The 'But For' Clause - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1966727

The ‘But For’ Clause

If the Alito draft decision destroying women’s ownership of their own bodies becomes “the law of the land,” it will be “open sesame” to constitutional chaos and a bonanza to lawyers experienced in challenging absurd state laws. That Alito decision would open up a snake pit of constitutional violations already firmly embedded in the anti-abortion laws of the most backward states of our country.

Take Louisiana. I’m serious — someone take Louisiana, please.

Here’s the constitutional violation already baked into the state’s contemplated indictment for murder of any woman found to have had an abortion. For one thing, what will the wise men in the Louisiana government do about the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

Think about it: The man, found through intrusive DNA (and the anti-abortion bunches have certainly never hesitated to be intrusive in their chosen crusade), may not be “the proximate (immediate) cause” of the abortion. But he sure as hell is the “but for” cause of that newly dubbed “murder.”

So, how do these wise men plan to punish the “but for” accomplice to the so-called “murder”?

Here are a few preliminary suggestions for a proportionate punishment for this accomplice:

1. Castration. It’s a look-at. After all, that guarantees that this miscreant will not be a “but for” accomplice to any future abortion. It’s as final as the punishment for murder in that enlightened Southern state.

2. Irreversible sterilization. This may not be as staunch a proportionate punishment as castration, but it is proportionate to the electric chair for the woman who had an abortion.

3. Vasectomy, reversible when this miscreant, this guy who provided the sperm for the woman who aborted its product, finishes paying for an orphan baby’s upkeep and education until age 18.

Not so sure about the third proposal, but, then, men have generally been able to buy their way out of consequences whenever they have been found to be the source of a woman’s “troubles” — usually by paying for an abortion.

The legal community would be immensely grateful for other recommendations from the public ensuring that the usually hidden participant in the illegal abortion, having been its “but for” cause, gets his fair share of the punishment deemed appropriate to the statesmen of Louisiana as they consider the punishment to be meted out to the woman who has an abortion.

Evelyn Konrad

Attorney at Law