The Pro-Life Slippery Slope

Let’s say Roe v. Wade gets overturned and the majority of states decide to ban abortion. The conservatives, of course, feel righteous and victorious about their successful effort in preserving Innocent Life.

Bouyed by this major achievement, they decide the fight is not over.

Will they go after pregnant smokers?

Will they charge mothers with a crime if their children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

If someone suspects that a pregnant mother is being neglectful of her health (like eating a poor diet) or engaging in risky behaviors (like exercising too streneously or taking teratogenic drugs), could that person report her to the authorities? Would certain people be obligated to do so (like teachers, social workers, etc.) as they would if they had witnessed a child being abused? Will reported mothers risk losing custody of their babies once they’re born?

After every miscarriage, will a birth certificate be issued? Will an autospy or other forensics examination be required to ensure that the death was natural, not induced? If you were a person with a documented history of “fetal abuse” and you have a miscarriage, will you get a heavy dose of scrutinization from the authorities?

I’m not saying any of the above inevitably follows from a ban on abortion. That would be a fallacy! However, it seems to me that by equating abortion with murder, we imply that the fetus is the same as an infant and is therefore entitled to the same rights and protections that we give infants and other dependents.

Pro-lifers, is my understanding correct? And if it is, would you support laws that penalize mothers for being unsafe “incubators”? Why or why not?

I’m reasonably certain that the “pro-lifers” would try to do everything you say, and more. The anti-abortion movement is at it’s core about hostility to women; they won’t stop trying to hurt and oppress women just because of one victory. And outlawing abortion and declaring a fetus the equal of a person will give them powerful tools to inflict that harm.

Whereas I think that they don’t seem to care (as a group) overmuch about the status of the child after being born - this seems to be purely a battle against abortion (and contraception), with no real interest in the health or resulting conditions for the resulting children at all. So I don’t think they’d ever bother to step further down this slope; no motivation. (I think it’s silly to think that the movement as a whole is about oppressing women - maybe there are a few key proponents who think that, maybe, maybe - but certainly that’s not what the bulk of pro-lifers are about.)

I know a pro-life registered-Democrat lesbian who would disagree with your second sentence.

I know that registered-Democrat lesbians are hardly at the ***core ***of the pro-life movement. :dubious:

What I find interesting about this scenarios is: what will all the people say who are currently wailing about the burden illegal aliens put on our health care system, when the people putting the burden on the health care system are millions of American newborns? Will they insist that we build a border wall between vaginas and penises? Will they move to criminalize having more than a certain number of children? Will they bitch and moan that the new arrivals don’t learn to speak English for several years?

I rather expect that the next move of the anti-abortion crowd would be to further restrict and criminalize various other forms of birth control, beginning with RU 486 and following quickly with the morning after pill (and also other BCPs that can be used as morning after pills), and the IUD.

Or so one of my former renters, a “missionary to the pre-born” told me, when explaining their agenda.

At the time I didn’t really feel it followed that the rest of the anti-abortion movement would follow in that direction. But as I’ve been exposed to more and more of the ‘mainstream’ movement’s literature (and had conversations with more if its members), I realize that a large portion of that movement shares that agenda.

I’m less certain that they’d move against barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, as for some reason, that seemed acceptable to a greater number of the folks I knew than the methods mentioned in my first paragraph. Same for sterilization.

The reason is that they consider RU486, the morning after pill, and the IUD to be abortafacients (or potential abortaifacients), whereas the barrier methods (and sterilization) are not. I believe the truly anti-contraception folks are a tiny minority/fringe group.

There’s no need to put these questions in the future tense. Such things have already happened in a few places. There’s every reason to believe they’d become widespread if pro-life forces gained control of the country.

And I will add this much. I have much more sympathy for the arguments of the pro-life movement than I used to. However, I don’t vote with them, protest with them, or give them money, in part because they refuse to address this issue or anything related to it. They say that a zygote is a person “from the moment of conception”, but they won’t deal with the existential questions that arise from having a tiny person that is physically part of a woman’s body for a period of nine months. Even if you passed a law saying that it was true, you still can’t treat a zygote like a person. For instance, authorities can remove a child from his or her parents’ home if they suspect abuse, but it’s physically impossible to remove an embryo from its mother.

I think it could go even further. Would women have to go on temporary and permanent leave from their jobs? Let’s face it, being pregnant can be a dangerous thing. Is it unreasonable to think that women would be banned from work places beginning the 3rd (or the 2nd) trimester? And if they are, who will pick up the hospital bills? Would young teenagers be tried as adults if they are arrested for “fetal abuse”?

