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Thompson (and Giuliani) on Abortion


He objects to a Human Life Amendment on federalist grounds. I don’t really mind that he takes that position, but I would like to know whether he wants to move toward a legal regime where unborn children are protected from abortion even early in pregnancy. I couldn’t quite figure out where he stands on that question from his answers on Meet the Press. He said that he didn’t want to throw “young girls in extreme situations . . . in jail.” Does he believe that a state would have to do that to prohibit first-term abortions? That is, is he offering that as a reason not to prohibit those abortions? Or is he saying that he favors laws against those abortions so long as they don’t put the mothers in jail?

Let’s assume, for the moment, that he’s taking the position Giuliani takes: that we shouldn’t prohibit early abortions because we would be logically obligated to throw the mothers in jail if  we did. If that’s true, why do these folks favor bans on partial-birth abortion? Aren’t we logically obligated to throw those mothers in jail too? (I don’t think we are, myself, in either case, but if Giuliani is right about early abortions then he ought to have stuck with his anything-goes position on late-term abortions too.)


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