As we already discussed here, Republicans in the House forced a vote on their ridiculous gender-based abortion bill this week. Chris Matthews invited Rep. Cliff Stearns on his show, who defended the bill on the basis that Europe and Asia supported such measures. After being hammered by Matthews on why they're always going after the doctors instead of the women who have abortions, he got Stearns to admit that he'd like to see women face criminal charges for having abortions.
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) unwilling admitted to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Friday afternoon that he believed women who receive abortions should face criminal charges. “I think the punishment should certainly be very serious,” he said. “It should be more than a civil case. It should be something very serious”:
MATTHEWS: So it should be a criminal matter for the woman as well as the doctor?
STEARNS: I think so. You are killing an embryo and in some cases you are killing an embryo that is four or five months into gestation.
As Rep. Donna Edwards pointed out earlier in the interview, this is just another attempt by Republicans to roll back women's reproductive rights and it's asking doctors to be mind readers. One issue that wasn't discussed here is the fact that most abortions are preformed well before anyone can determine the sex of a fetus and that it's ridiculous to pretend that there's some sort of wide spread problem with women waiting around to find out what the gender of their child might be before having an abortion. As Edwards noted during the interview as well, it's a solution for a problem that doesn't exist here.
No one is forcing women to have abortions for population control in the United States and Matthews alluded to that earlier in the interview when he reminded Stearns that China is not a country that is anti-abortion.
As the post from Think Progress noted, here's how Matthews responded to Stearns' assertion that they have this rule in Europe and Asia, and asking why we can't do the same in the United States:
But Matthews responded succinctly, saying, “it’s always amazing when you guys on the right want to import the values of other countries. Any time we do it, any time a liberal tries to do it, you say they’re bringing foreign values into this country.”
I'll be happy to see Congressmen like Stearns keep talking this way, because even in areas of the country where you have the majority of voters against abortion, they don't want to be throwing women in jail for it. He's a reminder of just how extreme the Republican Party has become on this issue. Normally you never get them to admit something like this on camera.