Leave Her to Heaven or the Courts?

 

A few years ago, I read that the pro-choice faction had come up with a new strategy: When encountering people who think all abortion should be criminalized, press them to describe what the criminal penalty for the pregnant woman should be. Because, obviously, no one would seriously propose penalizing the woman.

So let me ask you, Ricochet: if you believe abortion should be a crime — and assuming the woman is sui juris and voluntarily undergoes the procedure or purchases the necessary drugs — then why shouldn’t she subject to criminal penalties in a post-Roe world? If you believe it’s murder, isn’t the mom-to-be guilty of contracting a for a hit on the fetus?

For what other crime do we take the tacit position that justice is inadequate to deal with the behavior the law prohibits? What Trump said yesterday before walking it back — that if abortion were made illegal, there would have to be some punishment, even for the woman — is no more than logical.

You’d think the Left would commend him for pointing out the inevitable consequence of criminalization, and the Right would commend him for endorsing a penalty designed to deter abortion. But instead, people on both sides are attacking him like rigid extremists.

Trump is the Napoleon of American politics, deposing long-established tyrants and desecrating altars. If his colossal expenditures of his talent and his wealth end in defeat and personal ruin, then at least (to paraphrase Byron) he will be wearing the shattered links of his country’s broken chain.

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  1. Bucky Boz Member
    Bucky Boz
    @

    Hypatia:A few years ago, I read that the pro-choice faction had come up with a new strategy: when you encounter people who think all abortion should be criminalized, press them to say what the criminal penalty for the pregnant woman should be. Cuz OBVIOUSLY, NO ONE would seriously propose penalizing the woman!

    But, lemme ask you: IF you believe abortion should be a crime, and assuming the woman is sui juris and she voluntarily underwent the procedure–then why isn’t that woman subject to criminal penalties? If you believe it’s murder, isn’t the mom the one who contracted for a hit on the fetus?

    For what other crime do we take the tacit position that human justice is inadequate to deal with the behavior the law prohibits?

    What Trump said today–that if abortion were made illegal, there would have to be some punishment, even for the woman–is no more than logical.

    You’d think the Left would commend him for pointing out the inevitable consequence of criminalization, and the Right would commend him for endorsing a penalty designed to deter the awful sin of abortion. But instead, rigid extremists on both sides are attacking him.

    Trump is the Napoleon of American politics–deposing long-established tyrants, desecrating altars. If his colossal expenditures of his talent and his wealth end in defeat and personal ruin, at least (to paraphrase Byron) he will be wearing the shattered links of his country’s broken chain.

    The idea is simple – enforcing criminal bans on abortion is much easier to enforce against the doctor. The doctor is more culpable also because of the cold and calculating nature of the doctor’s actions. The mother may be a juvenile, the mother may not appreciate that she is taking the life of another depending on what the doctor tells her about the child (the doctor will likely always say “the fetus” for example). Since the punishment for the killing of another is in large part based on the intent, or lack thereof (i.e., the mens rea element, or mental state) the law would, and I think rightly, place the harsher penalty, or the only penalty, on the doctor performing the procedure.

    • #1
  2. Bucky Boz Member
    Bucky Boz
    @

    Bucky Boz:

    Hypatia:A few years ago, I read that the pro-choice faction had come up with a new strategy: when you encounter people who think all abortion should be criminalized, press them to say what the criminal penalty for the pregnant woman should be. Cuz OBVIOUSLY, NO ONE would seriously propose penalizing the woman!

    But, lemme ask you: IF you believe abortion should be a crime, and assuming the woman is sui juris and she voluntarily underwent the procedure–then why isn’t that woman subject to criminal penalties? If you believe it’s murder, isn’t the mom the one who contracted for a hit on the fetus?

    For what other crime do we take the tacit position that human justice is inadequate to deal with the behavior the law prohibits?

    What Trump said today–that if abortion were made illegal, there would have to be some punishment, even for the woman–is no more than logical.

    You’d think the Left would commend him for pointing out the inevitable consequence of criminalization, and the Right would commend him for endorsing a penalty designed to deter the awful sin of abortion. But instead, rigid extremists on both sides are attacking him.

    Trump is the Napoleon of American politics–deposing long-established tyrants, desecrating altars. If his colossal expenditures of his talent and his wealth end in defeat and personal ruin, at least (to paraphrase Byron) he will be wearing the shattered links of his country’s broken chain.

