“A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a ‘citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States. Every citizen has a right to take with him into the Territory any article of property which the Constitution of the United States recognizes as property. The Constitution of the United States recognizes slaves as property, and pledges the Federal Government to protect it. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, writing the decision in Dred Scott versus Sanford, Case 60-US-393, decided 1857-03-06.
“If you’ve heard this from me before, I apologize. Actually, no, I don’t apologize. You need to hear it again.”Nouman Ali Khan, speaking in Euless (near Dallas-Fort Worth), Texas, United States of America, 2018-06-28.
- “Fetus not a person, due to reliance on another person for survival” (what about someone who needs to be mechanically ventilated to survive? Are they not a person? unless you farm all your own food, make all your own medicine, etc., then you almost certainly rely on the actions of others for your survival – this is what society means, fundamentally)
- “Fetus not a person, due to lack of consciousness” (what about someone under the influence of sodium pentothal? Or, perhaps, someone struck too hard over the head? – Not sleep; sleep is different)
- “Fetus not a person, due to being part of the mother; no person is part of another person” (what about conjoined twins? If part of the mother, does a pregnant woman have four hands, and two vaginas, or a vagina and a penis, or an even more exotic set of organs in the case of multiple-pregnancies? Plus, laws such as the American Unborn Victims of Violence Act explicitly recognize a fetus as a separate person from the mother; an abortion performed against a woman’s will is clearly a crime – giving an abortion drug to anyone without their knowledge [indeed, administering any drug to anyone without their knowledge] is clearly a crime, but administering such drugs to a non-pregnant woman or to a man is not nearly as serious as to a pregnant woman – why? Because of the eventuality of it: the life that will not be)
- “Restrictions on abortion are null and void because they limit a pregnant woman’s bodily autonomy” – Indeed, yes, restrictions on abortion do limit bodily autonomy–as does criminalization of child neglect (the existence of such a crime means that parents have a positive obligation to provide materially, socially, and otherwise for a child – and as any parent of a young child will tell you, pregnancy is really free childcare: far easier than taking care of a young one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). We often require individuals to sacrifice some measure of bodily autonomy for the survival of others – not only requiring childcare (ex. a parent with a young child is not free to simply abandon them in a forest), but in more extreme ways, such as armed-services drafts. 50 million potential people do not exist in the States because of abortion: suppose that a foreign force was poised to invade the States, and somehow it was known that this invasion would result in the deaths of 50 million Americans, but American men felt disinclined to serve in the military; they would much rather play Minecraft. Who would fault the American government for drafting men (and, perhaps, in this “enlightened” age, also women) into the armed services to prevent this catastrophe? 50 million – compare that to American lives lost in WW2 (NTS: Get statistics). Clearly, a draft is an encroachment on bodily autonomy; it is the literal seizing of human bodies–typically, men’s bodies–for an inherently dangerous task. Indeed, the risks of military service are far more grave than those of childbearing (get statistics: rate of pregnancy-related death; compare to survival of soldiers in the Great Patriotic War: American and Russian). If we can limit men’s bodily autonomy to protect the lives of foreign allies, surely we can limit women’s bodily autonomy to protect the lives of 50,000,000 Americans. Limitations on bodily autonomy are not a black-and-white issue; the question is one of proportionality. We can accept that any limitation on bodily autonomy is an evil; the question, therefore, is as follows: “Is a given restriction on bodily autonomy necessary to prevent a sufficiently-greater evil from occurring?”. We can agree that a military draft for men is justified if it will prevent an invading force from killing 50 million citizens (roughly one out of every six people in the United States). We can also agree that such a draft might not be justified if the invading force only plans to send a single soldier, whose crimes will consist of nothing more than singing off-key in the subway and discarding cigarette butts on the sidewalk. Certainly, it would be better if everyone were polite on the subway, and refrained from littering, but these evils are not sufficient to justify depriving men of bodily autonomy. Fifty million deaths, on the other hand, is a sufficient justification. Similarly, banning abortion might not be necessary if abortions had deprived only 30 or 40 people of life. The trouble is, abortions haven’t deprived only 30 or 40 people of life. Nor have abortions deprived “only” thirty or forty thousand people of life. Nor have abortions deprived “only” thirty or forty million people of life. The lives lost to contraception are orders of magnitude higher still. In weighing the benefits of unbridled bodily autonomy against the harms, it’s important to consider the size of those harms. If we define the harms of abortion and contraception as “numbers of people not alive who would otherwise be alive”, then the harms are immense, almost incomprehensibly so.
