01 August 2007


Some genius has made an amazing video about the pro-life movement, asking pro-life protesters in Libertyville, IL what the penealty should be for women who get abortions.

The folks he interviews say they have never even considered the question, and even when asked, they can't come up with an answer.

Amazing and maddening.


Anonymous said...

The lack of perspective and history shown by some of those interviewed is impressive and disturbing. It's like they just saw some pictures of dead babies and decided they'd save some souls and didn't really think about it beyond that.

Kate said...

I agree with anonymous.......these are not thinking people.....even the young woman who said she thought they should be punished couldn't decide how far the law should go.

This interview video is a crying example of why I still "woman" the picket lines whenever the anti-abortion folk are on the line. I prefer a-a to "pro life" because I am pro life as well, but also pro individual decision making regarding one's own body.

Thanks for sharing this video, J!


Anonymous said...

The pro life movement is not primarily about punishing the mother but about recognition of what an abortion is: i.e the killing of a young human being.The expectation of the pro oondldplife movement is that once there was recognition of this they would not proceed to the abortion.It is for this reason that the people in the movie were not ready with an answer for the for the question about punishment because that is not the point. It would have been different if the question that was asked was about "punishment for the procurers" of abortion who are making money out of the procedures.

However if push comes to pull and you want an answer: punishment should be the same as for infanticide, with emphasis on the procurer rather then the mother.

Lydia said...

My two favourite comments from YouTube when I glanced at the first 10:

"blipper8: First, many pro-lifers have said outright that there should be no punishment to the WOMAN for having an abortion. Punishment would only be applied to the abortion provider. This would not be a novelty in the criminal law. Secondly, making something illegal does not necessarily mean there is a criminal punishment for doing it. Again, this is not novel."

It's true that it's not novel for punishment to only go to the provider. Cigarettes / alcohol to minors: a good example. But the key identifier for crimes where only the "provider" is punished for giving the "user" what they want is that those crimes tend to be seen as victimless. A minor who smokes doesn't hurt anyone but themselves, but should be prevented for their own good ....

It's a particularly patronizing viewpoint.

My other favourite:

"gilmoregirlxox: is this trying to prove a point? whatever! i agree with blipper8 and my best friend had an abortion so yeah i'm 17 and shes 16 and yeah shes still my best friend ok? whatever this is just stupid!"

The moral of this story is obvious.

Jonathan Korman said...

Our anonymous pro-lifer is kind enough to offer an attempt at cogent reasoning behind the disinterest in penalties for women.

That Anonymous offers real reasons does not mean that they are not stupid reasons, however. The US has already performed the experiment Anonymous recommends: prior to Roe, society did assert that abortion was killing, and did punish the providers of abortions.

The expectation of the pro-life movement is that once there was recognition of this they would not proceed to the abortion.

It didn't happen that way the last time; there were plenty of women getting abortions pre-Roe. Why should pro-lifers expect anything different this time?

Also, I am baffled by this aside:

procurers of abortion who are making money out of the procedures

Pro-lifers who are concerned about the economic interests of the “abortion industry” seem to know nothing about the economics of the whole thing. There's a lot more money to be made from births and babies, of course. And Planned Parenthood, the worst “procurers” of them all, generally take a loss on the abortions they provide and have to raise money to fill the gap.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, the fact that murder still occurs despite the existence of laws against murder being still on the statute book of every legal system has not and would not justify the removal of laws against murder and the legalization of murder. That murder is illegal and sanctioned against does prevent murder "on demand" and does act as a deterrent. So both in principle and in practice your argument on the basis that abortion still took place despite its illegality does not take us very far. Morally it would be far better if evil was legally banned despite the knowledge that some would offend rather than to legalize evil itself.

As for your comments about Planned Parenthood possibly making a "loss", this so called loss is expenditure of public monies from government grants and not "out of pocket" loss. The practitioners employed by PP to actually perform the abortions do make a profit as they gain employment and remuneration through the procedures. Most PP "outgoings" go to pay these people. All private abortion clinics are for profit.

Jonathan Korman said...

Anonymous, the policy people proposed in the video of making it illegal to get an abortion but leaving it unpunished is not at all analogous to murder legislation. Murder carries stiff penalties and is especially vigorously pursued by police. There is a public sentiment that even if murder legislation did not prevent murder, but did lead to the punishment of murderers, it would be worth doing. This is completely different from what you said about the irrelevance of penalties for women who get abortions.

The people who work in abortion clinics do get paid, yes, but these are medical professionals who by and large could make more money working elsewhere. They are motivated by something other than profit. Why should the emphasis in punishment be placed on these folks, rather than on the women getting abortions?

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I told you that your first posting would not lead us anywhere, We are back where we started, I have already replied to your second posting in my first. I did not say no punishment for abortion, I said punish the procurers; but if you insist on punishing the mother WHICH YOU ARE INSISTING ON NOT THE PRO LIFERS then I did say the same punishment as Infanticide with emphasis on the procurer.

I know what your objective is and if you are intellectually honest with yourself you will admit it: You want to be able to say, that the Prolifers want to prescribe a severe punishment and you want them to emphasize punishing the mother (and not the procurers). This would then be used by the abortion supporters as yet another example of the ProLife movement of being anti women and determined to PERSECUTE (always poor and hapless) mothers.

Well it has not worked and you are very disappointed by the answer you have received to the original question. That is why we have a circular argument.

As to the PP medics: they are still making a good living off abortion. The fact they could make more money elsewhere is irrelevant.

Jonathan Korman said...

No, what I want to be able to say is that most pro-lifers want the law to register their disapproval, rather than to make sense as a tool of policy; they have an incoherent position which they haven't thought through. They say abortion is “murder,” and should therefore be illegal. Thus millions of women would be murderers, which implies that they should therefore be in jail like other murderers. But pro-lifers don't want that to happen—that's both cruel and unmanageable. It doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...


QED. Issue already addressed by me.

You are repeating yourself.

Repetition in different words does not strengthen your argument.

As Macarthur said "This discussion is at an end"