    The idea is simple – enforcing criminal bans on abortion is much easier to enforce against the doctor. The doctor is more culpable also because of the cold and calculating nature of the doctor’s actions. The mother may be a juvenile, the mother may not appreciate that she is taking the life of another depending on what the doctor tells her about the child (the doctor will likely always say “the fetus” for example). Since the punishment for the killing of another is in large part based on the intent, or lack thereof (i.e., the mens rea element, or mental state) the law would, and I think rightly, place the harsher penalty, or the only penalty, on the doctor performing the procedure.

    Plus, as mentioned in other posts, the woman is often just as much a victim as her aborted unborn child. She may have been abandoned by the father, her family, etc. Punishing her is not likely to deter other women from seeking abortions. Punishing abortionists will deter abortions.

    • #2
  3. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    Hypatia: Trump is the Napoleon of American politics–deposing long-established tyrants, desecrating altars. If his colossal expenditures of his talent and his wealth end in defeat and personal ruin, at least (to paraphrase Byron) he will be wearing the shattered links of his country’s broken chain.

    Sorry, I don’t see it. In this interview with Chris Matthews, he was more the Ron Burgundy of American politics, without the talent on jazz flute. He hadn’t given this issue a moment’s thought, and couldn’t formulate a coherent idea about it on the spot, so he sputtered and blustered.

    He has already walked the comment back, or tried.

    Sad, really…….

    • #3
  4. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Bucky boz, you seem to be under the common misconception that the aborting moms are unsophisticated juveniles. Actually, teens account for less than one percent–only .04%– of abortions in US. 56 % are age 20-29. 43% have had one or two prior abortions. They are Sui juris and certainly capable of criminal intent–mens rea, as you say. They are not helpless victims. And the “cold, calculating Doctor” would never have acces to their wombs if they didn’t seek out an abortion.
    And there’s no reason why imposing a penalty would not function as a deterrent to other women, or even to the woman contemplating her second or third abortion, assuming you accept that criminal consequences ever have a deterrent effect.

    Personally, being a mom, I think Roe v Wade got it just about right: for the first 12 weeks, it’s nobody else’s business, for the next 12 weeks, what’s in there is definitely a baby and states can regulate, and for the last 12 weeks, prohibition is fine. I don’t think abortion should be criminalized. But I have yet to hear a logical argument as to why, if it IS criminalized, the mother isn’t as culpable as the abortionist. Or that the mother isn’t culpable if she did it alone.

    • #4
  5. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    I have no idea what Trump said, but from your description, it appears that he said what he thinks people want to hear, which is the most “politically incorrect” version of an argument he clearly doesn’t understand.

    Bucky is correct. The idea behind not prosecuting abortions as murder is based both in justice and practicality. The best thing to do if you actually want to have a positive impact would be to prosecute doctors who perform abortions, while closely scrutinizing those extreme instances that you would necessarily allow for.

    This is a much larger conversation (and issue) than can be adequately dealt with, here, but the comments you allude to in the OP do indicate a lack of thought, and rather a knee jerk statement that was clumsily arrived at.

    For anyone making statements like that, I’d want to hear a lot more that would indicate a genuine understanding of the issues involved.

    • #5
  6. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Those who encourage a woman to kill her own child are the guilty ones. It can be otherwise there exist women so cold-blooded, so mercenary, so without moral temperament that the murder of their own child carries no weight for them. It is simply a piece of business. Such women exist.

    Organizations such as Planed Parenthood slaughter over 300,000 unborn children annually, it is no secret they brag of such. There does not exist 300,000 women of the type I just described.

    However there are a great many women who through fear, pressure from others they trust or those uncertain ladies who are simply bombarded with the message that killing their child is nothing who make a horrible decision.

    Punishing the former who are few, punishes the latter who are many.

    • #6
  7. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Bucky Boz:

    Hypatia:A few years ago, I read that the pro-choice faction had come up with a new strategy: when you encounter people who think all abortion should be criminalized, press them to say what the criminal penalty for the pregnant woman should be. Cuz OBVIOUSLY, NO ONE would seriously propose penalizing the woman!

    What Trump said today–that if abortion were made illegal, there would have to be some punishment, even for the woman–is no more than logical.

