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Old 07-31-2007, 11:10 AM   #1
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How much jail time for women who have abortions?

Article is from MSNBC.

Quote:
Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube is a curious little mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them."

You have to hand it to the questioner; he struggles manfully. "Usually when things are illegal there's a penalty attached," he explains patiently. But he can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

A new public-policy group called the National Institute for Reproductive Health wants to take this contradiction and make it the centerpiece of a national conversation, along with a slogan that stops people in their tracks: how much time should she do? If the Supreme Court decides abortion is not protected by a constitutional guarantee of privacy, the issue will revert to the states. If it goes to the states, some, perhaps many, will ban abortion. If abortion is made a crime, then surely the woman who has one is a criminal. But, boy, do the doctrinaire suddenly turn squirrelly at the prospect of throwing women in jail.

...

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.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:20 AM   #2
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they've killed a fetus.

the death penalty!
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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thank you. i've been saying that for years. and would only the women be criminalized? what about the men involved in conception?
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
"Just pray for them."
Can I have that for my, not yet comitted, crime as well?
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:06 PM   #5
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Originally posted by unico
thank you. i've been saying that for years. and would only the women be criminalized? what about the men involved in conception?
Or the doctor, or the parents that failed to teach them sex ed, or the school that taught an abstince only instead, or the condom company for breaking, god for putting a woman's like at stake for having this child. We could jail a lot for this one...
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:12 PM   #6
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
We could jail a lot for this one...
Especially since our US jails aren't overcrowded or anything. Just about everyone could have a sister, mother, daughter, cousin, wife, girlfriend or friend in jail.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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Great concept. Yep, mocking the other side is a wonderful debate strategy.

The arrogance on both sides of the abortion debate is discouraging...and I'm not talking about the extremists (clinic bombers etc). "How much time she should do?" is so simplistic, just meant to dig at the pro-lifers & make them squirm...but it smacks of the old "Just say no" anti-drug strategy - and we know how well that did.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:17 PM   #8
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no i think it is an honest question. i think we've learned our lesson with this administration, and that policy strategy/planning should always be discussed prior to making any sort of big decision.

i understand that the divide is essentially between a very simple belief, and there are people who agree and people who disagree.

therefore, i'm curious, if people do want abortion illegal, what is going to happen?

in most debates people discuss the implications of either side of the issue. i don't see what the mocking is. i'm not mocking, i'm seriously trying to see how people want to enforce it.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
"How much time she should do?" is so simplistic, just meant to dig at the pro-lifers & make them squirm...but it smacks of the old "Just say no" anti-drug strategy - and we know how well that did.
No, it isn't.

Crimes are punishable by law (set or sentencing guidelines). If you advocate criminalizing abortion then it is a necessary aspect of debate to consider the penalties which would be involved.
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
Great concept. Yep, mocking the other side is a wonderful debate strategy.

The arrogance on both sides of the abortion debate is discouraging...and I'm not talking about the extremists (clinic bombers etc). "How much time she should do?" is so simplistic, just meant to dig at the pro-lifers & make them squirm...but it smacks of the old "Just say no" anti-drug strategy - and we know how well that did.
You can call it mocking if you want, but the reality is that 1/2 of American women will have an abortion in their lifetime based on current stats. Therefore, it's a fair question...how would you like 1/2 of American women punished if abortion is criminalized?*

*edited to add, I assumed from your post that you might be against abortion but realized later I could have been mistaken ... ?
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
Great concept. Yep, mocking the other side is a wonderful debate strategy.

The arrogance on both sides of the abortion debate is discouraging...and I'm not talking about the extremists (clinic bombers etc). "How much time she should do?" is so simplistic, just meant to dig at the pro-lifers & make them squirm...but it smacks of the old "Just say no" anti-drug strategy - and we know how well that did.
So what is your answer? How much time in jail should a woman convicted of having an abortion get?

And the "Just say no" drug policy was thought up by the same types who are pushing the anti abortion crusade. So....
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:00 PM   #12
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I'm guessing your average pro-life advocate hasn't thought about punishment. I think they are looking more at the concept of "censure." They want society to frown upon abortion and to signify it's disapproval by making it illegal. Their thinking is that if abortion were illegal fewer women would have them and more lives would be saved. The issue of actually prosecuting women who have abortions hasn't really been central to their planning. . .after all, how many women were prosecuted for abortion when it was illegal? I'm guessing not many, though I admittedly haven't done the research so I could be wrong. The fact that many women may have died from botched back room abortions may not be such a big deal to them because. . .well, "they shouldn't be doing that in the first place so that's what they get" and besides it's hush hush and behind closed doors away from polite society so the "official societal standards" are preserved.

I'm willing to bet it's the sime mentality behind opposing gay marriage. You won't find too many opponents of gay marriage advocating legal action against gay couples. They just want the "official societal censure" in place.

I'm just hazarding a guess though, as I don't hold either one of the above views.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:12 PM   #13
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in all seriousness, i think that punishing someone for having an abortion misses the point. i would think that the illegality of the procedure would prevent it from happening, or preventing it from happening as frequenly as it does now. it would be like Physician Assisted Suicide. except for Oregon, it's illegal. the person punished would most likely be the physician.

so, inevitably, we return to coat hangers.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:16 PM   #14
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Does the illegality of the act prevent people from running prostitution rings, drug dealing, and so on?

I don't think we'd be back to coat hangers. Most likely you'd see dozens of clinics popping up in Canadian border towns (this has been widely suggested) which would charge $, and my guess is some doctors would perform the procedure defiantly. This is how abortion was legalized in Canada - Morgentaler persisted in performing them and opening up clinics around the country. He kept being criminally prosecuted, and separate cases went to the Supreme Court twice, which eventually tossed the abortion laws out. My feeling is that in this day and age, that's closer to what you'd see than the old coat hanger strategy.
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:23 PM   #15
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Coat hanger? Sorry, I'm not familiar with that term.
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