Although the article that prompts this post is a bit dated now, I've been meaning to comment on it since I first saw it, and so I'd better do so before it becomes ancient history.
The cover story of the April 9 issue of The New York Times Magazine was about abortion in El Salvador. The headline asked, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize abortion? A place that sent abortion providers to jail? That policed hospitals? That investigated a woman's uterus?" It continued, "Welcome to 21st-Century El Salvador."
I found this really bizzare, in a way that has nothing to do with the issue of whether abortion should be legal. I mean, yes, if some activity is outlawed somewhere, the people who engage in it will be treated like criminals, pursued by the police, and so forth. That's supposed to be news? Of course, if you believe that activity ought to be permitted, you will deplore this state of affairs. But it's hardly a surprise, is it?
By way of contrast, can anyone envision the Times featuring a headline such as, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize marijuana? A place that sent marijuana providers to jail? That policed citizens' private gardens? That investigated a teenager's urine?"