    The idea is simple – enforcing criminal bans on abortion is much easier to enforce against the doctor. The doctor is more culpable also because of the cold and calculating nature of the doctor’s actions. The mother may be a juvenile, the mother may not appreciate that she is taking the life of another depending on what the doctor tells her about the child (the doctor will likely always say “the fetus” for example). Since the punishment for the killing of another is in large part based on the intent, or lack thereof (i.e., the mens rea element, or mental state) the law would, and I think rightly, place the harsher penalty, or the only penalty, on the doctor performing the procedure.

    Should every mother who has an abortion be presumed blameless? The law routinely makes distinctions between accidental deaths, negligent homicides, manslaughter, justifiable homicides, and murder. Surely it can do so when the victim is a fetus.

    • #7
  8. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    This is the textbook case of cognitive dissonance.

    Argument Right vs Left

    L: Ban private gun ownership!

    R: If you ban the legal sale of guns it will be forced underground. Folks will be buying guns and ammunition on the black market. Then all guns will be unregistered and crime will flourish because law-abiding citizens can’t defend themselves.

    L: But if it saves just one life!

    *****************************

    R: Ban abortion!

    L: If you ban legal abortion it will be forced underground. Women will be having them in the back alleys and more women will needlessly die.

    R: But if it saves just one life of a baby destined to cure cancer!

    *******************************

    When the subject matter is dear to us we understand the failings of humanity. Making something illegal doesn’t stop it. When it’s something we hate we say, “There oughta be a law!”

    The public is overwhelming with us on 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions. If you could isolate the extremes this issue would be put, for the most part, behind us.

    Then you have to do what we’ve been doing, i.e. make the case that life is precious and begins at conception.

    • #8
  9. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    EJHill:This is the textbook case of cognitive dissonance.

    Argument Right vs Left

    L: Ban private gun ownership!

    R: If you ban the legal sale of guns it will be forced underground. Folks will be buying guns and ammunition on the black market. Then all guns will be unregistered and crime will flourish because law-abiding citizens can’t defend themselves.

    L: But if it saves just one life!

    *****************************

    R: Ban abortion!

    R: If you ban legal abortion it will be forced underground. Women will be having them in the back alleys and more women will needlessly die.

    L: But if it saves just one life of a baby destined to cure cancer!

    *******************************

    When the subject matter is dear to us we understand the failings of humanity. Making something illegal doesn’t stop it.

    You believe these are parallel situations?

    Murder has not been done away with by law however I am not convinced such a fact supports your argument. Are we not conservatives? There are only imperfect solutions, what is the best we can do?

    Abortion does not strike me as the best that we can do.

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Roberto: You believe these are parallel situations?

    I believe in the imperfect nature of man. And I know of nothing that was ever stopped by a law. If it was we’d have no need for police of any kind.

    But in the culture wars, abortion is the one thing we’re actually winning on.

    Gallup

    That’s powerful movement in our direction. Women who think it should be illegal won’t do it! And that works better than any mandated policy ever could.

    • #10
  11. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    EJHill:

    That’s powerful movement in our direction. Women who think it should be illegal won’t do it! And that works better than any mandated policy ever could.

    Persuasion is always superior to law, I cannot argue with that.

    But with my taxes funding this monstrosity I also wish for the latter and I will not even delve into the notion that apparently there is some age at which the killing of our fellows is considered acceptable practice in a purportedly civilized society.

    • #11
  12. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    EJHill:This is the textbook case of cognitive dissonance.

    Argument Right vs Left

    L: Ban private gun ownership!

    R: If you ban the legal sale of guns it will be forced underground. Folks will be buying guns and ammunition on the black market. Then all guns will be unregistered and crime will flourish because law-abiding citizens can’t defend themselves.

    L: But if it saves just one life!

    *****************************

    R: Ban abortion!

    R: If you ban legal abortion it will be forced underground. Women will be having them in the back alleys and more women will needlessly die.

    L: But if it saves just one life of a baby destined to cure cancer!

    *******************************

    When the subject matter is dear to us we understand the failings of humanity. Making something illegal doesn’t stop it. When it’s something we hate we say, “There oughta be a law!”

    The public is overwhelming with us on 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions. If you could isolate the extremes this issue would be put, for the most part, behind us.

    Then you have to do what we’ve been doing, i.e. make the case that life is precious and begins at conception.

    Except that the bolded portion simply does not follow logically.

    • #12
  13. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    RyanM: Except that the bolded portion simply does not follow logically

    Damned cut and paste! Fixed. But of course it’s been quoted twice so my idiocy is eternally preserved!