There’s much talk about bodily autonomy in anti-Life circles. Let’s examine a particular case in which “the greater good” (i.e. the survival of other people and the preservation of a nation and a way of life) overrides personal bodily autonomy: the military draft.
Military drafts obviously represent an infringement on bodily autonomy, typically against the bodies of men (though women were drafted into combat in significant numbers by the Советский Союз during the Великая Отчественная Война, the Great Patriotic War). Ultimately, women or men, it matters little: the military draft limits an individual’s bodily autonomy and forces that individual to put himself or herself in physical peril – this physical peril is far greater than the risks of pregnancy. Fatality rates from pregnancy are less than 1 in 100,000 in developed countries. The Great Patriotic War, still by far the most destructive war in human history, saw soldiers on some fronts die at a rate greater than 1 in 2. Clearly, then, drafting someone into the military is much more severe of an infringement than preventing a woman from terminating a pregnancy at will: it’s much more dangerous. Also, 99% of abortions terminate pregnancies that resulted from consensual sex, whereas 100% of drafted soldiers were, well – drafted. The punishment for desertion in most militaries is death. Hence, we can see that being drafted is far more severe of a limitation on bodily autonomy than being prevented from ending a pregnancy by abortion, across three different metrics:
-The Draft is by definition non-consensual; the majority of pregnancies are consensual.
-The Draft exposes people to risks that are thousands to tens of thousands of times greater than pregnancy.
-The penalty for desertion is usually death; this is more severe than most anti-abortion laws.
So, are drafts wrong? Were we wrong to draft men to fight the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War, and stop Hitler from taking over the world? Make no mistake: the draft was necessary; our people weren’t lining up to go toe-to-toe against the Panzers. The answer, in my mind, is that a draft is justified if it is necessary to prevent mass-scale loss of life.
We sent men to fight and die by the millions to end the Holocaust, which took six million lives. Abortion has taken more than 50 million lives in America alone. If it’s acceptable to use the law to compel military service to stop the killers of six million, why should we not use the law in a far more gentle way to prevent the loss of fifty million? Prohibiting abortion will have far less impact on people affected by the ban than the military draft, and will save far more lives. It’s the perfect example of “getting more for less”. More lives saved; less bodily autonomy sacrificed for the greater good.
Mary Anne Warren: “The appeal to the right to control one’s body, which is generally construed as a property right, is at best a rather feeble argument for the permissibility of abortion. Mere ownership does not give me the right to kill innocent people whom I find on my property, and indeed I am apt to be held responsible if such people injure themselves while on my property. It is equally unclear that I have any moral right to expel an innocent person from my property when I know that doing so will result in his death.”
Let us consider the example of a car. We are in general agreement that the owner of a car has some right to exclude unwanted people from his vehicle: To ask unwanted passengers to leave, and, if they fail to do so, to apply reasonable force (either personally or through law enforcement) to remove them. Suppose a car owner takes on a passenger and then decides that this passenger is unwanted; perhaps the passenger is singing along to the radio off-key, or clicking the power window switch back and forth endlessly.
Does the car owner have the right to shove the passenger out the door while driving at 160 km/h on the AutoBan?
Does the car owner have the right to demand the passenger exit the vehicle on a stretch of desolate road in Cибири on a winter night with temperatures of -40C?
