Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cristina Page needs a history lesson

There are quite a few problems with this recent Cristina Page post at the RH Reality Check blog. Apparently, it's "stunning" that Fred Thompson isn't in favor of locking up women for having abortions. If Page finds this position (which Thompson has been repeating for more than a month) to be "stunning" that means she either doesn't follow abortion politics too closely or has a delusional belief prolifers want to lock women up.

Page then claims (without an citation), "The last time the United States banned abortion -- pre-Roe -- doctors faced only minimal penalties for providing safe care."

When did the United States ban abortion? I guess Cristina must be referring to various states within the U.S. who passed various laws banning abortion.

"Minimal penalties" is also an extremely odd claim. Performing an abortion was felony in numerous states. For example, here's a Planned Parenthood fact sheet claiming that without Roe v. Wade, physicians performing abortions in Wisconsin could face penalties (up to 15 years in prison) which I certainly wouldn't deem as "minimal." Here's a link to Wisconsin's abortion law (940.04). Michigan's abortion law also lists abortion as a felony. In Georgia, the penalty for performing an abortion was imprisonment for "not less than one nor more than ten years." I could go on and on. Needless to say, when Page claims that individuals performing abortions prior to Roe faced only "minimal penalties" in states where abortion was illegal, she's not telling the truth.

The reason? The truth doesn't fit into the point Page is hoping to make. She continues,
This time around the crime of abortion, if (and apparently only if) performed by a doctor, will be murder and extreme penalties will apply. It seems clear that the environment post-Roe will be harsher than pre-Roe.

Last time around, a clandestine network of safe abortion services sprung up. This time, if the anti-abortion candidates have their way, the risk for physicians would be too great. And so women who can't reach safe care will be much more likely to take matters into their own hands, which the Republicans apparently don't mind.

Ha!!! By ignoring history, Page can now claim this year's crop of fiendish Republican presidential candidates want to pass abortion laws which have harsher penalties than old laws and these laws (which somehow have harsher penalties than the old felony laws) will supposedly prevent abortionists from risking participating in safe, underground abortions. Page shows how disingenuous this line of reasoning is later on when she mentions how states (not the federal government) would regulate abortion if Roe were to be overturned.

Then, instead of actually addressing the numerous points and positions taken by contributors to National Review's symposium on the question of how much time women having abortion should do, Page claims, the symposium's answer was: "Treat the women having the abortion as, essentially, a child." That summation of NR's symposium is more evidence that some pro-choicers couldn't give a lick to how prolifers respond to the question of "How much time?" The question is all about trying to frame prolifers as either A.) heartless goons who want to throw women behind bars or B.) inconsistent advocates who don't really believe the unborn should be legally protected.

Page then, after hammering away with some other pro-choice talking points, goes on to claim the "whole of the right to life movement" believes emergency contraception is an "abortive drug."

Her evidence for this blanket statement? Nothing.

Past post on Page's pieces here.

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