    • #13
  14. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    I am with you Hypatia.

    Abortion is murder and the mother is just as culpable as the doctor. Both should be punished.

    • #14
  15. MerryKate Inactive
    MerryKate
    @MerryKate

    Mind you, the number of women dying of botched illegal abortions in the 60s was around 75. The pro-abortion lobby inflated the numbers wildly to get it legalized. They didn’t have statistics on their side, so they made some up, and the media reported them as fact for years. At this point, far more women have died at the hands of butchers like Kermit Gosnell in perfectly legal, dreadfully insanitary clinics because we daren’t call abortionists to any sort of standard of care. ?

    • #15
  16. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Carey J.:Should every mother who has an abortion be presumed blameless?

    Of course. Women are equal to men, except when they make a mistake. Then we can assume it was some guy’s fault.

    • #16
  17. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    EJHill:

    RyanM: Except that the bolded portion simply does not follow logically

    Damned cut and paste! Fixed. But of course it’s been quoted twice so my idiocy is eternally preserved!

    hah! Funny thing is that I was actually saying the same thing as MerryKate. I hadn’t even noticed the typo.

    • #17
  18. RyanM Member
    RyanM
    @RyanM

    MerryKate:Mind you, the number of women dying of botched illegal abortions in the 60s was around 75. The pro-abortion lobby inflated the numbers wildly to get it legalized. They didn’t have statistics on their side, so they made some up, and the media reported them as fact for years. At this point, far more women have died at the hands of butchers like Kermit Gosnell in perfectly legal, dreadfully insanitary clinics because we daren’t call abortionists to any sort of standard of care. ?

    Of course, “standard of care” is a bit ironic. Pretty sure the Hippocratic oath is incompatible with the whole philosophy of abortion.

    • #18
  19. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    This whole thing has me baffled and is yet another example to which I can point that exemplifies the complete hysteria about all things Trump. This is not an attempt to defend the guy, but every single thing this guy says/does is taken by the members here to be another example of how he is the worst human being ever.

    Look it, many here are pro-life and would love to see Roe v Wade overturned. Doing so would grant states to decide what to do about the legality of abortion. So my question is this: What do you pro-lifers who don’t like Trump and think he made a yuge mistake here think will happen in the states that do not legalize abortion? If it is illegal to perform or receive one, what do you think is going to happen?

    I don’t like Trump. And believe me I don’t want him to be the nominee, but this is just ridiculous.

    • #19
  20. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    Thanks for asking this question, Hypatia. I have often wondered the same thing. I just don’t buy the helpless/desperate/pressured argument, especially for women on their second or third abotions.

    • #20
  21. V.S. Blackford Inactive
    V.S. Blackford
    @VSBlackford

    Sometimes I feel that during his life Donald Trump must have been so inundated with the stereotypes Democrats have of Republicans, that he actually believes they are true. In this latest instance he is parroting what he thinks the stance of the pro-life movement would be if abortion was illegal. Anyone with a deeper knowledge of the pro-life movement would know that it has a very compassionate stance in regards to women who obtain abortions. The pro-life movement has been much better served by supporting local efforts to provide alternatives to abortion clinics, including crisis pregnancy counseling, prenatal services, parenting classes, and counseling for those dealing with the consequences of an abortion.

    • #21
  22. Hypatia Inactive
    Hypatia
    @Hypatia

    Thank YOU, Charlotte! I was beginning to feel like the real Hypatia!
    Both the Left and the Right are infantilizing women: the Right must think pregnancy renders us incompetent to render informed consent . The Left must think pregnancy renders us so scatterbrained that we have no options for “choice” unless we can dither around till we’re 7 months gone. Trump’s statement that the women would be criminally responsible shines a spotlight on the illogic and hypocrisy of BOTH extremes.

    • #22
  23. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I’m as pro-life as they come. In fact it’s my number one issue. I don’t support prosecuting women who seek an abortion. It’s the doctor or whoever performs the abortion who goes to jail and forever loses their licence to practice medicine. The woman probably should get some sort of penalty, but I wouldn’t be hung up on it.

    Trump clearly has no understanding of the pro-life movement. Like just about any other issue he’s weighed in on, it’s totally out of ignorance.