Certainly not; these actions are unconscionable precisely because they are unacceptably likely to deprive the passenger of his or her future years of life. Abortion is similar, except that its death rate is effectively 100%. The right to integrity of one’s body and property is not absolute. An unwanted passenger in a car is only “potentially” alive five minutes in the future; expelling him in a manner that causes him not to be alive 5 minutes in the future isn’t acceptable. An unwanted fetus is only “potentially” a living toddler two years in the future; expelling him in a manner that causes him not to be alive two years in the future is likewise monstrous.
5. “Viability is the bold line of personhood” – yet, viability differs over time, and with technology. A premature infant who is viable today may not have been viable 100 years ago; a premature infant who is not viable today might be viable with the new technology of the next 100 years. Clearly, the point in time at which someone is conceived cannot be criteria for their personhood!
6. “Abortion/birth control are healthcare” – No, no, no!
7. “Contraception and abortion are OK, because they’ve been done for thousands of years, blah blah Ancient Egyptians and crocodile dung, blah blah Greeks and Romans and siliphum (how do you spell that)” – Not really an argument; the fact that something was common in the past (or accepted in the past) is morally irrelevant. Oddly, one doesn’t hear this argument so often about Ancient slavery, or gladiatorial combat…hmmm…
8. “No uterus, no opinion” – The idea that someone’s right to hold an opinion, or express an opinion, or advocate for an opinion, or protest, or vote with one’s conscience, should be limited by some inborn quality (sex, race, etc.) is repulsive to the concept of democracy. You don’t need to own a gun (or have been shot) to have an opinion on firearms regulations. In America, Native Americans–perhaps the only “non-immigrants” to America–still get to participate in the immigration debate. Women aren’t typically subject to military drafts, but no reasonable person would claim that women have no right to discuss draft-related matters. In practice, men’s and women’s opinions on abortion do not vary much – sex is one of the weakest correlates of beliefs on abortion. Other traits (political affiliation, age, wealth, religiosity, geographic location, race, age, etc.) are far more predictive. Even if men’s voices were taken out of the abortion debate entirely–if no man was allowed to express an opinion, or cast a vote, or attend a protest, or otherwise influence the debate in any way–the matter of abortion would be no more solved than it is today. It turns out that women (like men) can have different beliefs; there is no such thing as a homogenous “women’s perspective” on contraception or abortion – nor on any other issue. The users of this phrase actually mean “no opinions for anyone who doesn’t agree with me”.
9. “Without contraception/abortion, women are not equal to men” – Biological differences between men and women are natural, and no natural event can be called “just” or “unjust”; the concepts of justice and injustice require agency. We do not call a tree “just” if it drops a coconut into the waiting hands of a hopeful islander, nor “unjust” if the same coconut falls on the islander’s head. Women naturally live longer than men; we don’t go about sickening women to eliminate this biological difference. Differences between men and women do not make one sex better or worse than the other, no more than differences between coconuts and strawberries make one better than the other. The biological reality that women become pregnant and men do not is neither sexist nor unjust. Women are not “slaves to their anatomy” any more than men are. Erasing billions of lives with contraception–and hundreds of millions with abortion–is an absurd price to pay in the name of so-called “equality”. As if “making women’s bodies more like men’s bodies” could ever be called progress. If “making a historically-marginalized group more like the dominant group” is progress, then the British ought to round up all the Indians they can find and dump skin bleach over them, or at least give them taxpayer-funded skin bleach. The Americans ought to funnel Africans into a pen and come after them wielding hair-straightening irons, or at least give them taxpayer-funded straightening irons. The fact that Indians have dark skin while Brits don’t is an adaptation (particularly, an adaptation to protect against skin cancer from intense ultraviolet irradiation). The fact that Africans have curlier hair than Europeans is an adaptation (particularly, an adaptation to allow for easier airflow through curls and more efficiently cool the body in hot climates). Similarly, the fact that women naturally become pregnant from sex and men do not is an adaptation (particularly, an adaptation that allows the survival of the human species and makes women valuable and essential in that task). Bleach the skin of Indians, and you’ll have fewer of them – more deaths from skin cancer. Straighten the hair of Africans, and you’ll have fewer of them – more deaths from hyperthermia. Administer birth control and perform abortions on women, and you’ll have fewer women. Progress? Anything but.
