This political season has certainly been entertaining, although painful to watch and for that we can thank Donald Trump for his off-handed thoughtless comments tossed to the eager fans like cheap, sweatshop made t-shirts hurled by an outlandish mascot at a sporting event. Come to think of it, Trump really is the outlandish mascot of the current GOP, all we need is a little dance on the dugout roof or push-ups after a touchdown and the image would be complete.
As bizarre and ridiculous as his whole campaign has been to this point, the moment that prompted the "Thank You" on my part was his comments on abortion this week where he said a woman should be punished for having an abortion assuming it was illegal as he proposes to make the practice. Of course all hell broke loose on all side of the abortion debate but strangely enough his comment is perfectly logical and we owe him a debt of gratitude for pointing out the obvious. If abortion was illegal then it follows that there must be a penalty. There have been several studies done of the so-called "Pro-Life" movement and just about every case people who are pushing to make abortion illegal have no idea what to do in terms of punishment - fines? prison? Forget for the moment that there's no real evidence that making abortion illegal will prevent it from ever happening, just consider the rather strange position of someone trying to make a currently legal practice into a crime but having no idea what the punishment for that crime might be. In most cases people haven't even thought about the fact that crimes and punishment go hand in hand.
The Pro-Life movement, when they have accepted that there would be some punishment for an abortion, have presented the idea that only a doctor would be held responsible and punished. After all, women can't make decisions about their own lives can they? Next thing you know they'll want to own property and have jobs outside the house. As Trump quickly backtracked from his statements he settled on that absurd line of reasoning for a moment before moving on to "I was misquoted, taken out of context". Which, of course, when it was a direct answer to a direct question, but anything's possible this year, right?
Of course the Pro-Life position of punishing a doctor only is demeaning to women but it also fails miserably when considered within the current judicial system of this country. If we assume that a women who makes the decision to have an abortion is not guilty of anything but the doctor performing the procedure is, then we'd certainly have to release every prisoner who was convicted of drug possession charges. After all, they just used the drugs, the only person who could be sent to jail would be the seller of the illegal drugs.
Unfortunately the loudest voices of the Pro-Life movement are the least well informed and ironically the most harmful to what they claim to be their own mission. Fighting to close Planned Parenthood clinics in the name of being Pro-Life is akin to destroying fire hydrants in an attempt the protect neighborhoods from fires. Thank you Donald Trump for helping bring the absurdity of this position to light. While I'm sure there wasn't a lot of thought put into the statement, it may have a positive effect after all.