Can Abortions Be Stopped Without Being Criminalized?Submitted by DeadGeorge on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 23:02
I noticed that Representative Scott DesJarlais may have passed his primary, which will most likely assure him another term. DesJarlais is a pro-life doctor and congressman that had sex with his patients and counseled one of them to have an abortion. For this staggering lack of integrity, there doesn't seem much in the way of consequences.
This points to a cruel reality though: not everybody who is pro-life in public is pro-life in their day-to-day lives.
I am about as far from a pro-life advocate as you can come. I'm fully in support of legalizing access to abortions for anyone that can afford them (you know, out of their own pocket). At the same time, however, I've counseled anyone considering one all throughout my life not to get one. To worry about how a child will grow up as they are growing up, and to recognize that a lot of parents started out in humble circumstances; it was having children that crystallized what they wanted in life and the sacrifices that would be necessary to get those things.
Unfortunately, guys only tell you about abortions long after they have conspired with their wives or girlfriends to get one. My wife, however, because women tell each other everything, has probably stopped at least two lives from being terminated, lives that are wonderful, and have made their mothers more wonderful, too.
Before abortion was legal, women still got them, but they got them in private homes and in hotel rooms, and the men that performed them were frequently unlicensed. What's more, even the very best abortionists could not stop that women could not go to hospitals afterwards; if they were found to have taken pregnancy inducing drugs in a hospital, this information was required to be reported to police.
Criminalization always has this effect. It jails people in unfortunate circumstances for being taken advantage of by others. It dissuades them from seeking counseling or other help. It necessitates insane invasions of personal privacy.
Criminalizing abortion requires selective application of the criminal code, meaning the poorest people will be criminalized by it and the richest elude being criminalized by it, despite similar or even more egregious behavior on the part of the rich. Such a criminal code would be created and maintained by people like our Represantative DesJarlais, who, behind closed doors, counsels his girlfriends to get an abortion so that he is not embarrassed by the child he produced.
Criminalizing abortion may be the way to feel like we've done something to stop abortion, but really we're just creating a new police state apparatus to do what we can do as individuals more effectively and without jailing a soul, invading their privacy or empowering or enriching the police state: listen to them, wait for them to ask us what we would do, and counsel them against it.