If you aren’t dead, you aren’t the murder victim

April 8, 2016 § 41 Comments

A commenter writes:

Men pay for the abortions, and I don’t mean tax dollars. Men are hiring the hit men, particularly in the case of the unmarried women who make up a majority of abortion-seekers.

It’s an old trope for a reason. Women have moral culpability for getting up on that table, but they all too often aren’t the ones putting the money into the abortionist’s hand. That’s usually a man, baby.

Nobody has suggested that co-conspirators in murder should not be punished. Quite the contrary. All co-conspirators in and accessories to murder should be normatively subject to some sort of sanction or punishment. Exceptions are people who literally lack agency: who are physically forced, who are severely mentally ill and need to be under constant supervision for that reason, etc.

Leniency is possible and sometimes warranted; but true leniency is leniency precisely because the person deserves to be punished. As Dalrock points out, being under pressure or ignorant isn’t even exculpatory in the case of a parking ticket, let alone murder.

What is ludicrous and irrational is the simultaneous contention that abortion is murder and that women who deliberately procure abortion are categorically innocent victims, not perpetrators of murder (along with the abortionist and any other co-conspirators).  To consider innocent victimhood the normative case for women who procure abortions is to assert that – as the normative case – women lack moral agency.  It is to assume that women in general lack the capacity to be responsible for the behaviors they choose unless proven otherwise in a particular case.

§ 41 Responses to If you aren’t dead, you aren’t the murder victim

  • domzerchi says:

    While I’ve been surprised by the reaction by some prolifers to the Trump gaffe, it seems unlikely to me that most people in the movement really believe that most women who get abortions are innocent victims. I think they are not being totally frank (which may be a wise tactic) or are positively lying. Many of them must be lying, I think, which might be one of the reasons the movement has failed so much.

  • Zippy says:

    domzerchi:

    There is no question that much of the mainstream pro-life movement embraces lying as a ‘pragmatic’ political tactic.

    Your suggestion — paraphrased that half-hearted lying as supposedly pragmatic politics may be part of why pro-lifers always lose the war (while winning just enough battles to prevent real introspection) — probably has merit. It brings to mind the old saying: never wrestle with a pig, because you just get filthy and the pig enjoys it.

  • Dalrock says:

    Nobody has suggested that co-conspirators in murder should not be punished. Quite the contrary. All co-conspirators in and accessories to murder should be normatively subject to some sort of sanction or punishment.

    Indeed. But the argument about there being a man somewhere who is also guilty (if not of paying for the abortion, then likely for fornication or adultery) is effective in changing the subject. In that sense it is reminiscent of the Apostle Paul in Acts 23.6:

    Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”

    @Zippy
    Leniency is possible and sometimes warranted; but true leniency is leniency precisely because the person deserves to be punished.

    This is it. Repentance is being skipped and mercy demanded.

  • Hoyos says:

    Interestingly enough, I have known men who ARE victims of abortion, In that they didn’t want their wife or girlfriend to get an abortion and the women did it anyway. These guys get torn up, even if they didn’t have an opinion on abortion in the abstract.

    Although it’s been said a thousand times, yes, there are vile victimizing men in this world. The idea that no woman goes astray by herself beggars belief. It’s got no basis in the Bible, tradition, or reason.

  • Sunshine says:

    it seems unlikely to me that most people in the movement really believe that most women who get abortions are innocent victims. I think they are not being totally frank (which may be a wise tactic) or are positively lying.

    Oh. I just wrote a whole blog post in which I reached a similar conclusion. I didn’t realize someone else had already stated this, but I agree, for some pro-life folks I think it is a sort of war tactic akin to the Muslim concept of Al-taqiyya.
    For other pro-life people, I think they really are just more emotionally comfortable living with the logical contradiction of saying that abortion is murder but women shouldn’t be punished in any way for it because somehow they aren’t really responsible for it. There is no grand reason why or ulterior motivation – they’re just more comfortable with the illogical lie (women are victims) than the logical truth (women are perpetrators).

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    “They are just all lying or deceiving themselves” is certainly possible, but if so there isn’t much to say beyond “they are just all lying or deceiving themselves”.

