Sep 09 2008

What “except life of the mother” means

Published by at 1:37 pm under Idaho

Back on the Sarah Palin track, but not just that – this is a question pertinent to her views, but not necessarily only hers.

On the subject of abortion, Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president (by which you also have to say, possible future president) has famously said that were her daughter raped and impregnated, “I would choose life” – taken as a statement that she would not allow her underage daughter to have an abortion. Elsewhere, “In an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire filled out during the 2006 gubernatorial race, Palin again stated that she is against abortion unless a doctor determined that a mother’s life would end due to the pregnancy.” Earlier, “In 2002, when she was running for lieutenant governor, Palin sent an e-mail to the anti-abortion Alaska Right to Life Board saying she was as ‘pro-life as any candidate can be’ and has ‘adamantly supported our cause since I first understood, as a child, the atrocity of abortion.'” Presumably, then, she is contending that such abortions, with one limited causal exception, should be against the law; if she does, there should presumably be a penalty – incarceration, fine, or something – for violating that law. (We have to say “presumably” because the small matter of exactly what should or shouldn’t be legal and what the penalties for violation should be is fudged over, unaddressed, on the dozen or so pro-life websites we checked today.)

That in hand, consider this bulletin (sorry, no available link) today from the Idaho Falls Post Register:

A St. Anthony man has pleaded guilty to raping and impregnating his girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter. Guadalupe Gutierrez-Juarez entered the plea today as part of a deal with Fremont County prosecutors. In exchange for pleading guilty to one felony count of rape, prosecutors dropped two other rape charges. Gutierrez-Juarez and Isabel Chasarez were arrested earlier this year after the victim gave birth at a local hospital.

A question Charles Gibson might consider asking Palin: What should the legal penalty imposed on that 10-year-old girl – incarceration or otherwise – have been had she wanted/been allowed not to bring that rapist’s child to term?

Share on Facebook

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “What “except life of the mother” means”

  1. claytoncrameron 10 Sep 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I’m not sure what Palin would say. I can tell you that pro-life sorts that I talk to are intent on criminalizing performing an abortion–which will generally mean punishing the doctor who performs the abortion. (Yes, a woman with a coathanger would certainly be subject to punishment.)

    One area where pro-lifers haven’t thought this through very well is an area where they share much in common with liberals: the belief that making something illegal will make abortion almost disappear, creating a law that doesn’t require a lot of punishment. If you don’t recognize this as a liberal point of view, you should talk to gun control advocates for a while–who are also convinced that making a few examples will be enough to solve the problem.

    By the way: while tragedies like this often produce very difficult questions, I hope that you recognize how tremendously atypical this case is. It is rather like the case where a kidnapper has hidden the victim somewhere underground, with a limited air supply–and won’t tell you where. (And this isn’t a hypothetical–there have been cases like this.) Do you make a deal to let him plead to a lesser crime in exchange for saving the victim’s life? Do you turn off the video camera in the interrogation room for a few minutes while some beats this monster to a pulp to get the information? It’s a very atypical situation, and making laws around rare events isn’t wise.

  2. AMERICAN NONSENSE » Pro-Life?on 13 Sep 2008 at 2:10 pm

    […] Christy puts a face on that “life or health of the mother” exception that gets bandied about so carelessly these days. Here’s another of those faces, via Ridenbaugh Press: On the subject of abortion, Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president (by which you also have to say, possible future president) has famously said that were her daughter raped and impregnated, “I would choose life” – taken as a statement that she would not allow her underage daughter to have an abortion…. […]

Share on Facebook



WASHINGTON-OREGON-IDAHO Our acclaimed weekly e-pubs: 35-45 pages Monday mornings getting you on top of your state. Samples available. Contact us by email or by phone at (208)484-0460.



This will be one of the most talked-about Idaho books in Idaho this season: 14 years after its last edition, Ridenbaugh Press has released a list of 100 influential Idahoans. Randy Stapilus, the editor and publisher of the Idaho Weekly Briefing and author of four earlier similar lists, has based this one on levels of overall influence in the state – and freedom of action and ability to influence development of the state – as of the start of 2015.
100 Influential Idahoans 2015. By Randy Stapilus; published by Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 202 pages. Softcover. List price $16.95.
100 Influential Idahoans 2015 page.

100 Influential Idahoans 2015
"Essentially, I write in the margins of motherhood—and everything else—then I work these notes into a monthly column about what it’s like raising my two young boys. Are my columns funny? Are they serious? They don’t fit into any one box neatly. ... I’ve won awards for “best humorous column” though I actually write about subjects as light as bulimia, bullying, birthing plans and breastfeeding. But also bon-bons. And barf, and birthdays." Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would Be Bon-Bons. by Nathalie Hardy; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 238 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
Raising the Hardy Boys page.



