Sometime earlier this week, Donald Trump was asked a question about the consequences of outlawing abortion to women who would seek them illegally. Should there be some form of punishment?
He answered yes.
Chris Matthews of MSNBC, recorded for broadcast on Wednesday night. Mr. Matthews pressed Mr. Trump, who once supported abortion rights, on his calls to ban the procedure, asking how he might enforce such a restriction.
“You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places,” Mr. Trump said, after initially deflecting questions. “But you have to ban it.”
He added, after a bit more prodding, “There has to be some form of punishment.”
Naturally, the feminists exploded with indignation. And to my surprise, some of our friends in the prolife community joined the chorus.
Look, this is a very difficult question to navigate, even for a seasoned prolifer.
What Trump should have said was, I'll never be an advocate of the non-enforcement of laws. The prolife community would work against legislation that would incarcerate the mother but we would want to see something written into the law that mercifully addresses the mother's violation of laws against the murder of the child in the womb. Perhaps a mandated course on human life that focuses on ultrasounds of life in the womb and and invitation to resources in Project Rachel. Our focus is education and support of at-risk mothers in our communities.
It is not unprecedented to hold a person legally accountable while using the opportunity to re-educate and heal. We do it for drunk drivers.
Trump's response was poorly executed but the response of the prolife community complicated the confusion. I'll get to that in a minute.
Trump's political advisers then tried to tuck it in:
Hours later, Mr. Trump recanted his remarks, essentially in full, a rare and remarkable shift for a candidate who proudly extols his unwillingness to apologize or bow to “political correctness.”
If abortion were disallowed, he said in a statement, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.”
..and here comes the kicker:
“The woman is a victim in this case, as is the life in her womb,” he continued.
No. Women who seek abortions are not victims.
Is this vulgar putana a victim?
How about this long-suffering feminist seahag. Is she a victim?
Let's talk about what an abortion is for a minute.
A woman has an unplanned pregnancy and makes a decision that a living person needs to die so her plans will not be imposed upon. That is what abortion is. She is upset, suffering from stress, is not in her right state of mind, may not have support around her - but she is no more a victim than a mother who throws her children from a bridge because her children are impediments to her plans with a new boyfriend.
Both mothers want to make other plans for their lives and their children have to be disposed of to carry out the plan.
There are situations that can involve coercion. For instance a very young girl or a weak woman can be coerced into abortion by family members or a baby-daddy. On the spiritual side of these situations, the people doing the coercing are charged with the sin. The mother is exonerated. But all crimes involve coercion of some sort.
There are young men in the city who are coerced into gang violence. Women are coerced by a lover into killing their husbands.
The coercion may implicate others into criminal prosecution and spiritual accountability, but it does not exonerate the party who commits a crime.
Crimes involve sin and behind sin lies an ancient tempter. Sometimes he uses people. Sometimes he uses deadly sins.
There isn't a single crime in the history of civilization that didn't involve coercion.
Adam was coerced into sin by Eve. His sob story did not convince God to exonerate him.
David was coerced by the deadly sin of lust for Bathsheba. David tried to distance himself from culpability by sending Uriah to the front lines of battle and ordering others to withdraw. David and Bathsheba were held accountable by God for the murder, not the people who slayed Uriah.
Watching the prolife community respond to Trump's statements, I wondered for the first time if our prolife community really has the conviction of the heart that abortion is the murder of a child. Do we have the courage to rise above the objectives of the political machines to put the babies and mothers ahead of political ambition?
Instead of writing the law so that it gives the mom the best resources we have to offer and the chance for real healing, the prolife community seems willing to let the mother go off into the air like a big fat balloon filled with helium of her spiritual suicide and political rhetoric of feminists and GOP neocons. Knowing she will eventually crash to the ground when she comes to grips with her own guilt in the murder of her own flesh and blood.
Bye bye balloon, we are setting you free because you were a victim!
We can never erase guilt that will lie dormant in her soul and intellect with the cheap fix of telling her we think she was a victim. It will eventually consume and destroy her.
Here is a very thoughtful and logical assessment from Deb Esolen grabbed from Facebook:
If a woman were to pay someone to kill her newborn baby, under the present law, she would be prosecuted for murder. But if she hires an abortionist to kill her baby in the womb, under the present law, she is not legally culpable. It is up to God to forgive the sinner. The state's job is to enforce the law and to protect the innocent. At present, our state is enforcing a law which permits the murder of the innocent and protects those who actively participate in the killing. Looked at in one way, much of what is causing the decimation of civil society is that paying the consequences of what some of us are still old-fashioned enough to call "immoral" has been shifted to the innocent, while those who commit the act are shown mercy. But while God's mercy is reformative and restorative, the state's misapplied mercy actually encourages the sinner (oops, there I go again!) to persist in his sin. A law without consequences is worse than useless.
Let us give to God something that is worthy of Him.