Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Abortion Question

Suppose abortion is now illegal. A woman has an abortion. A "crime" is committed. How much time does the woman get for having an abortion? How much time does the doctor or coat-hanger commando get? How much time does the father get, if he knew and approved of the abortion? How much time does the father get even if he knew nothing of the abortion? How much time does the driver of the cab that carried the pregnant woman to the clinic get? Do we have different punishments for abortions caused by the actions of rapists and incestuous parents? Or does one size fit all? You know, like our highly successful punishments for drug violations. Surely (surely!) race won't matter, but what about retardation or lunacy? Does that matter?

Crazy. Ok. A robber uses a loaded gun to rob a bank and someone gets killed. Think accessories before and after the fact. Does a cabbie who drives a masked man with a loaded gun to a bank escape blame for the crime? What about the man who sold the gun? If it was a legal sale, say, you know, like in a marriage, is the gun shop owner free of blame? What if the robber told him he was going to rob the bank? If the sale is illegal, is the seller more blameworthy?

The mind starts to reel with, as Spock might note, infinite possibilities. And everywhere Pavlov's lawyers will be salivating.

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