On Punishing Women if Abortion Became Illegal Again

On Punishing Women if Abortion Became Illegal Again October 23, 2015


An intact human person at 6-week embryonic age (or 8-week gestational age), found in a ruptured ectopic pregnancy case. Photo by Dr. Vilas Gayakwad, 26 February 2010 [Wikimedia Commons /  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license]

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This odd but interesting exchange took place in the combox for my post, The Inquisition, Abortion, & ISIS (Connections?). The words of LolPatrol will be in blue. He never revealed his own position, as he said he would (except that he would like to reduce abortions). Thus, it appeared that this was most likely sort of an attempted “gotcha” routine. But maybe not. I have no problem with my replies, though, which is why I have broadcast them again, here.

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Out of curiosity, if we made abortion illegal, what punishment do you think should fall on the women who procure them? What legal penalty (jail or otherwise) do you feel would be appropriate?

Women were never punished when it was illegal, as I understand it. Only the butchers who performed them were. I would favor that approach.

So if a woman performs an abortion on herself, as many did before it was legal, what do you think the punishment should be?

I don’t think there should be punishment in that case, either. The woman should receive love and counseling, so that she will never be led to such a state of desperation and despair again. She should be encouraged to believe that her child is not her enemy, and that plenty of people are waiting to love and cherish her child, if she feels unequal to motherhood; that killing the child solves nothing.

Did she commit murder by aborting her pregnancy?

Objectively speaking, yes. It is the unjust taking of a human life.

Subjectively, often it is not so in the mind of a woman who does this, or gets an abortion performed, because of the massive brainwashing that says it is only a “blob of cells” or without a heartbeat or brain waves or unable to feel pain. So because of this brainwashing and miseducation, oftentimes, the woman isn’t aware of what she is doing.

That’s why pro-aborts vigorously oppose any informed consent measures; especially ultrasounds, because it is known that a great number of women will refuse to kill their own child, if they see him or her in an ultrasound.

Therefore, pro-aborts oppose that, since it would deprive them of the profit of an abortion (and/or sale of the baby’s body parts, as the case may be).

If they gave a damn about the woman, including the right to be fully informed of such a momentous procedure, just as is the case with surgical operations, then they would favor this, being supposedly “pro-choice” and “pro-woman.”

But in fact, they are neither. They are pro-abortion, so they push that option, minus the proper educational teaching, to help a woman make a truly informed choice.

So she committed premeditated murder, but should face no punishment because of her mistaken but not malicious belief it was okay. I understand. If she killed her infant, on the other hand, she would spend the remainder of her life in a psychiatric hospital if she was lucky. Same with her toddler…same with her grade-schooler. All of this would happen no matter what she believed – she’d go to medical confinement or prison.

So I’m confused. Assuming you would not let a woman who killed her nine-year-old walk free because she thought it was okay…what’s different here? I apologize if there’s something I’m missing.

Yes, that is the insane state of our present society, due to otherwise intelligent, rational people pretending that a preborn human being is not a person. I’ve talked to several of them, right on this blog. Its breathtaking.

There is no innate difference as to the status of “child.” The only difference is the brainwashing as to the supposed non-existence of a person in the womb.

Are you in favor of a requirement for all women who want to get an abortion, to see an ultrasound of their baby first? [he refused to answer this]

Wait, that isn’t what I’m asking, sorry. I know why society wouldn’t punish her, I’m asking you why you think she shouldn’t be punished for murder but an infanticidal mother should. Since “not thinking murder is bad” isn’t a legal defence, what makes her different than a woman who kills her toddler? I probably didn’t explain that well enough, sorry.

Once I understand your position I’ll be happy to explain mine. I am committed to reducing the incidence of abortion, but don’t want to muddy our conversation with my opinions before I understand yours.

I did explain it. If a person is ignorant of prenatal development, then they obviously might think killing this life is not murder. It’s irrational, but that’s how it goes with the pro-abortion positions.

Culpability in both legal terms and in Catholic moral theology has degrees to it: more culpable means more guilt and more punishment.

I assume then that a woman who kills her toddler because she genuinely believes he isn’t a human being, ignorant and wrong as she is, should likewise face no punishment? Is there a difference between killing a fetus and killing a toddler?

Surely you understand what’s confusing about declaring that a) abortion is literally murder and b) a woman who commits murder doesn’t deserve punishment?

Society agrees (even know-nothing pro-aborts) that a toddler is a person, so it’s not an issue.

But we do have actual infanticide taking place, in botched abortions. Obama has expressly defended these ghastly acts.

I see no confusion in the position I have staked out. It’s clear that women act differently, upon receiving a proper education about their preborn children, since they overwhelmingly (I think it’s about 80% of the time) opt out of an abortion upon seeing an ultrasound.

This shows that ignorance must have been a significant reason for the decision to abort. Knowledge is the reason why they decide not to. Therefore, we can conclude that culpability is much less in the first case.

I might consider relatively light punishment in the hypothetical situation of illegal abortion and a woman deciding to kill her child after seeing an ultrasound of it.

A relatively light punishment for premeditated murder, given that she can no longer use even the dubious ignorance defense?

My confusion is the double standard that seems to be in play. Abortion doctors should be punished severely, but a woman who does the exact same thing to her own pregnancy walks free because she couldn’t possibly have known better? Are women somehow less intellectually or morally capable to the point they aren’t responsible for their own actions?

I’ve gone through this over and over, and have explained relative culpability. There’s nowhere else I can go with this.

If you think you’ve “trapped” me, I don’t agree. But the discussion is exhausted when one party simply keeps repeating himself since his answers don’t seem to have been “processed.”

“couldn’t possibly have known better?”

She certainly could have; but in many cases, does not in fact. It’s difficult to prosecute based on what one “should” have known. It has to be based on what they did know.

If you shoot a gun into the forest and kill a person you didn’t know was there, it may be manslaughter at the most. But if you know the person is there, it is murder 2 or murder 1.

All right. Sorry if I’ve caused offense. Have a good day.

So we never get to hear your side, huh: after all that? You claimed, “Once I understand your position I’ll be happy to explain mine.”

Not to be overly direct, but I still don’t understand your position so my original comment stands. As you point out, you’ve explained it in the most clear and convincing way you can, and as I can’t understand it, the fault lies with me, not you.

My “choice” as you see it is to be a mean, heartless bastard and chauvinist if I dare to say a woman should be punished for killing her own child.

Or I can say (as I did), that she should not be punished, or only lightly (with more culpability) and you come back with, “Are women somehow less intellectually or morally capable to the point they aren’t responsible for their own actions?”

Very nice! Therefore, since my pro-life position leads me to (according to you) two equally insufficient answers to your posed “dilemma,” we must go to a view where the preborn child isn’t a person? Then there is no more dilemma! Women and butcher-“doctors” can kill with impunity and there is no moral fault at all!

Some solution . . .

But you can’t comprehend my reasoning after all this time I’ve given you (and so refuse to give me YOUR position, which I could assuredly “grill” every bit as much as you have, mine). Thus, our discussion is at an end.

It was at least an interesting discussion, and quite civil (especially on this sort of topic) though it ends with nothing resolved, as all discussions on abortion always seem to do.

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