And there were Jews foolish or desperate enough to work with the Nazis. That didn’t make the Nazis any less anti-Jewish.

I don’t think we can say a pro-life registered-Democrat lesbian is some kind of sonderkommando.

Nor did I; rather the opposite. I’m saying that she’s working for her enemies, for people who hate her and wish her harm, regardless of if she acknowledges it or not.

Sonderkommando. I know what you’re saying. I’m saying that it is an extremely exaggerated comparison. FWIW I completely agree with you. I just don’t think your analogy captures the essense of the problem you rightly point out.

Further down the slippery slope. Abortion is illegal in State A but legal in State B. Woman travels to State B to get one. And gets prosecuted in State A under a new law that forbids crossing of state lines to get one

And you’d be wrong.

If this was remotely true (and it’s not, not even remotely), you would have to hand-wave away not a couple of women (and congrats for making the Nazi comparison so early in the game there), but millions. Millions who, apparantly, aren’t as wise as you about what they are really feeling deep inside. That’s far, far more insulting to women than anything you claim to have insight into.

Nobody is buying what you are selling there.

As for the OP, well, every slippery slope argument is, by definition, a guess. Sure, it’s possible. I think it’s more likely to look at the slippery slope of liberals who, bouyed by their successful campaign to eliminate smoking in private domiciles throughout the country, would then go after pregnant women who smoke. And by “more likely” I mean option A is .00005% and option B is .00006%.

ETA: the crossing state lines law, I don’t think they can do that, can they? They can’t make it illegal in Arizona to gamble in Las Vegas (or anything else they do in Las Vegas, can they…can they?!?!?!? :D)

I think you confuse the fact that the pro-lifers don’t have the power to round up and torture or kill women with a lack of desire to do so.

That being said; for another example how about the Log Cabin Republicans ? A bunch of gays that support a political party that is their enemy, and has consistently worked to harm them. And has never shown the Log Cabin idiots any respect, to boot.

The “The only moral abortion is my abortion” crowd ? Self destructive fools and hypocrites.

I would not confuse those two, but neither do I think they have that desire.

:shrug: I don’t know anything about them. Maybe it is a good analogy. I just don’t think abortion is on par with death camps. On the other hand, maybe the “omg abortion is liek murder!!1” folks see the comparison, and it is appropriate, but not in the way you intended. :smack:

You have two kinds of people in the anti-choice crowd.

There are those whose primary motivation is they see the unborn as living people who need to be protected. They are the ones who would try to prosecute pregnant mothers who drink, smoke, or do drugs while pregnant. They will want the state to take custody of newborns who may have been “abused” as fetuses.

Then there are those who want pregnancy to be a deterrant to recreational sex. They won’t care so much about women smoking or having some drinks while pregnant.

Both of them will want to investigate “suspicious” miscarriages and restrict travel for pregnant women who could be travelling to abortion-friendly states and/or countries. Both will oppose the Pill and IUDs, though for different reasons.

It’s funny, the anti-choice people I respect more are the ones who would create the more hellish situation if given power.

Well, it’s one thing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade can be overturned if you get just a few more conservatives appointed to the Supreme Court.

It’s an entirely different thing to then get abortion criminalized in most states.

See, that won’t happen unless–get this–the criminalization of abortion is widely popular. Sure, a few southern states could ban abortion. But outside those states there simply does not exist a majority that favors banning abortion.

If we decide to imagine that somehow the vast majority of the American population has somehow become rabidly anti-abortion then we can pretend that they will also continue to enact other measures. But it’s all make-believe because such a majority does not exist and overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t going to make it exist, rather the opposite.

So while it’s reasonable to imagine that in a few years it might be possible for Alabama, South Carolina, Arkansas and Utah to pass laws banning abortion, it sure isn’t reasonable to imagine that criminalizing abortion in a few states is merely the first step in the sinister anti-choice agenda unless we also imagine that just about everyone in the country is anti-choice. There might be solid anti-choice majorities in some states, but not most, and there certainly aren’t solid majorities in any state in favor of the silly programs that some of you have conjured up out of your fevered imaginations.

Unless you get solid majorities in favor of turning “A Handmaid’s Tale” into reality, then “A Handmaid’s Tale” remains fiction. Even right-wing dictatorships don’t enact wildly unpopular policies without risk.