The Corner

And Another Kristof Thing

Following from yesterday’s comment: Very often supporters of legal abortion will say that opponents either favor throwing women who procure abortions in jail, or would favor it if they were consistent. This consequence of an anti-abortion policy is held to be a good reason to support legal abortion. (David Frum argued along these lines on NRO last year.) If this claim is correct, though, it proves more than most people who make the argument want it to. Frum (certainly) and Kristof (presumably) would prohibit late-term abortions, at least under some circumstances. But if prohibition is held to require criminal penalties for women seeking abortions, and this is held to be impermissible, their own position falls apart.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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