As pointed out in a column by Anna Quindlen in Newsweek and on America Blog, Planned Parenthood and the National Institute for Reproductive Health have launched a provocative new campaign to ask, “How much time should she serve?” If abortions become illegal, what should be the punishment for women who have an illegal abortion?
Nearly 20 years ago, in a presidential debate, George Bush the elder was asked this very question, whether in making abortion illegal he would punish the woman who had one. “I haven’t sorted out the penalties,” he said lamely. Neither, it turns out, has anyone else. But there are only two logical choices: hold women accountable for a criminal act by sending them to prison, or refuse to criminalize the act in the first place. If you can’t countenance the first, you have to accept the second. You can’t have it both ways.
This question was put to a group of anti-abortion demonstrators in Libertyville, IL, which was captured on video and then, of course, uploaded to YouTube.
Andy in Harrisburg