10. “The right to change her mind”:
First of all, it’s quite unclear what a general “right to change one’s mind” would look like. Do parents of a child have the right to change their minds about supporting that child? No. Why not? Because doing so would cause harm. The same could be said of a soldier, who doesn’t have the right to change his mind about enlistment in the middle of a battle. In general, my position is: “If you consent to engage in an activity, you may not stop engaging in that activity at a time or place where doing so will result in someone not being alive, who otherwise would be”. Hence, a firefighter can quit his job – but not in the middle of fighting a deadly fire. A surgeon may quit her job – but not in the middle of a lifesaving surgery. And, similarly, a woman may decide against becoming pregnant and choose to be sexually abstinent – but not in the middle of a pregnancy. In general, if allowing people to forsake responsibilities in the middle of a life-or-death process will result in death, then society needs to make this illegal to prevent mass death and chaos.
11. “Didn’t consent to pregnancy” – A woman who consents to sex, consents to pregnancy and motherhood. Consenting to an activity is, by necessity, consenting to its natural consequences. The idea that a woman can consent to sex – but not to pregnancy – is like saying “i consent to drink a liter of wine, but I don’t consent to getting drunk – after all, getting drunk has health consequences which I’ll experience next morning, not to mention, inconveniences such as the inability to drive a car”. If you don’t consent to getting drunk, don’t consent to drink a liter of wine. If you don’t consent to pregnancy and motherhood (for a woman), or to fatherhood and decades of financial and in-kind support for your child (for a man), then don’t have sex until you are ready. That’s obvious.
12. “only a potential life” – yes, and you’re “only potentially” alive 5 minutes from now, but if I do something to prevent you from being alive 5 minutes from now, that’s correctly seen as a problem.
13. “no difference from miscarriage – is miscarriage murder?” – No. intent matters. People die all the time from natural causes, and we don’t prosecute those near them as murderers unless they acted to kill.
- “Every child should be wanted” – yes, and in an ideal world, everyone would love his or her job. Yet the fact of the matter is, if everyone stopped working because they didn’t like their job… | joining sexual pleasure to reproduction is a way to get something necessary (reproduction) done, in the same way that joining work and salary is a way to get something necessary (work) done. If every farmer stopped working when he didn’t feel like it, we’d all starve. If every plumber stopped working unless he enjoyed every minute of his work, then we’d all die of dysentery, and this ain’t Oregon Trail.
