Saturday, February 25, 2006

Asking the Right Questions

The abortion debate has been heating up lately, and I have not been one to shy away from it, which is actually not normal for me. Anyway...

Via Atrios we steered to what gets at the more honest questions that people have to face over this issue. From Oliver Willis:
This will be an intriguing question that should be asked in the 2008 election: Do you support the imprisonment of doctors for up to five years for the alleged “crime” of performing an abortion, as South Dakota’s legislature demands?

This question is not one of the questions at the core of the abortion debate, but covers the real life consequence lawmakers and crusaders have when they pass laws, without thinking about what they are doing, instead of only thinking about how many votes the might get for what they are doing.

The follow-up question I would ask is "do you support the imprisonment of women for up to fives years for the alleged 'crime' having an abortion?" Then you can ask is it a crime to conspire to assist in the alleged 'crime' of having or performing an abortion, which would entail the imprisonment for such a crime. Both bring the issue down to what happens if you make abortions illegal. What punishment should people be forced with when they are making personal decisions that shouldn’t be the business of the state?

Bottom line here is the distinction in the abortion debate that gets lost: being against abortion and being for laws banning it and/or making it a crime.

The polling on this is what I think goes back and forth in the debate, all over how the questions are phrased: do you support abortion? Well, no, I don't want people to have to have abortions, so, no. Do I support a legal ban on abortion? Hell no! People should have the right to control their own bodies.

The other big question that doesn't get asked or answered is "If you want to end Abortions, why don't you support the prevention of abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies through use of contraception?"

This then gets us back into the cycle of the core debate, which I agree with others gets very tiresome and pointless. That debate is coming back as a battle, and those seeking to outlaw abortion appear to be willing to anything to outlaw it. That battle will be met with more opposition than I think they expect. The over-reach will be ever-present with actions of the likes of Tom Brinkman, who is of the mindset to force all to act at the whims of those who share his basic religious beliefs. To them there are no questions to ask, just orders to follow.

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