I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How do you punish a woman for having an abortion after you make it illegal?

Pat Toomey doesn't know. Or at least he's not willing to say. Toomey is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania, and he's a fire and brimstone anti-choice kind of guy. He showed up on Hardball to answer some questions about Roe v. Wade and for once Tweety Bird Chris Matthews actually put some hard questions to him. A few excerpts from Atrios's transcript:
MATTHEWS: If you go back to state‘s rights on abortion, would you support banning abortion in Pennsylvania?

TOOMEY: Yes, I would, yes.

MATTHEWS: In other words, if a woman had an abortion in Pennsylvania, what would you do to her?

TOOMEY: Well, you know, Chris

MATTHEWS: I‘m serious. What would you do to her? You said you want to ban it. You want to use the law to outlaw abortion.

TOOMEY: That‘s right.

MATTHEWS: What would you do to a woman who had an abortion? What would you do to her?

TOOMEY: Oh, I think we would first look at the doctor who is performing the abortion and have some penalties

MATTHEWS: Why? Why don‘t you go after the woman? Why don‘t you go after the woman? In any other situation of law and justice, you go after the person who perpetrates the act. If it‘s wrong to commit...


MATTHEWS: No, really. This is what the whole issue of abortion is and where all the B.S. comes into this argument. Are you willing to say that you would put a woman in prison for having an abortion?

TOOMEY: Chris, I‘m not sure what the penalty would be. I‘m saying...

MATTHEWS: You said it should be banned. Would you please stand up for what you believe?

TOOMEY: That‘s right.

MATTHEWS: If abortion is wrong and it‘s a crime and it‘s murder, tell me what the punishment should be.

TOOMEY: And I‘m telling you that there should be legal action taken against the doctor who performs it.


TOOMEY: And we‘ve got to think through what we would do with regard to the woman.
Matthews goes on for some some, but he never does manage to pin the weasel down on exactly what penalty he would favor imposing on a woman who gets an abortion after they ban it. And you know why? Because this is all politics and smoke and mirrors, not some deeply held regard for life, however you choose to define that. It's easy to say that you'll put abortion providers in jail... there's not enough of them to make up a significant demographic. But putting a woman (who was just recently pregnant) in jail for it? That costs votes. So you'll not hear a peep out of these "pro-life" weasels about that.

Pin them down. Send in questions. Demand that the press ask them those very same questions. You guys want to outlaw abortion so badly, then that means it's illegal to get one as well as to perform one. So what's the penalty? Is it a fine? Community service? Let's face it, you're calling it murder. So... local jail for six months? Ten to twenty in the big house?

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