    Also, that kind of conclusion is really a form of mass psychologizing. As we have discussed any number of times here, ideas have consequences and – whether folks are lying or telling the truth – public loyalties to certain ideas have consequences independent of the subjective psychology of people who are materially committed (whatever their subjective states) to those ideas.

    So whatever kind of Anscombe-“little speeches” mainstream pro-lifers are making to themselves in their subjective inner mindspace holodeck, the public idea to which they are committed – the idea to which they provide their material support – is that women, when it comes to abortion specifically, have no moral agency.

    Mainstream pro-lifers speak and otherwise behave precisely as if they believe that women have no moral agency. Whether they are or are not lying about their inner subjective states is really a change of subject.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy

    “They are just all lying or deceiving themselves” is certainly possible, but if so there isn’t much to say beyond “they are just all lying or deceiving themselves”.

    Also, that kind of conclusion is really a form of mass psychologizing…

    Mainstream pro-lifers speak and otherwise behave precisely as if they believe that women have no moral agency. Whether they are or are not lying about their inner subjective states is really a change of subject.

    But even here you are attributing motive. They don’t say they think women have no agency. They say any law punishing women (aside from abortion doctors) would be unjust because the women are uninformed. The problem is, their arguments are so bad no one takes them at face value. The one thing everyone is in agreement on is that pro lifers are either lying, rationalizing, or their argument is something else they haven’t managed to articulate.

    No one takes the pro life claim at face value because it is patently absurd.

  • Sunshine says:

    Zippy:
    I agree with you that they behave as if they believe women do not have moral culpability.

    I disagree with this:

    “They are just all lying or deceiving themselves” is certainly possible, but if so there isn’t much to say beyond “they are just all lying or deceiving themselves”.

    I think it true that they are just comfy with their unexamined contradictory beliefs. I think pointing this out is valuable because it allows the person to say to himself, “I know that abortion is murder. I feel bad feelings about the idea of punishing women who have illegal abortions. It is okay to feel bad about this. I can do what is right even when I feel bad about it.”

    So the value is accurately describing what is going on internally with the person because it allows them to address the underlying cause and stop behaving as if women had no moral agency.

    I speak from experience. Some (most?) of us are more emotionally-driven and a few folks are more emotionally-detached and analytical. We all still need to do what is right.

  • Zippy says:

    Sunshine:

    Fair enough. To the extent it is helpful in getting folks to connect to reality, that is good.

    The other side of the coin though is that they cannot deny that, in their behavior and speech, they in fact objectively treat women as if women have no moral agency.

    So when they attempt to deny that they believe that women have no moral agency – by retreating to the imaginary Cartesian world of inner beliefs disconnected from speech and behavior – they are doing the usual modern subjectivist trick of changing the subject, of avoiding the objective reality of their own chosen words and behavior.

    In a sense they are (perhaps unsurprisingly) attempting to deny moral agency to themselves: they don’t have to own the fact that they treat women as if women were not moral agents, because they have made an inner speech to themselves in which they reassure themselves that they really do believe that women are moral agents.

  • RichardP says:

    @Zippy:

    1. “What is ludicrous and irrational is the simultaneous contention that:

    a. abortion is murder, and that:

    b. women who deliberately procure abortion are categorically innocent
    victims … .”

    – OR

    c. women who deliberately procure abortion(s) are guilty of murder but
    they should not be the only ones punished for their abortion.”

    Short version: At the moment, 1(a) is a moral statement, not a civic statement, and 1(b) is a civic statement, not a moral statement. They are not logically connected. Therefore, it is not inconsistent to hold both beliefs simultaneously.

    Long version: I’m guessing that 1(c) is the thought that follows 1(a) more often than 1(b) is. But I have not asked everyone who has publically stated 1(a & b), so I can’t be adamant in my statement here.

    However, the subset of those who publically state 1(a) – the subset of those who also know what the Bible says – also understand that a.) God looks on the heart (something we can’t normally do), and; b.) the Bible contains instances that support the contention that “forgiveness does not mean freedom from punishment”.

    That is why I doubt many genuine christians who believe 1(a) as a moral statement also believe 1(b) as a moral statement rather than 1(c). Such genuine christians, who know what the Bible says, understand that women who have an abortion will be punished by God, as he sees fit. If they seek God’s forgiveness (and ultimately only God knows whether they do), the Bible says that forgiveness will be granted, but God’s punishment may still be meted out (only God knows whether it will be).

