can justify not outlawing it.

So when anti-abortion laws force women to be pregnant against their will (which is what happens when women aren't allowed to abort) this public policy of forced pregnancy is justified because abortion is murder.

In my arguments with pro-lifers on RH Reality, they have compared these laws that force pregnancy to our other laws that force people to hold their hands when they want to strangle their roommate.


Murder MUST be outlawed (duh)

We all agree that laws against assault and murder will restrain ourselves - force ourselves - to not do the actions that are defined as assault and murder.

And we all agree that we support these laws that force us to restrain ourselves. We understand these laws are necessary for a society that is relatively civil, no matter what our disagreements are.

So pro-lifers will say that the anti-abortion laws that force women to be pregnant are no different than our anti-assault laws that force everybody not to punch, shoot, or kill their neighbor.

Of course...pro-lifers rarely, if ever, talk about "forced pregnancy". Why is that? I'd guess the reason is because they know no one wants to support "forced pregnancy", so they prefer to use other words - any other words.

But, semantics aside, laws against abortion are justified because abortion is murder...or is it?


Murder MUST be punished...right?

If abortion is murder, why is NO ONE, not even pro-lifers, willing to imprison the women who have them?

I can imagine no form of murder whereby a murderer is guaranteed freedom from jail time. Stabbing, gunshots, poisoning - use you imagination. You do it, chances are you get jail time.

At best, an alleged murderer can get an insanity plea, and maybe avoid jail...and then be forced to go to a mental institution.

But jail sentences for murderers are more likely to get reduced than eliminated, even for murderers that prove their insanity defense. And they must prove and justify their insanity defense, or any reasons they give for reduced jail time.

Because no prosecutor on earth will let a murderer escape jail without demanding hefty proof...and even then they may only get their jail time reduced - not eliminated - and/or be forced to a mental institution.


Pro-lifers contradictions

The pro-lifer's reluctance to jail the woman is not because they believe jail time and abortion don't go together.

I say this because pro-lifers have frequently stated their desire to jail the abortion doctor. Pro-life Republican Senator Tom Coburn once said that abortion doctors should get the death penalty.

So, no, the pro-lifer is not afraid to deliver anti-murder punishments. Add to this their frequent support for the death penalty (which, for the record, I think I might support myself).


Murder for hire: punishing the hitman, but not his boss.

If the doctor is the murderer, he (or she) is merely the hired hitman. The person who hired him was the pregnant woman.

So why does she get off so easily? To really fathom their tolerance for these female killers, watch how many of them they will embrace, coddle, and hug at a pro-life rally... as long as they shows remorse.

But I wonder...

Suppose these women had hired someone to kill their child. Hiring someone to poison their child, slit their child's throat, to hit and run, to smother them to death...hiring someone to do any of these ugly things (or others) to murder their child. Use your imagination.

If mothers hired someone to do any of these acts murder on their own child, would these mothers be as coddled, hugged, forgiven - given a free pass on jail time - simply by saying "I'm sorry"????

Point: How many tears does a murderer have to cry before everyone forgets to give them jail time - or even anger?


Conclusion: What the pro-life movement teaches us

What is the main lesson of the pro-life movement?

Here it is:

Abortion is murder, and is always murder, but only to extent that its comfortable and convenient for the pro-lifers.

The act of abortion is an act of murder. The doctor should be jailed for this act...but not the person who hired him to do this act.

The act of abortion is an act of murder. We must outlaw it. The fact that this forces women to be pregnant is tolerated (even if unspoken) and justified, because abortion is murder...but the women who do commit this act have a legal privilege no other murderer dare dream: a GUARANTEE of freedom from any jail time, or mental institution time, WHATSOEVER.

When you read the above two statements, you can see how a pro-lifers comfort continues unabated until you hit the "but".

And that, my friends, is what they stand for.

So the final question is not so much "should women go to jail", as it is this:

"Is abortion really murder?"

And if we have no answer for this question, then is it really wise for public policy to be made on the notion that "abortion is murder", when none of us - not even the pro-lifers - can accept this?


MellanKelly said...

Harry, that post was brilliant. Those opposed to abortion have oftentimes gone round & round attempting to explain how one could "murder" a zygote, an embryo or a fetus and you've captured the crux of the problem. The argument that abortion is murder is a fallacy... abortion is the termination of a pregnancy - that, at least, is something we can all agree upon.

H4736 said...

Thank you for your praise. Good thing I'm a fanatic for Law and Order! Great show!

Tanya said...

"...For at least a full generation now, women have been told it is their human right to have an abortion. If a pro-abortion advocate wants to know why I might ‘coddle and hug’ a woman who is experiencing remorse over a past abortion, part of my answer is this: she is also a victim of our abortion-advocating society..."

Read the full post here:

MellanKelly said...

But of course, Tanya... women have not and probably will not ever be competent or capable enough to make their own decisions regarding their reproduction (or their sexuality, for that matter). It is imperative that we have other, more qualified people tell us what we should do with our own bodies. How is it inconceivable to you that a woman who decides to terminate her pregnancy could be intellectually and self aware enough to know what the best course of action for herself and her family is? You may get some sort of personal satisfaction out of making women out to be helpless victims but I find it completely offensive and insulting.
PS. it's spelled segue not segway

H4736 said...

And if you want to know how many women DON'T regret their abortions, see here:


MellanKelly said...

Or just ask me! I'm not sorry either.

Brady said...

Great post... I've passed it along to the rest of the RH Reality Check team to read.

Eyes and Ears said...

Harry .... great post! We love you on RH Reality Check and will love reading you here as well!

H4736 said...


Thank you so much guys. It's an honor to have earned the respect of good men...and women ;)