Gregory Paul: "The Need to Investigate Miscarriages"

The first time abortion was banned it was a patriarchal power play over money. The largely Protestant-Deist founders would never have imagined the government getting involved in what were women’s private matters, that’s why there is nothing about abortion in the Constitution. It never came up. But by the mid 1800s the fast growing cadre of all male doctors wanted to eliminate the financial competition from all female midwives, and one way they did that was by banning the abortions midwives provided. During the first half of the 1900s a pregnant woman had virtually no control over her giving birth, it was all decided by her wise obstetrician of the opposite sex. The men’s club of birth docs even kept the father out of the room when his wife was giving birth to their child. The male dominated control system started to collapse in the 60s, and midwifery has made a comeback in parallel with legal abortion.

If abortion is again outright banned in any state/s, or across the nation, it will not be like it was prior to Roe V Wade. It will be much worse. Because the anti-abortion movement is not a pragmatic financial move by doctors, it is a Catholic/fundamentalist movement to make having an abortion criminal murder. The idea is that once a conception occurs, the result is a full blown human being with every single right to life as someone who has been born. There are perpetual efforts in red states to get personhood from conception made the law. The ultimate goal is a constitutional amendment to that effect.

That means that any woman who deliberately has an abortion, performed by herself or in collaboration with another, will be guilty of premeditated murder, and must correspondingly receive severe punishment.

To explain what this will mean for pregnant women, consider Uncle Joe. Everyone loves Uncle Joe. The family is delighted when Uncle Joe – who has a serious history of heart disease – comes by for a visit. One morning Uncle Joe is late for breakfast. Turns out that he died in his sleep. His body is cold, no hope of revival. So why get the police involved?  Best for the family to gather and bury their beloved Uncle Joe on family property, just like in the olden days.

But you can’t do that. The coroner has to be contacted. There needs to be documentation of the cause of death. Have to be sure nothing untoward happened. Murder has to be ruled out, of course. Never can tell.

So abortion is not only remade illegal like it widely was prior to 1973, it is made into out-and-out murder just like killing an infant or an adult. So a woman has a miscarriage. Not her fault, these things happen all the time, like when Uncle Joe passed. But she cannot do like she did in the days when abortion was legal -- flush away the remnants of the failed pregnancy and see her doctor about it, knowing that will be the end of the sad event. Nope. The fetus was a person as much as an adult. Its death has to be forensically investigated like any other death. You can’t just trust mothers to not kill their kids in their wombs, they do that sort of thing all the time – literally, abortion is always common even when it is illegal. Maybe the mother used some chemical to abort the little baby, and pretended to have a spontaneous miscarriage. So if abortion is illegal murder, it must be illegal for the mother and her doctor to not report each and every spontaneous abortion, so the police can conduct a proper investigation.

By now you may be thinking that that Greg Paul fellow is just fear mongering to try to keep the ungodly murder of abortion legal and convenient. Requiring that all miscarriages be reported to the authorities will never happen. It’s an attempt to slander conservatives as so zealous that they would actually demand such a ridiculous thing.

In Georgia an antiabortion lawmaker is pushing to make a miscarriage a felony unless it can be shown to not involve any form of human negligence or premeditation. Not to punish women, he says, no more than is requiring that all post birth deaths be reported to establish they are not some form of homicide negligent or deliberate. And the premise is correct if abortion is legally rendered as murder. If conceptions are given full personhood, then you cannot allow a gross legal disparity to exist in which deaths after birth are checked out to rule out homicide, while deaths before birth are allowed to go uninvestigated when woman are so prone to aborting their children. That would be admitting that the death of the preborn is not really as serious an issue as the death of the postborn, and we cannot have that. Of course all law abiding mothers will accept the small inconvenience of having their miscarriages looked into to see if she was negligent or outright evil as the price of making sure that the other mothers who murder the babies inside them don’t get away with it.

The antiabortion movement is often stealthy. They talk about how abortion being legal is morally wrong and must be stopped. But when asked how women who have abortions should be treated, antiabortionists often demur that that is to be decided in the future. They know that if they say what they really think and want, they will then lose ground in public opinion in a nation where the majority continue to support Roe V Wade. But in some red states the extremist right wing base is so strong that theocon politicians have to play to it by being openly zealous, and in the process expose what banning abortion will really mean this time around. That’s good for the prochoice side.

The antiabortion movement is not about saving lives. It is another cynical power play. Theocons – having suddenly and disastrously lost their cultural war on homosexuals (even the Boy Scouts have gone gay tolerant for Christ’s sake) – are desperately trying to use Big Brother Government to compel the population to return to the days when heterosex outside marriage was taboo. And to reestablish a general patriarchy in which women are again second class citizens subject to investigation by a male dominated power structure if they dare not toe the theocon line when it comes to their reproduction. The Catholic Church did not make abortion a major issue until after they had to abandon the Inquisition – they could not pick on the general population anymore, so they focused on the still vulnerable women. The right always has to have enemies to battle with, people to pick upon whether they be gays, liberals, atheists, women who kill their children in their wombs. Because theocons can’t win by persuasion, they have to try to use the law. In contrast liberals are trying to keep government out of the abortion end of the culture war by keeping it neutral on the abortion issue, leaving it up to individual citizens to decide what they want to do in a given case.

The antiabortionist’s grotesque grab for power is not even about traditional Christian morality. The only mention of abortion in the Bible is how if someone causes a women to abort against her will, the guilty party must make payment to her husband (Exodus 21: 22-24). In other words, the fetus is mere property in the Judeo-Christian god’s scripture (that if aborted against the father’s will at most requires civil action), not a person that requires a murder level of punishment like the homicide of even a woman (the unborn enjoy the same low status of slaves that can be killed be their owners [that’s your Exodus 21: 20-21], but require civil compensation to the owner if killed by a nonowner). Nor does any creator give a damn about what happens to the unborn. We know that because the designer if it exists equipped humans with such a defective reproductive system that half to three quarters of conceptions naturally fail to come to term, killing 100 to 300 billion unborn (there having been about 100 billion born so far, ;). It is ironic that the FoxNews article linked above on the story acknowledges a high (probably not high enough) rate of spontaneous abortion without noting that it negates the belief that a creator thinks it is a problem much less a sin.


There is only one way to prevent miscarriages from having to be reported to the cops. Keep abortion a form of legal contraception, thereby treating women as full sovereign citizens.

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© 2013 Economic & Social Justice Reality Report | Views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor, Editorial Board, ESJRR, or WPRR.
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