    It seems more likely – for genuine christians who know what the Bible says – that the debate centers on whether a woman who has had an abortion should also be punished in the civic (rather than spiritual) arena, particularly if she would be the only one so punished. There are legitimate civic arguments to be made on this civic issue (we mostly want laws to be fair or to not exist at all). And the civic issues involved in these arguments are not logically connected to a belief in 1(a) – since, at the moment anyway, 1(a) is a moral belief, not a civic law.

  • Zippy says:

    RichardP:

    At the moment, 1(a) is a moral statement, not a civic statement …

    There is murder and then there is “murder”. There is innocent and then there is “innocent”. Abortion is “murder” not murder. Women who procure abortions are “innocent” not innocent.

    They are not logically connected.

    You don’t need to use so many words. It is actually rather straightforward to just say “The civil law should not punish – not even with so much as a fine or probation – some murderers, even though those murderers are fully responsible for the murders they commit[1] and it really is murder.”

    [1] That is, have moral agency.

    Saying it with more words than that is perhaps supposed to make it sound less asinine. I doubt that works though. I expect that folks who haven’t drunk the kool aid just take it to be dishonesty, which is what it appears to be (whether of the self-deception variety or otherwise).

    There are legitimate civic arguments to be made on this civic issue (we mostly want laws to be fair or to not exist at all).

    In what other kind of murder conspiracy do we decline to even charge one party with anything at all simply because we can’t charge all of the parties who were involved (lack of evidence, left the country or cannot be apprehended, etc)? In what other kind of murder do we deliberately let the murderers go unpunished and unsanctioned and ‘leave their punishment to God’?

    What other kind of murder (or “murder”) inspires bumper stickers which assure us that the murderer (or one of the conspirators in the murder) is a victim too? The bumper sticker says it all: a woman who procures an abortion is not a moral agent.

  • Jack says:

    What I think is relevant to the discussion on the moral agency of women, is that some of the very people who think women cannot possibly be held accountable for their actions in murdering their own child:

    http://www.peggynoonan.com/category/01-wsj/

    think that, on the other hand, women are the key to stopping the abuse of children:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304510004575186451300061536

    when a simple internet search of the terms “female teacher student sex” returns and endless scroll of women sexually abusing children:

    http://tinyurl.com/hgp5dsl

  • Ian says:

    Hi Zippy,

    You write:

    In what other kind of murder conspiracy do we decline to even charge one party with anything at all simply because we can’t charge all of the parties who were involved (lack of evidence, left the country or cannot be apprehended, etc)? In what other kind of murder do we deliberately let the murderers go unpunished and unsanctioned and ‘leave their punishment to God’?

    What other kind of murder (or “murder”) inspires bumper stickers which assure us that the murderer (or one of the conspirators in the murder) is a victim too?

    I can think of one other category of (attempted) murder where we let the aspiring murderer go unpunished and treat him as a victim: suicide.

  • quoththelady says:

    I think there are a couple of other considerations.

    First, those of us who do sidewalk counseling must maintain a non-judgmental demeanor in order to be effective. We reach out to abortion-minded women, offering them better alternatives, and free resources to help them choose life. And we often meet post-abortive women, and offer them resources for post-abortive healing. We can’t do these things effectively without having compassion for these women.

    But that doesn’t mean we think they are completely innocent victims. It’s just that we set aside any thoughts of punishment for the higher good of helping them along a better path.

    Secondly, we must remember that abortion is legal at this time in the US. If, in the future, it is outlawed, then the civil laws will spell out the punishment for all involved, and the pro-life movement will need to reinvent itself. I would hope most of us would move towards addressing some of the causes for unplanned pregnancies.

    Seeing as we are in a daily battle to win over hearts to the pro-life mindset, any talk of punishment is harmful. Many pro-choicers claim that we are heartless and judgmental. (Sadly, some pro-life protesters are, and they hurt the cause.) When Trump opined on punishment, he fed the pro-choice side the red meat they love, and that makes our job harder.

    Talk of punishment is premature when abortion is legal.

  • Mike T says:

    I can think of one other category of (attempted) murder where we let the aspiring murderer go unpunished and treat him as a victim: suicide.

