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.
Stearns was appearing on the program to talk about the GOP’s recent effort to ban sex-selective abortions. That bill, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act or PRENDA, failed earlier this week and would have fined and imprisoned doctors who knowingly aborted fetuses based on racial or gender discrimination.
The congressman sought to defend the measure by arguing that “if all of Europe and most of Asia has this same rule, that you cannot have sex selection as an abortion, why can’t we in the united states pass the same bill?” 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.”