Magistrates managing the madness of murderous murderess mothers
April 13, 2016 § 60 Comments
Conservative writers continue to confirm that the mainstream pro-life movement views (and has for some time viewed) women who procure abortion as, categorically, innocent victims. Mother Theresa observed that a murderess murders her conscience in addition to her victim, and the pro-life movement has perverted this act of conscience-killing into exoneration. This is a narrative you may recognize: sure the behavior she chose was objectively abhorrent, but through the magic of inscrutable subjectivity we can presume her subjective victimhood. Because we can’t know anything about whether she is subjectively guilty or innocent in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind we are justified in concluding that she is an innocent victim in the invisible Cartesian theater of the mind. Christ’s admonishment not to judge the inner state of her soul translates into a license to declare that the inner state of her soul trumps her chosen behavior. Judging the inner states of souls is actually just fine — as long as the conclusion is that a woman who procures abortion is subjectively innocent.
Dump trucks filled with exceptional cases where murder goes unpunished are rhetorically deployed to turn special pleading into a general principle. (Obviously, just to take one example, if abortion were treated legally like a kind of murder that would not alter the double-jeopardy exception: someone who had been tried and found innocent could not be re-tried even in the face of new evidence).
Beneath it all is – precisely as I have suggested – a belief (or, equivalently from my standpoint, actions and words perfectly consistent with the belief) that women are not fully adult and responsible moral agents when it comes to abortion.
we will treat women who go outside the law to end their pregnancies the same way we treat people who attempt to commit suicide. We might mandate that they get help, in the form of counseling — instead of leaving them to face the crushing guilt without support
One flaw in the suicide analogy is that attempted homicide is not the same as a successfully completed homicide. But I can work with that, I suppose.
Therefore I suggest a compromise: the pro-life movement can reach consensus to treat women who procure abortion the same way we treat other severely mentally ill people who have successfully carried out homicide and remain a permanent danger to themselves and to others. Instead of life in prison, life in an asylum.