    Many suicides are committed by people who have genuine mental health issues. Comparing say, a veteran with severe PTSD to a college student who got knocked up at a frat house and wants an abortion so she can continue partying and graduate just muddies the issue.

  • Mike T says:

    * though to be fair we are reliably informed by conservatives that in fact the vast majority of abortions are never committed for convenience, but with a conspiracy of friends, family and associates haranguing the poor woman into going against her better judgment.

    If, in the future, it is outlawed, then the civil laws will spell out the punishment for all involved, and the pro-life movement will need to reinvent itself.

    The odds of that are very low precisely because at the moment the vocal and active leaders are almost uniformly against holding women accountable. So it is far more likely that even if we outlaw abortion, abortion will never be treated as a serious crime. Even if, say a woman flies to Thailand to get an abortion, she will never be treated half as harshly as a man who flies to Thailand to have sex with a child prostitute. There will be no state interest in having the FBI meet her at the airport and arrest her because the pro-life movement just does not support the concept of criminalizing it.

    It’s all very similar to the drug legalization movement, but in reverse, where a lot of people want to “decriminalize” drugs but not formally legalize them. The distinction is significant: decriminalizing drugs just means that the police won’t really be empowered to do anything, but drugs exist in a sort of limbo where there is no clear legal stance on producing and selling them in public. It’s bourgeois lawlessness.

    One thing that abortion opponents have never considered is that if the Big Lie (repeat the same lie and eventually people believe it no matter how crazy) works for most lies, how much more does it often work with the truth. Quoththelady, here’s an ugly truth. If pastors all across America with manly confidence, called it murder from the pulpit that would do 10x more than all of the hand-wringing, seeker-sensitive bovine excrement that is used today.

    On the issue of murder, our priorities are screwed up. What I am about to say is a false dichotomy, but one I am intentionally setting up to make a point about what abortion really is and how ridiculous most pro-lifers are. We are to perceive the murder of able-bodied, grown men as a more severe issue than the murder of the weakest and most innocent among us. The pro-life movement is far more interested in, say, prosecuting a man for beating to death an opponent in a bar fight than prosecuting a woman who kills her unborn child. This makes no moral sense for a variety of reasons which you can probably guess if you think about it. And for a movement that often is filled with people who bemoan the loss of chivalry, it is the sort of moral view that would make a typical chevalier seethe in contempt.

  • GJ says:

    quoththelady:

    Seeing as we are in a daily battle to win over hearts to the pro-life mindset, any talk of punishment is harmful. Many pro-choicers claim that we are heartless and judgmental.

    Yes, many churches have adopted this very attitude: ‘many non-Christians claim that Christians are judgmental, so let’s not talk any more about sin and judgment and repentance. All this talk is harmful because our task is to win people over!’

  • Zippy says:

    For my entire life (I went to parochial school in the seventies) the Catholic Church has jumped all over itself to assure everyone that, despite still having some decorative medieval doctrines deep in the Vatican archives, it is in no way being heartless or judgmental like that nasty pre-Vatican-2 church you might have heard about.

    If it weren’t for the Internet it would be almost impossible to figure out what doctrinal orthodoxy actually entails, without stumbling upon it by accident.

    How has that been working out for everyone?

  • Mike T says:

    All this talk is harmful because our task is to win people over!’

    Win them over to precisely what is the real question. If a woman never realizes that it is a human life and says to herself at some point “I murdered my child,” then what have we really won? Well, that’s assuming that most of the pro-life movement actually believes it’s murder I guess.

  • Purple Tortoise says:

    Coming late to the conversation because I’ve been thinking it over…

    It seems one area of agreement between typical Christians and feminists is that women are morally superior to men yet extremely vulnerable to coercion. What is absent is any expectation of moral fortitude on the part of women. This goes along with the general view these days that good intentions are what matters, not the actual outcome. And both Christians and feminists are each in their own way trying to rearrange society and train men to act in such a way that women are never faced with a situation requiring moral fortitude. And when that happens, the moral superiority of women will shine forth like the sun.

    What I am trying to figure out is how fortitude has become decoupled from the other virtues, especially in reference to women.

  • quoththelady says:

    Win them over to precisely what is the real question.

