Debate moderators and reporters love to ask pro-life candidates hard questions about abortion. Curiously, they don’t do the same for pro-choice candidates. Trevin Wax provides some eye-opening questions. (see the original article here.)
Here are 10 questions you never hear a pro-choice candidate asked by the media:
1. You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any restrictions you would approve of?
2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?
3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?
4. If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?
5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?
6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?
7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?
8. You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical procedures?
9. Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?
10. If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?
Thanks for posting this. Great points!
I’ll take a shot at answering them. They don’t seem terribly hard to answer, but perhaps just hard to answer in ‘sound-byte’ format, which politicians on all sides tend to do at all times.
1. I think we can make a restriction, which we already do, banning late-term abortion. But if it’s early in the pregnancy, a woman should have the right to choose.
2. I think that should be the woman’s right. I would probably view her as immoral for doing so. But she should have that right.
3. I think parents of a minor should be informed. But the final decision should be up to the minor, not the potential grandparents.
4. Not sure. I think the timing we have now is pretty good. As science shows us more and more, and we determine when brain activity actually begins, we can move the exact moment. But it is clearly not conception, as a collection of cells, no matter what it may become, is not the equivalent of a human being.
5. My answer is that it is not an organized effort put forth by any organization or person. It is chosen by the individuals in charge. Should prospective parents perhaps be given more information on what Down Syndrome and other similar conditions are, and the ways in which they can be dealt with? Certainly. But if the decision is made soon enough, that decision should belong to the potential parents.
7. My response is that if anyone is attempting to force abortions on any group of people for any reason, that person or group should be stopped. If more African-American women are having abortions than Caucasian women, then perhaps we should research why that is. I suspect, though this is clearly just speculation on my part, it may have something to do with the inordinate percentage of African-American’s living in poverty. The inability to care financially for a child mixed with, in general, the lack of education about safe sex that is given to the poor, could be leading more of them to choose abortion. But again, that’s speculation, and we’d have to do real research to find out.
8. It is tragic because every pregnancy, given the best case scenario, could lead to something wonderful. Most abortions happen because women aren’t in the best case scenario for any number of reasons. It is tragic because of the situation leading to the abortion, not necessarily the abortion itself. (I’ve never called it a ‘tragic choice’, of course, but if I did I imagine the preceding would have been my response.)
10. If the fetus was viable, it should probably be two counts of murder. If it wasn’t, it shouldn’t be. But that is less of a scientific answer than a legal one.
I don’t expect you to agree with any or all of those answers, obviously. But I wanted to show you that they can be answered, and answered honestly.