    • #23
  24. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    V.S. Blackford:Sometimes I feel that during his life Donald Trump must have been so inundated with the stereotypes Democrats have of Republicans, that he actually believes they are true. In this latest instance he is parroting what he thinks the stance of the pro-life movement would be if abortion was illegal. Anyone with a deeper knowledge of the pro-life movement would know that it has a very compassionate stance in regards to women who obtain abortions. The pro-life movement has been much better served by supporting local efforts to provide alternatives to abortion clinics, including crisis pregnancy counseling, prenatal services, parenting classes, and counseling for those dealing with the consequences of an abortion.

    Exactly!

    • #24
  25. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Let me clarify why the pro-life movement does not want to prosecute women seeking or having had an abortion. There are at least three reasons that come to mind.

    (1) It’s logistically impossible to arrest, prosecute, and jail over a million women per year.

    (2) It’s politically counter productive. When people are faced with family members who will be going to jail, they will solidify against the issue. While one may lean to the pro-life side, faced with a family member going to jail, then they will probably more than lean against it; they will passionately be against pro-life.

    (3) We want to promote compassion. Conception is at the very heart of the interface between God and man. When Christ was faced with the adulterous woman who faced stoning, He let her go with a mild, “go and sin no more.” That’s from John, chapter 8. Christ also tells the people who are going to stone her, “he who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Well no one is without some sort of sexual sin – in thought or deed, and there by the grace of God go I. When encountering an issue dealing directly with God, mercy is the rule of the day. On this I will stand with Christ.

    • #25
  26. Derek Simmons Member
    Derek Simmons
    @

    Hypatia: But I have yet to hear a logical argument as to why, if it IS criminalized, the mother isn’t as culpable as the abortionist. Or that the mother isn’t culpable if she did it alone.

    And you will not hear (or see) a logical argument as to why the mother isn’t as culpable as the abortionist for there is no such logical argument. Unless a turkey baster was involved, why is there no discussion about the putative father’s role?
    A: Radical feminists are fabulists and won’t accept any role for males. The ‘pro-choice’ crowd apparently thinks the wide-spread availability of contraceptives and the universal availability of abstinence is not a “choice” if it means giving up “I want what I want when I want it.” The result: wide-spread murder as the price for wide-spread extremities. This desire was best labeled years ago by Erica Jong. [Look it up: not CofC compliant.] Perhaps there should be exceptions for forcible rape–but what “logical” argument is there for any other exceptions? Mr. Bumbles was right about the law and that was long before “law” was being manufactured by judges. This law was made by assess wearing black robes. Were it not for the folly of Roe, some states would permit abortion, some would not. And organizations like PP would be in the biz of buying bus tickets for “under-privileged” women. It’s all sadder than sad and a truly evil mess.

    • #26
  27. Spin Inactive
    Spin
    @Spin

    Hypatia: But I have yet to hear a logical argument as to why, if it IS criminalized, the mother isn’t as culpable as the abortionist. Or that the mother isn’t culpable if she did it alone.

    You just heard one. It’s just you didn’t like it. So say, rather, that you haven’t heard an argument you agree with. Bucky’s argument was logical and fine with me.

    Having said that, what would you do to a woman who left her baby in a dumpster? Whatever punishment fits that crime, do it.

    • #27
  28. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Manny: (2) It’s politically counter productive. When people are faced with family members who will be going to jail, they will solidify against the issue. While one may lean to the pro-life side, faced with a family member going to jail, then they will probably more than lean against it; they will passionately be against pro-life.

    Exactly. The goal of the pro-life movement is to protect children, not punish sluts. Saying “let’s jail the mothers!” couldn’t be better designed to convince the squishy middle that we’re every nasty stereotype the Left has thrown at us since 1973.

    • #28
  29. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Manny:Let me clarify why the pro-life movement does not want to prosecute women seeking or having had an abortion. There are at least three reasons that come to mind.

    (1) It’s logistically impossible to arrest, prosecute, and jail over a million women per year.

    This assumes that if abortion were to become illegal that we would have just as many abortions as we do now. No, abortion would not be eliminated and would still happen. Nevertheless, even if we just punish abortion providers, abortion numbers will go down. Not as much as we’d like, but they would.

    • #29
  30. Derek Simmons Member
    Derek Simmons
    @

    Manny: (1) It’s logistically impossible to arrest, prosecute, and jail over a million women per year.

    We in the US arrest more than 13 million people a year. What is it about “women” that makes 14 million more or less “logistically impossible?” Politically impossible: AMEN. But “logistically” not so much.

    • #30

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