Social Question

LostInParadise's avatar

For those who think abortion should be illegal, why should a woman not be punished for requesting one?

Asked by LostInParadise (27940points) March 31st, 2016

At one point today Donald Trump said that women should be punished for getting an abortion. He later said that he misspoke when he made that remark. Both Republicans and Democrats jumped on him when he first made the statement. It seems to me that his original statement is quite logical.

I am in favor of abortion, but it seems to me that if you oppose it then then you should say that women should be punished for requesting one. If you believe that abortion is murder, then isn’t paying someone for an abortion the same as putting out a contract for murdering someone? The only reason for saying otherwise that I can see is to say that a woman requesting an abortion is under so much duress that she can’t think straight. Isn’t that a demeaning way of looking at women?

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20 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

Or maybe the argument is that the doctor should know better since he is professionally trained. That does not make sense to me. What if the abortion is performed by someone who is not a doctor? Who is liable in that case?

Seek's avatar

“Abortion is murder” has always been a red herring.

Think about it: if the anti-abortion crowd actually thought fetal genocide were taking place, they’d do a lot more than stand around with annoying signs and shout at people.

Anti-abortion views are about control. Making sure a woman knows her place as a breeder, a subservient second-class citizen, whose job is to make more uneducated consumers who will, with the right societal pressure, eventually give a tithe of their minimum wage income to the church.

jaytkay's avatar

The “pro-life” advocate I heard on the radio this morning said the woman had already been punished before the abortion.

Punished by having sex, I guess. The horror!

Or “the whore!”. Either one works.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Even the pro life movement recognizes the futility in advocating the prosecution of women seeking abortions. While many in the movement do actively harass women seeking services in women’s health care clinics, the smarter folks remember the devastating lessons from decades ago when pro choice advocates exploited the publicity from such measures to great effect in swaying public sympathy toward legal protections for abortion providers and their clients.

josie's avatar

It will not be illegal in your lifetime
Plus, anybody can ask.

Having said it, it is an example of an eternal conundrum

For example…

If drugs are illegal should the pusher or the user be punished

If prostitution is illegal, should the prostitute or the client be punished

Nobody can answer these questions with a convincing argument. It is why some libertarians think that laws like these should not be considered by central government.

zenvelo's avatar

I am pro choice, not anti choice.

If abortion is illegal, yes the mother should be punished as should the father. It is his failing for not using birth control or getting a vasectomy before he starts having sex.

But only for going through with it, but for merely asking. Asking is when you get the answer, “no, it is illegal.”

zenvelo's avatar

@josie These laws are local, not central government. Does that alter your opinion?

Coloma's avatar

What @Seek and @zenvelo said. I can;t add a thing to both those very succinct sharings.

josie's avatar

It’s the same conundrum.
But at least at the state level, it might be easier to achieve a consensus.
And that is all will say about this issue.

jca's avatar

Prostitutes and their customers are both charged with a crime if caught. Drug sellers and buyers are both breaking the law (buyers for possession if caught ), @josie.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

It’s silly to punish women for it. Any pregnant women could just claim that they accidentally fell from stair, etc to eliminate the fetus, then with ‘innocent/good excuse’, eventually visit the doctor for the very purpose. Does the reason for abortion will define how guilty and wrong a pregnant woman could get? No. It’s her body, her right to use it any way she like it.

JLeslie's avatar

Punishing the doctor makes it more likely the women won’t be able to get an abortion. People might think punishing the woman is the more horrible of the two choices, but if the doctor has no risk, he will probably keep performing them. Some of them will anyway.

A law doesn’t have to have punishment. Just because it’s made illegal doesn’t mean the punishment has to be severe like going to jail or thousands in fines.

I do think the churches originally made it a sin to get an a option to keep the population going. The population of the church. So, the church and all it’s employees could stay in business.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t know the answer to this question, and the same very thing occurred to me when I heard about the Trump abortion flap. I’ve been following the discussion.

On the surface, it seems to me as if @zenvelo best addresses the question, as asked:
“If abortion is illegal, yes the mother should be punished as should the father.”
The problem I see with that is that the father is not always known, and you cannot prove whether the mother knows the father’s identity.
Abortion opponents could just pass legislation making proof or the father’s identity so onerous that pregnancies would be too late term to terminate by the time ID was positive.

If abortion is made illegal, and a woman breaks the law by having an abortion, how can the woman not face punishment.
And it women faced punishment for having an abortion, would you have to make all pregnant women join a national registry, and account for the fetus?
What would that do to neonatal health care?
I suggest that the Pro-Life people have conceded holding the mother at fault because it’s politically expedient. They know it works against their cause.

Is this just another of issue of the “haves” versus the “have-nots”?
Where a ‘Paris Hilton’ can whisk off to an abortion in the Bahamas while a single working-class mother is just – if you’ll pardon the expression – fucked?

Pandora's avatar

I think its because a lot of people fall in the middle. I think life is sacred but the real problem is, when do you consider it a life. At conception, when the heart beats, when the fetus if viable? This is the biggest problem for most people who are pro life. Everyone draws their own line in the sand and some of us are not sure where the line is.

So how can one determine for it to be murder or even if it is punishable or should be punishable, and how do you come to a consensus about where that line is? Well a majority vote is the best way. And so for me, I will not say I am pro abortion but I will say that I think the best way to any solution is to go with the majority vote. That is how our system is suppose to work. Not by the views of a few but by the views of the majority.

I do not know where the life of the unborn child begins but I know without doubt that the women in question is alive and having her risk her life when it could’ve been done safely isn’t an ideal solution. And certainly closing clinics that can help prevent pregnancies in the first place by giving out contraceptives really doesn’t help prevent the abortions that may come as a result of not having access.

There really won’t be any way to prevent abortions. It has existed for hundreds of years. And for those too afraid to have these babies sometimes murder after the birth was their next step. And yes. I will definitely say, if you smoother your baby after is is born, it is murder without a doubt.

zenvelo's avatar

For many anti-choicers, life worth protecting ends at the delivery room. After that, y’all are on your own.

ibstubro's avatar

Probably the most obvious gorilla in this room is that Trump and rest of the millionaires elected run the US government don’t have a horse in this race.

If one of their loved ones has an unwanted pregnancy, they put them on a private jet for a “ski trip” to Sweden.
No one important should have to suffer a promising young career cut short.

JLeslie's avatar

^^What promising career cut short? That rich they can have nannies and housekeepers. I do agree people with money always have access, but at that level of rich they can afford the baby and not have their education and careers suffer.

ibstubro's avatar

^^ I was thinking more along the lines of a 20 yo daughter knocked up at a frat party.
My time was short

JLeslie's avatar

^^I see your point. Who wants to be entwined with some idiot father of the baby for 18 years.

ibstubro's avatar

We know from the past that some of the most morally conservative politicians have some of the most sordid scandals. High and mighty about other people’s lives.

“Our” rules don’t apply to them.

If you can afford your own private health care and your own doctor, abortion laws don’t influence whether abortion is an option or not – only the amount of expense and inconvenience.

Abortion never was and never will be “unavailable”. We’re really only talking about legislating the availability, safety and cost. Reach a certain economic level, and none of those are an important, much less deciding, factor.

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