Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Anti-Choice Side Actually Promotes Abortion But Only If It Is Illegal and Unsafe [Anthony McCarthy]

Nothing exposes the fundamental hypocrisy and the real intentions of the organized opponents of women owning their own body more than their positions on effective contraception. This story about a sleazy DA, Scott Southworth, from Juneau Country, Wisconsin, warning teachers that if they FOLLOW WISCONSIN LAW and present accurate contraception information to their students, he might prosecute them for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”. Aside from the theoretical penalty of jail time and a $10,000 fine, there would be the cost, waste of time and embarrassment his political grand standing would bring to any teacher he chose to prosecute, for following Wisconsin law.

Southworth, a Republican and a Christian evangelical, took issue with a law Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle signed in February requiring schools that teach sexual education to adopt a comprehensive approach.

.... Janine Geske, a Marquette University law professor and former state Supreme Court justice, said she didn't understand Southworth's legal logic. She said that if he tried to prosecute a teacher for adhering to guidelines approved by the Legislature and governor, the case would likely be dismissed.

"To be frank, I can't follow exactly what he's trying to get at," Geske said. "If a teacher is educating a student pursuant to state law ... I don't see how under any examination (that) could be criminal."

The state Legislative Council, a group of attorneys that provides legal advice to state lawmakers, issued a statement Friday saying it also believes teachers who follow the state guidelines would be safe from prosecution.

Now, it seem as if this should be an unusual thing, for a prosecutor to threaten prosecution for following the law. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard of a case like that before. I wonder if he violates some code of legal ethics or if his oath of office might mention some little matter about “upholding the laws of Wisconsin” or some such formula. The conditions of political and legal ethics often being counter-intuitive, I wouldn’t be surprised if he never has to face that question in an official hearing. Just as the anti-choice side has seldom, if ever, really been held to explain their position on contraception which has the real life effect of PRODUCING MORE UNWANTED PREGNANCIES AND SO MORE ABORTION. The side that wants to make abortions illegal, and so unsafe, is also the side that wants to discourage the use of contraception which would make abortions, legal and safe, or illegal and potentially fatal, far less common.

Southworth says he's not trying to bolster his reputation as a social conservative for a potential run for higher office, his stance has proved popular with anti-abortion groups.

Matt Sande, the legislative director of Pro-Life Wisconsin, which opposes the new law, said every district attorney in Wisconsin should follow Southworth's lead.

"We commend him for his courage, his frankness in exposing the consequences of this irresponsible new law," Sande said. "If I were a district administrator, I would want to know the impact."

This stand, held by Catholic Bishops, many religious opponents of choice and, I guess, the large majority of the anti-choice side, is the reason that the United States has such a high rate of abortion to begin with. Countries with rational education and encouragement of the use of contraception have lower abortion rates. If they really believed abortion was murder they would embrace the most effective means of preventing it possible, effective contraceptive education and encouragement for its use. Their opposition to that, in full view of the facts about the issue expose them as hypocrites who deserve to be discounted in honest discussion.

This Southworth guy should be removed from office for trying to intimidate teachers from following the duly adopted laws of the state he is supposed to uphold.