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Political Mercury

Fiorina shows fraud of alleged ‘pro-life’ movement


Anti-abortion candidates like Carly Fiorina apparently don’t have much confidence in their ability to prevail.

They haven’t thought or don’t want to talk about the key question a in Roe-reversed world in which abortion is illegal. Should this happen, there’s this little matter of the punishments phase.

And just what should the penalty be for a woman who has an abortion or a physician who performs one?

Civil or criminal?

By Douglas Burns

Photo By Douglas Burns

Prep Iowa

Should boyfriends who help pay to erase an unwanted pregnancy be charged as accomplices? What about the surgical attendants who are handing doctors what the anti-abortioners believe are instruments of death? Should the participators be hit with administrative sanctions, big fines, small ones, or charged as felons, treated as murderers — which would make sense under laws in which fetuses aren’t biological material, but people, living babies?

“It’s such a hypothetical question,” Fiorina said in an interview with Cityview. “It’s playing into all the extreme talking points of the Democrat Party.”

Isn’t that, Mrs. Fiorina, the end game of the pro-life movement, to make abortion illegal?

“What do you suppose the end game of the pro-abortion movement is?” Fiorina shot back in a dizzying flip-the-script move. “Because the pro-abortion movement believes it’s not a life until it leaves the hospital. The pro-abortion movement continues to defend Planned Parenthood after we’ve watched the hideous nature of these tapes.”

That, of course, wasn’t the question.

Fiorina, and most other pro-life candidates to whom I’ve posed the abortion-penalty matter, decline to answer, terming my question “hypothetical,” or as Bobby Jindal did, a “gotcha” query.

But it’s a fair question. If you want a procedure to be illegal, you should have an answer for the potential rage of penalties to be applied for the crime.

Fiorina said the majority of Americans believe an abortion “for any reason” after five months is wrong.

“So let’s start with that,” she said.

Which raises many other issues about rape and incest and life-of-the-mother concerns. These emerged during the Republican presidential debate in Cleveland when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, clearly said a woman whose life is threatened by a pregnancy should not be able to obtain an abortion.

In the abstract, and as a talking point aimed at Christian conservatives, self-terming oneself as pro-life is required rhetoric. Go deeper, though? Crickets.

Candidates stop short on discussing potential penalties. The public does, too, which is ironic. Unwanted pregnancies occur because Americans don’t own the potential consequences of their actions.

How many Americans want to see young women imprisoned for having abortions? Or sitting on death row? Who wants to own that?

It’s easy to rail against abortion when it’s legal, and you can’t punish (except through shame) the women who end pregnancies.

The hard part comes if the pro-life movement carries the day, Planned Parenthood is shut down, and abortion is criminalized. Imagine where the narrative of the Fiorina presidential campaign would be today had she answered my question directly and said women who have abortions should be jailed for life for murder.

And, think about it, if abortion isn’t murder, then what’s wrong with it? If you aren’t taking a life during an abortion, then how is a fetus any different from a gall bladder in a medical sense? CV

Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman who resides in Carroll. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.

One Comment

  1. Eugene Cherny, MD says:

    Douglas Burns shows poor journalistic fact checking in his editorial, “Fiorina shows fraud of alleged prolife movement”.
    Mr. Burns brings up the old canard that if Roe vs. Wade were to be reversed, all abortions will be illegal and women undergoing abortions will be arrested and imprisoned, etc. This falsehood has been repeated enough times to have become an urban legend.
    Prior to Roe v. Wade, abortion law was determined at the state level. Twenty states had legal abortion prior to Roe v. Wade, which invalidated all state abortion laws and established guidlines for legal abortion for all fifty states. Before 1973, the abortion wars were being vigorously contested within state legislatures. A reversal of Roe v. Wade would simply return abortion law to the purvue of the states. Some would outlaw it, most probably would not.
    Further, before Rowe women were not prosecuted for having abortions. Women were considered the “second victim” of a procedure considered unethical by physicians since the fifth century BC in the Hippocratic Oath. The physician who performed abortions was considered the wrong doer. The abortion performing physician was simply stripped of their licence to practice, and disgraced.
    Hows about a “fourth generation Iowa newspaperman” get back to journalism 101 and research the facts of law and history, for starters. The readers deserve better.

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