- “If you don’t want an abortion, then don’t get one; don’t want to use contraceptives? then don’t” – a reasonable argument for actions which only affect the individual making the decision in question; certainly, this sort of argument is a centerpiece of libertarian rhetoric. Libertarians argue for the legalization of drugs (even “hard” or highly-dangerous drugs such as heroin) on the basis that everyone has the right to choose what to put into his or her body; libertarians argue for a broad right to own weapons on the same basis. A libertarian will be quick to point out that the right to take heroin does not grant an addict the right to rob others to feed his addiction, and that the right to own an AK-47 does not grant a well-armed citizen the right to make his neighbors unwilling extras in a live-action re-enactment of Scarface. There are two major problems with the libertarian “live and let live” argument: (a) abortion and contraception do affect others; the widespread use of contraception and abortion results in large numbers of people not being alive who otherwise would be. If, in a libertarian paradise, a gentleman decides to keep an atom bomb in his closet, then–as long as he does not detonate the bomb, does not allow it to contaminate the surroundings with radioactivity, etc.–he has truly caused no harm; no lives are cut short or prevented by his possession of atomic weaponry, and as long as the weapon is never used, the non-aggression principle is satisfied. A world in which a man keeps an atomic bomb in his closet and never detonates it, has just as many people in it as an otherwise-identical world in which no such bomb is kept. Not so when one compares a world-without-contraception-and-abortion to a world with such practices. Hence, from a non-aggression-principle standpoint, abortion and contraception are of greater concern than even privately-owned weapons of mass destruction. (b) Consider “Libertarian absolutism” to be the philosophy that nobody may ever be held responsible for the survival of anyone but themselves unless they agree to take on such responsibilities through the signing of contracts. This form of absolutism might arguably allow abortion and contraception because no contract to the contrary has been signed, at least in most cases (thankfully, few of us do much of our lovemaking on the sets of pornographic films). Yet no contract is signed between a parent and a newborn child; the “absolutist” construction of libertarianism would therefore also allow child neglect, child abandonment, and other unconscionable actions. If parents have an obligation to feed their children, should they not also have an obligation to give those very children life itself?
- “Laws against abortion don’t prevent abortion” (the “futility of law” argument) – No, no, no.
- “Birth control and abortion mean more sex! Yay!” – This argument is preposterous, and not only because it suggests that “a world with more consequence-free sex is better than a world with more human lives” (and therefore implies that the consequence-free sexual pleasure of one person outweighs the very life of another). Suppose we accept that postulate – that sexual pleasure is more valuable than human life. We shouldn’t – accepting such a principle would obviously have disastrous consequences for society, for example allowing sadists to kill for sexual pleasure – but let’s humor those who make such an argument and pretend that, yes, sexual pleasure is more important human life. Even so, the argument fails, because contraception and abortion do not result in people having more sex. Making sex relatively consequence-free outside of marriage makes marriage less common and causes it to happen later in an individual’s lifespan, and this makes sex less common, and this effect overwhelms all other sex-promoting effects of abortion and contraception. Show data!
- “Separation of Church and State / don’t force your religious views on me” – should we not criminalize murder because Islam says murder = bad?
- “Can’t legislate morality” – that’s the basis of all legislation!
- “Opponents of abortion and/or contraception only care about the fetus before it’s born – after that, no help for the mother/child/family” – This is a separate argument and a distraction. The question “should abortion and contraception be permitted?” is separate from the question “what welfare systems, if any, should be set up?”. The latter is a matter of debate just as fierce; we won’t address here.
- “Abortion stops/prevents/lowers crime” (“The Minority Report Argument): Ah, pre-crime! Just like in Minority Report. If so, who cares? We could reduce crime greatly by killing all men (look how much crime they commit!), or all black folk in America, or just the poor in general. Plus, there are serious issues with even this claim.
- “You can’t be pro-life unless you’re ALSO against the death penalty!” – The issue is one of innocence. Saying “you can’t oppose abortion unless you also oppose judicial execution” is like saying “you can’t oppose robbery unless you also oppose judicial fines and taxes” or “you can’t oppose kidnapping unless you also oppose all jail and prison sentences”. One may be deprived of rights by due process. Mistakes can be made; fraud happens, etc., but there’s far more due process in a capital trial than in someone saying “hmm, I’d rather not have a child”. The question of capital punishment is altogether separate.
- “Necessary for women’s health” – abortion is safer than giving birth, for the mother, but the risk of birth is small. Children’s lives lost vs. mother’s lives lost. Abortion and contraception are not used by the Amish, and they have better maternal health than “Englishmen”, with 8-11 children in a family. SOURCE. Eliminate 50,000,000 lives to reduce an 0.8-per-100k risk? No way, dude…
- “Contraception and/or abortion don’t change sexual behavior – people are going to have sex anyway” – ah, proponents of contraception and abortion want to have it both ways: they claim contraception/abortion are good because they allow more “free-wheeling” sex, and at the same time, they claim that eliminating one or both of these would be futile in that it wouldn’t prevent “free-wheeling” sex. EXAMPLES. Plus, evidence that sexual behavior is influenced by the availability of the aforementioned.
