Commentary on Abortion and Gun Rights

Any casual student of history knows that women have been treated like second class citizens throughout the centuries. One need look no further than the fact that they only obtained the right to vote in the last 100 years in both our country and Great Britain. The cost of that struggle for many women was dramatically played out in last year’s overlooked film Suffragette.

But access to the ballot box did not end the status of women as compared to men. In that regard, try to explain why so few females serve in Congress or as CEOs in prominent companies. Regrettably, access to contraceptives is still being fought across this country, and consider the case pending before the United States Supreme Court where religious beliefs are being used to deny women health insurance relating to birth control.

And regardless of the reasons used by politicians to demonize Planned Parenthood, the fact is that they seek to deny health coverage for millions of poor women around this country. But of course the abortion issue again is raised, and that needs to be addressed.

Let me put it this way. Just as the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to our Constitution, the right to an abortion is protected by the Fifth Amendment. Yet while the NRA has led the charge to prevent reasonable legislation relating to gun possession, women’s abortion rights have been attacked across our land. The end result is that many clinics providing abortion services have had to close, leaving only 4 open in the gigantic State of Texas.

If women’s Constitutional rights can be dramatically abridged, then why can’t the same argument be applied to the possession of firearms? In other words, what if laws were passed relating to gun sales, registration, insurance and background checks that closed all but 4 gun stores in Texas?

The horrifying recent legislation signed by Governor Pence allows a woman and her doctor to be prosecuted based solely on the reason for having an abortion. If the governor and supporters of that bill, nearly all of whom are men, do so in the name of protecting “life”, then why not pass legislation that allows the seller of a weapon to be prosecuted for criminal acts committed by the buyer?

Simply stated, if people opposing abortion want to protect the alleged “life” of the unborn, then wouldn’t they want to apply even stronger measures to protect that life after it is born? Isn’t it time to finally do something meaningful as we Hoosiers sit back and watch a niece killed by an uncle in Zionsville, a police officer shot and killed in Kokomo, an employee of Cummins shot on the job while other State citizens are daily gunned down on the streets.

One final thought concerning abortion and guns. If those who oppose abortion justify it with the argument that a fetus is a live human being, then why do they oppose Donald Trump’s suggestion that women and doctors providing abortion services should be prosecuted? And yet nearly all of them argue against that possibility, destroying the underlying basis of their cause in the process.

As a criminal defense lawyer, I have represented numerous people charged with murder, namely the intentional taking of a human life. Not prosecuting a woman or her doctor involved in an abortion procedure is an open admission that a fetus is not a human life as defined under the law. It is time we stop pretending otherwise and provide women the rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.