On March 30, 2016, at a town-hall on MSNBC, pressed by Chris Matthews, Donald Trump said that “There has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortion. Trump, I think, expressed what many in the anti-choice movement truly advocate. Shortly thereafter, Trump disavowed his remarks, saying that if abortion was made illegal, it should be the abortion provider who “would be held legally responsible, not the moan…a victim in this case, as is the life in her womb.” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/31/us/politics/donald-trump-abortion.html?_r=0
I have often stated my belief that worrying about the fate of a multi-cellular organism, an organism less sentient than the cattle and swine killed to provide your bacon cheeseburger, a human fetus, when human overpopulation is the greatest threat to this planet, is to have your priorities screwed up from here to the next millennium. But to those of an anthropocentric philosophy, who believe that human life is more precious than any other life on this planet, that argument doesn’t hold water, it only incites anger.
So, let me approach those who are so vehemently “pro-life”, with some more facts published in the premier British medical journal Lancet on May 11, 2016: “Abortion incidence between 1990 and 2014: global, regional, and subregional levels and trends.”
The basic finding was that abortion rates significantly declined in the developed world, but not in the developing world. And, in South America, where some of the most draconian anti-abortion laws are in place, the rate of abortion has significantly increased from 43 per 1000 women 15-44 years old in 1990-94 to 47 per 1000 in 2010-14.
So, what is clear is that making abortion illegal does not reduce the abortion rate. Because, so often where abortion is illegal, access to contraception is difficult, the abortion rates are higher, because the rate of unintended pregnancy is higher.
Closing down the abortion clinics in Texas with that state’s obscene restrictions on such clinics, will not reduce the rate of abortion, but it will increase the number of women suffering from back-alley, or do-it-yourself abortions. There used to be entire hospital wards dedicated to women suffering from such botched abortions in this country. Do we really want to bring back those times? De-funding Planned Parenthood will not reduce the number of abortions, but will also increase the number of botched abortions. The entire so-called pro-life movement is totally counterproductive to their goal of reducing abortions. Closing down access to safe and legal abortion will not reduce the abortion rate, but it will, definitely punish women.
I believe, as Trump first expressed, the whole outcome of the pro-life movement has been to punish women, not to save fetuses.