- “Denying abortion dooms both mother and child to miserable lives, materially or otherwise” – No, no no! So many counter-examples!. Right-to-suicide for adults is reasonable; preventing someone from being born because they (in your eyes) might have an unpleasant life is absurd. Who decides how unpleasant a life can be, and still be worth living? My answer: the person living it.
- “More infanticide” – Infanticide isn’t as bad as abortion: if two crimes have the same outcome, the crime that leaves the criminal’s hands cleaner is worse. Killing as a sniper worse than in a bar fight. Plus, more women are willing to undergo abortion than infanticide. Therefore, more people alive! That’s good, yay.
- “Brave to do this” (because people oppose it and protest it???) (No! Cowardly!). Plus, the fact that something is “brave” is an incredibly poor argument for allowing it – plenty of unwanted activities are “brave”. It’s rather brave to chase people around naked on the streets while wielding a Saguero cactus [spellcheck].
- Anti-contraception / strong anti-abortion is “extreme”: first of all, “Extreme” is really just a comparison to an average; an “extreme” view is one which differs substantially from the average. Yet what that average is, depends on what time and place we’re sampling. The “average opinion” of Americans living in the year 2019 is quite different from the “average opinion” of Nigerians in year 1700; who is to say which “average” is more correct? “Extreme” is used to insult people based on their beliefs and the assumption that the “correctness” of a moral argument is a popularity contest. Plenty of ideas that are now popular were extreme in the past (examples). Does that mean that they were wrong in the past, but are correct today? Second of all, X% of Americans state that abortion is “an act of murder” (look up statistics), and Y% support the death penalty for murder (NTS: look up statistics).
- Libertarian extremist view (rare argument): People should be able to have contraceptives/abortive drugs on their person, but not use them. NO! Violates principle of least privilege (explain significance to computer security and overall architecture).
- War and strife due to higher population if no abortion/contraception (so what?)
- Denies sex to people who “deserve” it (No: sex is for adults. part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your actions and their consequences. a natural consequence of sex is childbirth and parenthood. not ready for it? then you’re not an adult, and sex is only for adults). True, some people don’t have the money to raise children because they’re enslaved – but if someone is enslaved, your focus should be on freeing them so that they can become economically independent, not on getting them laid.
- Harm to young mothers: Risk of birth at a young age is not huge in developed nations. It’s natural and typical for women to become pregnant relatively soon after puberty. Giving birth at 15 is safer (for mother and child) than giving birth at 35. SOURCES. Consider the expected outcome of an abortion: 1 person will be alive at the end of it. If the risk-of-death-to-mother plus risk-of-death-to-fetus total to >100%, then it is reasonable to perform an abortion. Otherwise, no. This is very rarely the case. If the chance of death to the mother is 20% and the chance of death to the fetus is 50%, then the cumulative chance is 70%, i.e., statistically, 1.3 people will be alive without an abortion, and 1.0 with. That means: don’t perform an abortion! Take the course of action that is most likely to maximize the number of people alive in the future.
- What about pregnancy from rape: Available data suggests that the probability of pregnancy from rape is similar to the probability of pregnancy from consensual sex. Contrary conjectures–which include claims of both higher and lower probability of pregnancy from rape versus consensual sex–are poorly supported; neither biological nor statistical evidence of high quality are available. Probability of pregnancy from sex depends on many factors (age of the woman, age of the man, general health of both parties, etc.), and not all rapes (or consequent pregnancies) are reported. For obvious reasons, it is not practical to perform a study in which these parameters are controlled and the outcomes measured. Therefore, we shall work with the assumption that rape will result in pregnancy quite commonly. The claim that pregnancy from rape is impossible or rare is as scientifically indefensible as the claim that the topology of the Earth is planar: no reasonable person could believe such a thing, and someone who does is, by definition, unreasonable.
