Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

26 October 2012

How Would a Rape Exception Work?

By Diana Hsieh

This blog post -- Pro-Life People: How Would a Rape Exception Work? -- raises some really interesting questions about how a law that banned rape except in rare cases, such as rape or life of the mother, would work in practice:

If efforts to criminalize abortion succeeded, would it be a medical, legal, or theological authority that would make the determination as to whether a woman qualified to have the banned procedure? If I was raped, would I have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, or might a preponderance of the evidence standard suffice? Would I make my case to a doctor? A judge? A police officer? An ethics committee?

And on what basis would the appointed entity make the decision? The embrace by many politicians of an exception for the life but not the health of the patient would presumably require legislation that would then leave authorities in the position to determine, for example, whether a delay in beginning cancer treatment would be considered a threat to my life or merely a risk to my health.
There's more, but as the author concludes:
No politician or pundit should get away with claiming he supports any "exception" without facing the obvious follow-up question: “How would it work?”

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