    Win them over before they choose abortion. If they think we are judgmental, they won’t listen to us. You can’t convert anyone who refuses to hear anything you say.

    We coax them to go to a life-affirming pregnancy resource center, where they will get the help they need to choose life, plus the guidance they need to make better life choices to prevent future problems. In that environment – where there is time and reduced pressure – the Gospel can be presented to them.

    For those who are post-abortive, we offer healing, which is Christ-centered, because there can be no true healing without His forgiveness.

    But in all cases, if they hear about civil punishments, they’ll run away from the help we have to offer.

    Until abortion is outlawed, please leave punishment out of the discussion. The law is instructive, and what people have learned since Roe v Wade will take some undoing. So, once abortion is abolished, we can start pushing for the punishments that teach the seriousness of the crime. But not now!

  • Win them over before they choose [to rape somebody in the anus with a beer bottle]. If they think we are judgmental, they won’t listen to us. You can’t convert anyone who refuses to hear anything you say.

    We coax them to go to a [psychological clinic], where they will get the help they need to choose [not to rape], plus the guidance they need to make better life choices to prevent future problems. In that environment – where there is time and reduced pressure – the Gospel can be presented to them.

    For those who [have already raped somebody in the anus with a beer bottle], we offer healing, which is Christ-centered, because there can be no true healing without His forgiveness.

    But in all cases, if they hear about civil punishments, they’ll run away from the help we have to offer.

    Yes, friends: Those who rape people in the anus with beer bottles need help, not punishments.

  • GJ says:

    If, in the future, it is outlawed, then the civil laws will spell out the punishment for all involved

    So, once abortion is abolished, we can start pushing for the punishments that teach the seriousness of the crime. But not now!

    Yes, laws that abolish Roe v Wade and ban all abortions – laws that must necessarily come with punishments – will magically write themselves.

    So no talk about laws and punishments now, please. When the time is right, without any lengthy public discussions beforehand the laws we want will magically come into existence!

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    1000 interwebz to you, my good man, on your growing skill at repurposing people’s comments to make a point 🙂

    quoththelady,

    I get what you’re saying, but it is a discussion that cannot be avoided if we actually want to make progress. There is a time and a place for it. At the sidewalk meeting with a woman considering an abortion or having just had one is obviously not the place under the current legal regime. However, to remove it from the table only serves to purge a whole swath of necessary discussion in other more appropriate places.

    I do not know where you stand on the principle, but what I see is quite a few pro-life leaders who are positioned to inform lawmakers in the future (should Roe be struck down) and that do not support punishment. That will certainly carry over to what they want to see done under law should that day come. Then we will have abortion outlawed, but in a meaningless context because it would be trivial for a pregnant middle or upper class woman to fly to Mexico or Canada and get one in full view of law enforcement with no sanction.

    Another reason punishment must be a discussion for that point is that you have to address what should happen if a woman inflicts her own abortion without the help of a doctor. For example, it is trivial for even a poor woman on the border to drive into Mexico to buy the morning after pill from a pharmacy because Mexico’s pharmacies are allowed to make a lot of medication that requires a prescription here OTC down there. Then there is the question of how to treat women who try various poisonous methods or even something like having a friend beat the hell out of their abdomen until they miscarry.

  • Mike T,

    I think people forget how absolutely horrific abortion is. The simple fact is that this is at least just as bad as raping people in the anus with beer bottles, and arguably worse – there is (normally) no torture involve, but the subject is dead at the end.

    I don’t think this registers with a lot of people, even good people.

  • Mike T says:

    malcolm,

    Indeed, which is why I used the travel to Thailand example. Our society will (rightly) not stop pursuing men who travel abroad for the purpose of evading anti-child sex laws, but there will be a hard slog to get even similar sanction for women who travel abroad to take advantage of foreign laws that allow them to murder children.

  • Mike T says:

    By the way there have been studies on sentencing disparities, and women do tend to systematically benefit from reduced sentencing for even the same class of felony. This really is one area where we need a healthy dose of “equality.” Either the laws are too harsh on men or they are not applied harshly enough to women. One study I found on Google said that men are, IIRC, punished about 63% worse than women for most serious crimes.

