In a recent piece on Ms. Magazine‘s blog, Holly Derr asked some provocative questions for anti-abortion Presidential candidates. I too would love to hear their answers to these questions, and actually from anyone who is anti-choice. Here they are. If abortion was illegal:
1. How many years do you consider to be a fair prison term for a woman who has an abortion?
2. How many years for a doctor who performs one?
3. Will the punishments be greater the second time around?
4. Where will the state get the money necessary to prosecute one-third of all American women for this crime?
5. Forty-two percent of women who have an abortion have incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (that’s $10,830 for a single woman with no children, if you’re counting). When women are forced to have children they cannot afford to raise, will those children become wards of the state or simply new Medicaid recipients? Where will the state find the money necessary to support them?
6. Will you be willing to watch your wife die in front of you when her life is threatened by an unsafe pregnancy that no one is allowed to do anything about? Your daughter?
7. Will rapists have to pay child support to women who are forced to have their children?
8. Will the child of incest be in the custody of its rapist father or the father’s teenaged daughter, his mother? In fact, 18 percent of women who have an abortion in America are teenagers. Will they be required to drop out of high school to raise their children or will the state provide free childcare?
9. Will upper-class white women be prosecuted as vigorously as other women who have abortions?
10. You are aware that upper-class white women have abortions, aren’t you?
If you could add questions to this list, what would they be?
Here are a few of mine, that relate to one of my biggest beefs about anti-abortion laws in the first place:
11. Would you agree that not everyone agrees on the answer to the question of when human life begins?
12 Would you also agree that how one answers this question stems from a matter of one’s faith, ultimately making it a moral issue?
13. How does wanting laws related to this faith-based, moral issue Not violate one of the founding cornerstones of our democracy–the separation of church and state?
Not only will there be huge social costs if abortion is ever made illegal, but to me, what people believe on this issue is so tied to their personal, moral and religious (and non-religious, e.g., atheist or agnostic) beliefs, that it should remain a matter of individual privacy.