If abortion were a crime, those who procure an abortion should also be punished along with those, like a doctor, who actually perform it. This is no different to punishing those who procure any other crime, whether kidnapping or murder, as well as those who actually perform it. That this is considered at all controversial, as it is currently, following Trump’s answer to a question that “some form of punishment” should follow the procurement of an abortion is a testament to how juvenile and absurd public debate of moral issues has become, and Mia Freedman’s response epitomizes this very well indeed.
Now, Freedman doesn’t address this point at all because she cannot see past her own judgement of the matter, that abortion is not a crime, that killing the child in utero is not wrong, so that anyone who thinks that it is both wrong and a crime would reasonably regard the procurement of the said wrong and crime grounds for punishment. This is not to say that this same reasonable person would not also believe that there in fact could be extenuating and mitigating factors that lessen if not expunge the punishment for the procuring an abortion, such as the pregnancy being the result of rape and/or persistent sexual abuse, and so on.
No, she immediately turns the dial to eleventy and makes buffoonish statements all the while decrying the alleged buffoonery of Trump. But leaving that aside, she simply returns to the well-worn bromides in defense of abortion:
Women who have abortions do so because they know with complete and desperate certainty that they can’t be mothers to a(nother) baby at that time.
If legal, affordable abortion is not available, women have always gone the DIY route, risking their lives by butchering their own bodies. That’s how desperate we are to control our fertility. Because when you can’t control your fertility, you can’t control your life.
And if you force women to have babies they don’t want, can’t afford or aren’t capable of looking after? If you take away their ability to access safe, legal and affordable abortion? Those unwanted babies will be at great risk of being abused, neglected and abandoned. Those unwanted babies will become unwanted children and then damaged adults. The cycle of abuse and poverty will continue.
Now, a number of things spring to mind here. Firstly, the unqualified and unsupported claim that women who have had abortions can’t as opposed to don’t want to be mothers to “a(nother) baby at that time”. The claim that they cannot be mothers is unsupported by any evidence at all. What limits their capacity? Space? Time? Money? What exactly given the consumption patterns of single women and young families. Secondly, the claim that women in circumstances where abortion is illegal have “always gone the DIY route” is, again, also unsupported by any evidence. In fact, we know that the claims of pro-abortion feminists have been greatly exaggerated. Thirdly, the claim that abortion is simply a tool for “controlling fertility” is instructive but misinformed; if you are already pregnant and you didn’t want to be, you have manifestly failed to adequately ‘control’ your fertility. Fourthly, the claim that women who don’t want their baby will be more likely to “abuse, neglect or abandon” their children is a chilling disclosure. Moreover, we are given no reason at all as to why women who do not want their baby would not simply offer their children up for adoption.
Unwanted babies create a ripple effect of destruction across multiple lives. Across generations. So I’ve always wondered why anyone would want to force women to give birth to babies they don’t want, why anyone would be arrogant and reckless and stupid enough to think that could end well for either the mother or the unwanted baby.
This has to be one of the silliest sentences in her article. As if all children that are ‘unplanned’ or in the first instance ‘unwanted’ will remain so in the life of the mother and across ‘multiple lives’ or ‘generations’ is just incredible. The idea that mothers, husbands, siblings, etc. cannot warm to what at first was ‘unplanned’ and possibly ‘unwanted’ tells us a great deal about Freedman. And, again, why does adoption never seem to creep across her mind if her concern for the child, or the lives it is likely to touch, is at all genuine.
Sure, stop women from having abortions and punish them when they try. Because everyone knows women get pregnant alone without the involvement of a man. Funny how you’re not suggesting men be punished or even held financially responsible for the unwanted babies they help to make. That might be a bit too close to home, hey, Donald?
Men that finance an abortion on behalf of their ‘partner’ would be as open to prosecution as a women financing an abortion on her own, but would have fewer or none of the mitigating defenses earlier mentioned.That she should pretend that this would be the case, and that she would tendentiously use an answer to a question specifically about women in this circumstance in such a manner is terrible.
What is most concerning about her article is the equivocation that runs throughout it and her thought on the matter of abortion. If abortion is an ‘option’ these women already ‘have babies’; they are already present and developing in their mother’s womb. So, they are already ‘mothers’; it is simply disingenuous to pretend that abortion acts to prevent a situation that already exists. An abortion is not a contraceptive even if you imagine, erroneously, that an abortion acts as a contraceptive. And so, if a woman does not want her baby and she proceeds to find a doctor prepared to illegally kill her child, whatever stage of development in utero, than it is perfectly acceptable to prosecute her or anyone else involved in its procurement depending on the circumstances involved.