Donald Trump, in answering Chris Matthews questions on abortion, revealed a very real and dark truth. Abortion and a woman’s right to choose what she will do with her own body must be entirely legal any other option will lead us down a slippery slope that does punish the woman. When abortion is illegal it doesn’t stop abortions. If a woman is lucky and is rich enough she may be able to travel to someplace where abortion is legal or find a doctor who will help her in privacy. If not, the woman will be stuck in a back alley trying to do anything she can to end her pregnancy. A woman must be allowed to make the choice about her life, her body, her future. If we don’t allow choice, if we don’t allow abortion, we will fall down that slippery slope.
There are a lot of people, who claim that their religion values life above anything, that don’t like that answer. These are the people who want to make abortion absolutely illegal, or perhaps they give in to the exceptions for rape, for incest, for the life of the mother. Ah, that slippery slope -these people often begin to ask for “proof” that a woman was raped. Did she make a report to the police, is someone sure that she was raped, maybe it’s a lie so she can get away with something? Look at current laws, they are already asking those questions.
Look at countries where abortion is entirely illegal – women have been punished, women have been sent to prison, or they are just sentenced to poverty driven by having to give birth to children that they cannot afford to support.
How slippery does the slope get? If abortion is illegal and a woman is pregnant and then she has a miscarriage, what caused it, can you prove it wasn’t intentional? It may sound crazy, it may sound hyperbolic but it has happened in South America – women have been jailed for having a miscarriage.
When you don’t allow something, when you make it illegal, you have to have a way to stop it. If not, you are just driving the practice underground, you are hurting women – full stop.
Donald Trump’s statement was horrific, everyone is saying that, no one wants to punish the woman but not allowing choice does just that. You can cloak it in pretty words, you can call us a victim, you can say its the doctor’s fault, that the doctor should be punished. That won’t stop abortions, it never has and it never will. The only answer is to make choice the only option, make contraception widely available, give women options – give women choices. That slippery slope may be hidden but it is there and we must shine a light on it so women aren’t forced down that path.