  • Eavan says:

    I think the real reason people want to excuse aborting women is it’s too horrifying to contemplate and accept that there are mothers who butcher their children, so our minds buffer the knowledge behind reasons we can accept. It’s such an evil repudiation of what it means to be a mother that we think it impossible that any mother could be so inhuman.

  • Zippy says:

    The comparison to suicide is actually rather apt, since the general ‘conservative’ view of suicide is as an action that only a mentally ill or immature person lacking agency, or someone in so much distress or pain that he lacks agency, would choose.

    That is quite precisely how ‘conservative’ victims of pro-life stockholm syndrome have come to view women who choose abortion in general: as necessarily so terribly distressed or deluded or propagandized that they cannot possibly be in their right minds, and therefore cannot be held responsible under the law for their deliberately chosen actions.

  • GJ says:

    Eavan:

    I think the real reason people want to excuse aborting women is it’s too horrifying to contemplate and accept that there are mothers who butcher their children so our minds buffer the knowledge behind reasons we can accept.

    Not precisely so. Humans are fine believing horrendous things about out-groups; what would be devastating would be truly believing and comprehending that some of us are such butchers.

    Displacing the guilt and responsibility from women who abort (because many of these are conservatives) to abortion providers serves as a handy solution.

  • quoththelady says:

    malcolm,

    Rape is illegal in all cases. Currently, abortion is legal. This is a huge difference. It is solidly in the minds of people seeking abortion. And there is no rape propaganda organization, but we do have Planned Parenthood promoting abortion (along with the promiscuity that leads to it). So, I reject your analogy.

    The fact that all women seeking abortion were born into a society where abortion is legal means we must have a transition – a new learning period – before we can seriously consider punishing the women. If the punishments for abortionists are substantial, and efforts are made to shut down foreign abortion mills, educate the population on the dangers of abortion, promote pregnancy resource centers, etc. then that will prepare people for the punitive measures for the women and their accomplices. Such punishments will likely follow naturally after any high-profile tragic death from an illegal abortion.

    But initially, defunding PP and outlawing abortion with heavy emphasis on the abortionists is what is needed. Rather, those are the legal changes needed. First and foremost, however, a cultural shift toward the sanctity of life is necessary. We’re a long way from deciding on punishments for the women.

  • Alex says:

    Quoththelady, I believe you are wrong in this matter. I am sorry if I end up coming off as heartless or uncaring in this post, but I think that acting this way will only make things worse. Of course, there is the right time to talk about these things, and talking down to a weakened woman who just had an abortion, calling her a no good murderer and telling her she should fry for that would obviously be rather unmerciful.

    However, mercy, justice and truth can’t be at odds with each other. As catholics, we learn that Jesus Himself paid the debt created by our father Adam. He paid that debt in a perfect way, satisfying justice to the utmost degree, while at the same time extending mercy to all who would accept it.

    Before this sacrifice, no human, at least as far as I understand, saw the face of God. No human could enter his presence. For thousands of years, men lived and died without a hope of truly knowing God, of having his utmost desire, the exact thing we were created for, fulfilled. All in the name of justice.

    And yet, though we can’t know what the Harrowing of Hell was like, is there any doubt that it was a great moment? That those souls, some of which had waited for thousands of years, were glad to be rescued by Jesus Himself?

    Therein lies the great beauty of mercy. When we sin, we always depart from beauty, from truth and from good. We create a stain in ourselves that makes us less than we could be. Every sin has several effects upon the soul that aren’t its essence, but nevertheless can be seen as direct effects. Much like an assassin might become depressed and unable to bear being himself, or worse might stop being able to withstand the company of other humans or might start seeing them as objects.

    Mercy is not about erasing the sin. To make it disappear. If mercy was like that, then the sacrament of confession would change time itself. The robber who confessed would suddenly find himself in a new world where h never robbed at all. Instead,mercy is about turning what is ugly, false and bad into its opposite. But the only way to do it is by remaining faithful to the truth.

    In John 21, the Lord offers a kind of penance to Peter for his three denials, asking him three times if he did love Him. At the same time, the Lord commissions a great task and bestows a great honour upon Peter. A great task that will end (for Peter, as the papacy carries on) with his martyrdom. Here, I believe Peter feels humiliated, the Lord’s questions clearly linking to his sin, the reality of which he can’t escape. But from the reality of that sin, something actually beautiful is made.

