On the presidential campaign trail in March 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump made a controversial statement that did something unheard of: brought the pro-choice/pro-abort and pro-life sides together for a brief moment.
He made the statement during a town hall event.
“Do you believe in punishment for abortion – yes or no – as a principle,” asked Matthews.
“The answer is there has to be some form of punishment,” said Trump.
“For the woman?” Matthews said.
“Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump replied.
“Ten cents, 10 years, what,” Matthews asked again, pressing.
“That I don’t know,” said Trump.
Those on both sides of the aisle swiftly condemned his remarks, and Trump retracted them. As a passionate pro-lifer it was frustrating to see the damage caused by such a careless response.
Recently, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke at UC-Berkeley. During the question and answer session, an audience member asked Shapiro whether women who have an abortion should be prosecuted for murder. Shapiro’s response was perfect.
No. I think that abortionists should be put on trial.
I don’t think that women should be put on trial for a couple of different reasons. So the first reason is because I don’t think that it is effective in deterring abortion to put women on trial for the killing of the unborn. The second reason is because I think that we in our society have unfortunately gotten to such a point that an entire generation has been indoctrinated to believe – particularly an entire generation of women, since that’s what we’re talking about here – has been indoctrinated to believe that a baby is a polyp and so when they remove it, I’m not sure there’s the necessary mens rea, the criminal intent necessary for prosecution. The typical pro life position here is that the woman is a victim of abortion nearly as much as the baby is. There is an entire abortion industry that is geared toward teaching women that babies are not babies and that getting a baby aborted is in fact a betterment of their life. So no, I am not in favor of prosecuting women for abortions.
Shapiro holds a consistent pro-life position that is focused on the mother just as much as the unborn child. However, not all in the pro-life community possess as much compassion for women carrying unplanned pregnancies.
One is senior contributor at The Federalist, Georgi Boorman.
In her piece Ben Shapiro Is Wrong About Prosecuting Women Who Get Abortions, Boorman shows a lack of knowledge about the abortion industry and its peddlers, the history of the abortion movement itself, and disconnect with women who have either had abortions or have considered one. And her piece, like Trump’s statement, does damage to this important cause.
I’ve been a passionate pro-lifer since the age of 16. My early activist self would have hurried to shove pictures of aborted babies, their shredded remains strewn across a cold medical pan, into the face of my opposition. Who I am almost twenty years later is someone who desires and strives to speak the truth while not forsaking compassion and most of all, a listening ear. Love truly is louder.
Here are a few reasons why putting women who have abortions on trial for murder is both incorrect and sets us back as we try to advance the protection of unborn life in the land of the free.
Abortion is the Law of the Land
I despise this truth as much as any, but it cannot be overlooked. In January 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion. It has been more than 44 years since this legal bloodshed was ushered in, and it won’t be going away anytime soon. To even begin considering legal action against women who choose abortion, it would obviously need to be made illegal. This is not happening in the near future.
Even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, the most likely scenario is that the issue would be sent to the states. Then each state would decide what they believed to be best for their inhabitants.
Sadly, the running total of unborn lives taken since legalization is nearing 60,000,000. It would be impossible to hold most accountable.
An abortion-free society is simply not reality in 2017, or even in the near future. We live in a pro-death society where legal homicide is seen as a medical necessity. Maybe that will change down the road, but I don’t believe it will be changing in my lifetime.
The Abortion Industry and its Educators Have Poisoned Generations
More important than the obvious legal barricade is the generational indoctrination that has clouded the minds of women and men for decades.
Casual sex is looked upon favorably, and the consequence of such behavior – an unplanned pregnancy – is seen as an easily dealt with aside. This can clearly be traced back to such “education” that is received not only in society as a whole but most of all in places like your local Planned Parenthood. Even doctors who are not directly involved in the abortion industry will suggest a pregnancy termination if a woman’s health may be severely affected or if the unborn child is seen to have abnormalities that prohibit proper development or worse, shorten post-natal life. Of course, we have heard seemingly countless stories of women who have successfully carried difficult pregnancies to term or families who have welcomed their “abnormal” child into the world with full knowledge of hardships and despair that may lie ahead.
When my mother was in high school in the 1960s, fellow classmates with swollen pregnant bellies were talked of in hushed tones. At some point, the young girl would most likely continue her pregnancy out of the view of society, shuttered away because of shame. In 2017, casual sex is a rite of passage and abortion is not whispered in the shadows but is openly discussed in medical clinics nationwide as an alternative to such difficulty no matter the age of the woman. Unfortunately, it is sewn into the fabric of our culture. As a result, abortion is chosen for convenience much more often than it is chosen for health reasons, as made clear by a Guttmacher Institute study.
To even begin becoming a society that – as a whole – views abortion as murder, one would need to disconnect this poisonous and prevalent dialogue from high schools, communities, Planned Parenthood locations, and even your neighborhood doctor’s office.
It is not so much that pro-choice/pro-abort and pro-life individuals differ on a solution to this supposed difficulty, it’s that they cannot agree on whether a problem exists in the first place.
We Can’t Save the Child Until We Reach the Mother
I was fortunate enough to attend the Second Annual Pro-Life Women’s Conference in Orlando this June, as I wrote about earlier.
At the conference, there were several excellent discussion panels on a wide range of topics with many perspectives. One such panel was the birth mom panel. The term “birth mom” refers to women who chose to continue with a pregnancy and place their child with an adoptive family after birth. Their stories were powerful, to say the least. None of them had what one would consider an ideal circumstance during pregnancy. Their thriving children are here today because each of them received care and compassion from someone outside of the abortion industry. None of them steered clear of the abortion clinics because someone screamed “abortion is murder!” into their face. At moments of confusion and desperation, when a pregnant woman sees no solution to her crisis, she must be offered hope.
To a woman with a self-described unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, hope looks like compassion, not condescension. Hope looks like meeting the woman where she is, with supplies and options that allow her to see beyond the moment of despair. Hope is meeting them with love when family members only offer rejection and refusal.
Saving babies and women from abortion should be our ultimate goal. We cannot do that by threatening conviction. Prosecuting women who have abortions would not advance the pro-life cause. It would only serve to harden hearts against the truth of life’s beginnings.
In her piece, Ms. Boorman comes from a place of passion. However, because she fails to couple the truth with love, she undermines her own cause.
We cannot change hearts by passing legislation. Abortion has always been and will continue to be a trickle-up issue that is rooted in each individual. The pro-life movement will not make progress unless we utilize a “love is louder” approach toward those who have had abortions or are considering one.
Just as a physician seeks to bring both mother and child safely through the labor process, we must guide women from a place of desperation and regret to hope and wholeness.
They are victims of the eager abortion industry, too.