"Not a day passes that I don’t think about Vietnam. Sometimes its an aroma or just hearing the Vietnamese accent of a store clerk that triggers a memory. Unlike all too many soldiers, I never had to fire a weapon in anger. Return to civilian life was easy, but even after all these years away from the Army and Vietnam I find the experience – and knowledge – continue to shape my life daily."
Drafted! Vietnam in War and in Peace. by David R. Frazier; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton OR. 188 pgs. Softcover. $15.95.
The DRAFTED! page.


Many critics said it could not be done - and it often almost came undone. Now the Snake River Basin Adjudication is done, and that improbable story is told here by three dozen of the people most centrally involved with it - judges, attorneys, legislators, engineers, water managers, water users and others in the room when the decisions were made.
Through the Waters: An Oral History of the Snake River Basin Adjudication. edited by the Idaho State Bar Water Law Section and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 300 pages. Softcover. $16.95.

Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh died on July 20, 2014; he was widely praised for steady leadership in difficult years. Writer Scott Jorgensen talks with Atiyeh and traces his background, and what others said about him.
Conversations with Atiyeh. by W. Scott Jorgensen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 140 pages. Softcover. $14.95.

"Salvation through public service and the purging of awful sights seen during 1500 Vietnam War helicopter rescue missions before an untimely death, as told by a devoted brother, leaves a reader pondering life's unfairness. A haunting read." Chris Carlson, Medimont Reflections. ". . . a vivid picture of his brother Jerry’s time as a Medivac pilot in Vietnam and contrasts it with the reality of the political system . . . through the lens of a blue-collar, working man made good." Mike Kennedy.
One Flaming Hour: A memoir of Jerry Blackbird. by Mike Blackbird; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 220 pages. Softcover. $15.95.
See the ONE FLAMING HOUR page.

Back in Print! Frank Church was one of the leading figures in Idaho history, and one of the most important U.S. senators of the last century. From wilderness to Vietnam to investigating the CIA, Church led on a host of difficult issues. This, the one serious biography of Church originally published in 1994, is back in print by Ridenbaugh Press.
Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church. LeRoy Ashby and Rod Gramer; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 800 pages. Softcover. $24.95.


by Stephen Hartgen
The personal story of the well-known editor, publisher and state legislator's travel west from Maine to Idaho. A well-written account for anyone interested in Idaho, journalism or politics.
JOURNEY WEST: A memoir of journalism and politics, by Stephen Hartgen; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, here or at (softcover)



NEW EDITIONS is the story of the Northwest's 226 general-circulation newspapers and where your newspaper is headed.
New Editions: The Northwest's Newspapers as They Were, Are and Will Be. Steve Bagwell and Randy Stapilus; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. 324 pages. Softcover. (e-book ahead). $16.95.
See the NEW EDITIONS page.

How many copies?


The Field Guide is the reference for the year on Oregon politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Compiled by a long-time Northwest political writer and a Salem Statesman-Journal political reporter.
OREGON POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through (softcover)


by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase is the reference for the year on Idaho Politics - the people, the districts, the votes, the issues. Written by two of Idaho's most veteran politcal observers.
IDAHO POLITICAL FIELD GUIDE 2014, by Randy Stapilus and Marty Trillhaase; Ridenbaugh Press, Carlton, Oregon. $15.95, available right here or through (softcover)

without compromise
WITHOUT COMPROMISE is the story of the Idaho State Police, from barely-functioning motor vehicles and hardly-there roads to computer and biotechnology. Kelly Kast has spent years researching the history and interviewing scores of current and former state police, and has emerged with a detailed and engrossing story of Idaho.


How many copies?
The Old West saw few murder trials more spectacular or misunderstood than of "Diamondfield" Jack Davis. After years of brushes with the noose, Davis was pardoned - though many continued to believe him guilty. Max Black has spent years researching the Diamondfield saga and found startling new evidence never before uncovered - including the weapon and one of the bullets involved in the crime, and important documents - and now sets out the definitive story. Here too is Black's story - how he found key elements, presumed lost forever, of a fabulous Old West story.
See the DIAMONDFIELD page for more.

Medimont Reflections Chris Carlson's Medimont Reflections is a followup on his biography of former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus. This one expands the view, bringing in Carlson's take on Idaho politics, the Northwest energy planning council, environmental issues and much more. The Idaho Statesman: "a pull-back-the-curtain account of his 40 years as a player in public life in Idaho." Available here: $15.95 plus shipping.
See the Medimont Reflections page  
Idaho 100, about the 100 most influential people ever in Idaho, by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson is now available. This is the book about to become the talk of the state - who really made Idaho the way it is? NOW AN E-BOOK AVAILABLE THROUGH KINDLE for just $2.99. Or, only $15.95 plus shipping.

Idaho 100 by Randy Stapilus and Martin Peterson. Order the Kindle at For the print edition, order here or at Amazon.