    I am sorry for being overly long (and maybe overly dramatic), but my point is that we mustn’t run away from the reality of what our sins are. The woman who have done abortions must understand what they have done, or else they can’t truly repent from that. And the ones who haven’t must understand the gravity and evil behind such action. If we lie to either now, we stand to create scandal and to completely lose the trust of these women when that lie becomes apparent.

  • Rape is illegal in all cases. Currently, abortion is legal. This is a huge difference.

    Yes. And making abortion illegal naturally involves punishments extended to the people getting abortions. Nothing you say addresses this at all. To deny it is to deny one of Zippy’s three points, and deny women of moral agency.

    Let me ask you this: Rape is now legal. You are King(Queen?)/President. About half of the country thinks rape is evil, and the other half thinks it’s a fundamental right of men. You have the power to immediately make rape illegal. Forget “changing the culture around it”. You can just make it illegal to rape. Would you do it, and worry about fixing the rest of the issues bound up with it later?

    Because if your answer is “No”, have fun helping the patient lose weight and start a healthy lifestyle as blood gushes out of his veins.

  • Eavan says:

    GJ: “what would be devastating would be truly believing and comprehending that some of us are such butchers”

    Exactly. Thank you for that distinction.

  • Zippy says:

    quoththelady:

    Suggesting that we must transition to punishing women who procure abortions (along with their co-conspirators) concedes the point and puts you outside of the mainstream pro-life position, which denies that women who procure abortions should be subject to any kind of punishment at all.

    Here are the possible views, as I see them:

    1) “Donald Trump’s statement was crazy and ignorant when he suggested that abortion should be outlawed and therefore women who procure them should ultimately be subject to some sort of legal sanction. Real Conservatives [tm] and Pro Lifers [tm] would never suggest that outlawing abortion implies punishing women who procure them (along with their co-conspirators). Women who choose to abort their unborn children are presumptively co-victims with the children they choose to kill, not perpetrators, and we should not even consider or talk about possibly punishing them in any way whatsoever. Women are an innocent victim class like blacks and gays: their apparently evil actions are always attributable to their status as victims.”

    2) “Donald Trump’s statement was perfectly logical and correct of course. We should outlaw abortion and transition to legal sanctions / punishment of women who procure abortion along with their co-conspirators. The details are yet to be worked out, and getting from here to there is fraught with all sorts of practical and moral considerations; but abortion truly is a form of murder and needs to be treated as such by the law.”

    Of course one possibility is that for some folks this is less about consistency on abortion and more about “Donald Trump said it, so it must be wrong.” Stopped clocks are never right.

  • Marissa says:

    Doesn’t our country already have laws that punish certain kinds of abortions (e.g., late term, saline)? Why is it such a stretch to punish all of them?

  • Mike T says:

    The comparison to suicide is actually rather apt, since the general ‘conservative’ view of suicide is as an action that only a mentally ill or immature person lacking agency, or someone in so much distress or pain that he lacks agency, would choose.

    There is a lot of truth to that, but I think one critical difference. Abortion is often “justified” in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity. Rape is actually not a serious threat that most women ever face in the US, incest that results in pregnancy is not that common and medical necessity could usually only be argued on matters like a woman has cancer (not saying it’s the right thing, but the argument sounds plausible at the level of medical necessity).

    On the other hand, there are a lot of people who commit suicide out of mental health issues, drug use and such. Much of that is not justified, but it is far more likely to be the case that someone who commits suicide has some factor strongly influencing their better judgment at a deeper level than someone seeking an abortion.

  • Mike T says:

    * Much of that is not justified

    Suicide is not justified, but suicide is more understandable in plenty of people who commit it than abortion is. Commiting suicide out of pure cowardice and laziness (fixing your life is too hard) is analogous to most abortions.

  • Mike T says:

    quotthelady,

    The fact that all women seeking abortion were born into a society where abortion is legal means we must have a transition

    I would strongly encourage you to read some of the rhetoric of activists and though leaders like Doug Wilson and Matt Walsh. They actually, in writing, reject the very concept of a “transition” (well Wilson left it open for many, many generations after abortion is outlawed…)

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