Women Are Silly-Brained Dum-Dums

In Newsweek's August 6 issue, Anna Quindlen's column references a YouTube video in which anti-choice activists demonstrating outside a clinic in Libertyville, IL are asked what punishment should be meted out against women who have abortions if abortion is criminalized.

You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations. Here are a range of responses: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them." ... [H]e can't get a single person to be decisive about the crux of a matter they have been approaching with absolute certainty.

..."They never connect the dots," says Jill June, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa. ... "How have we come this far in the debate and been oblivious to the logical ramifications of making abortion illegal?" June says.

Perhaps by ignoring or infantilizing women, turning them into "victims" of their own free will.
Which is precisely what many of the interviewees do in the short film mentioned:

"I would hope," says one demonstrator, "that they would, in time, come to see what they've done and be sorry for it, but I think that we need to treat them with love." Not a hint of recognition, mind you, that forcing another autonomous adult to bend to your will, even if you cloak your dominion in religion, isn't love. It just isn't. Love is contingent upon respect, and presuming that women who seek abortions don't know "what they've done" is profoundly disrespectful. It's frankly difficult to imagine a more condescending posture than a person standing on a street, trying to criminalize a procedure passing women are seeking and telling those women they don't know what they're doing, despite themselves having no idea why those women are seeking abortions or how they arrived at their decisions to abort. The hubris of asserting that a woman—who (for example) has long deliberated about her choice to terminate her pregnancy because she can't afford another child and risks the well-being of her living, breathing children—doesn't know what she's doing is absolutely staggering.

Another interviewee, who thinks that "possibly" women will still have abortions if the procedure is criminalized, demonstrating a stunning ignorance about the topic she's dedicated her life to protesting, argues that the punishment should depend on "the state of mind the woman was in" when she got the abortion: "You have to take a lot of things into consideration... It depends. If she knew she was killing her child, um, the same punishment that anybody would get for killing anybody else, but if she didn't know..." Breathtaking. How many women do you think there are who seek abortions for other reasons than terminating a pregnancy? "Well, gee, I had gained a few pounds, and someone suggested that I try an abortion to see if that would work, and—sure enough!—a week later, I was back in my skinny jeans!" Women know what they're doing.

But the only way to continue to argue that abortion is murder, ergo should be criminalized, but not come attached with a criminal punishment like, ya know, murder, is to pretend that women don't know what they doing. And that's dependent upon treating women like intellectual and emotional cripples.

Except, of course, the ones who are busily deciding that other women can't possibly understand what they're doing or why they're doing it.

But, by the looks of that video, they're the ones spending lots of time blindly going along without asking the most basic questions about their actions.

Not the rest of us.

[H/T SAP.]

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