My approach to such questions is simply this: When confronted with a choice and forced to select one of several options, one should always choose the option that is likely to result in the largest number of innocent people being alive once the results of the decision come to pass. If Decision A will most probably result in 2 innocent people being alive, and Decision B will most probably result in 1 innocent person being alive, then one is morally obligated to choose Decision A (and, I think, this should also be a legal obligation). The imperative to choose a course of action which will maximize the number of living innocent people is the overriding consideration; the imperative to improve the quality of those lives, while important, must come second. After all, it’s not possible to improve the quality of a human life if the quantity of that life is zero.
In general, the fact that someone is a victim of a crime does not make them incapable of committing a crime against some third person. If someone steals my wallet, I may not turn around and steal yours in order to “become whole”. I don’t believe that humans generally have the right to prevent other humans from being alive in the future; this right may rarely exist in extreme cases of self-defense, but that’s not the situation here.
It is the rapist who deserves to be at the receiving end of lethal force – not an unborn child.
Incidentally, I strongly suspect that the increased availability of contraception and abortion are behind the weakening of laws against rape in the United States. It’s strange to speak of American laws as being “soft”, or as having gotten “softer” – indeed, there are more laws in America now than ever before. More drugs are illegal than ever before; more tax fraud clauses are enforced that ever before; more driving laws are in place than ever before; etc. We all know the stories of people spending decades behind bars for a single joint of marijuana. Yet in spite of this, rape is far less severely punished in America of the 21st century than it was in America during its founding. Indeed, for most of American history (and for most of the history of other Western nations), rape was a capital crime. It remains so in much of the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia and Ancient Rome are hardly known for their progressive attitudes on women’s rights, yet both of them punish rape far more severely than “enlightened” America. Penalties for rape are even lower in the so-called “feminist” European and Nordic countries. Oddly, the greater a nation’s “gender equality index”, the less the nation tends to punish rapists. It is also worth noting that rape is far more likely to be a capital crime in nations that restrict abortion than in those that allow it.
1973: Roe V. Wade.
1977: Coker V. Georgia – this was the Supreme Court decision that prohibited both State and Federal governments from making rape a capital crime.
Further, an examination of U.S. states shows that those with more restrictive laws on abortion tend to punish rape more severely, and abolished the death penalty for rape more recently, than those with permissive abortion laws. I am assembling a graphic to demonstrate this; still working with the data.
There’s a clear correlation between “allowing abortion” and “light punishments for rapists”. This correlation exists across time (when a nation changes its laws to make abortion more available, it also tends to change its laws to make rape less punishable). This correlation also exists across space (nations which prohibit or strongly restrict abortion tend to strongly punish rape). This correlation further exists among U.S. states (states which have more-restrictive abortion laws have stronger punishments in their legal codes for rapists).
The reason for this is clear: there’s a prevailing attitude among the pro-abortion crowd that abortion partially “undoes” or “reverses” the crime of rape, by eliminating a harm of this crime. That’s an absurd line of reasoning; a rapist wouldn’t get far in court with the argument “Your Honor, she was on birth control, so I demand lighter sentencing!”. The false notion that pregnancy is a harm, or a disease, or a disorder, is naturally tied up in this as well.
As false and stupid a notion as this may be, it is prevalent among the pro-abortion crowd, and the unspoken logic seems to be: “Pregnancy is harmful. Rape can cause pregnancy. But, if we can ‘undo’ the pregnancy, we can partially ‘undo’ the rape, and we should therefore punish rapists more leniently”. This is an offensive and wrong way of thinking, but the correlations I see clearly impute it.
When abortion is outlawed in the United States, I expect that punishments for rape and sexual assault will be strengthened, and that the prevalence of rape will thereby be decreased.