Donald Trump’s recent fumbling over a question of punishment for abortion has raised a flurry of responses from the “pro-life” movement. The controversy centered on Trump’s waffling over whether a mother who aborts her child should receive some kind of punishment if abortion were ever to become illegal again. Jill Stanek, Chairman of the Susan B. Anthony List National Campaign, clarified that the pro-life movement considers the mother of an aborted child to be purely a victim, not a perpetrator. By that definition, the mother bears no guilt and must not be punished. Consequently, Trump’s uncertainty over the issue calls into question his qualification as a pro-life candidate.
I’ve always refrained from calling myself “pro-life,” simply because I don’t like the attempt to make everything sound positive. I’m very happy to be known as “anti-abortion,” just as I would be happy to call myself “anti-murder, “anti-Nazi,” or “anti-socialist.” Further, since the pro-life movement is dominated by the Roman Catholic church, it has assimilated that church’s objection to the death penalty. I find that doctrine to be anti-Biblical as well as unjust and damaging to the social order. That’s yet another reason to shun the pro-life label.
Stanek’s protestations against the guilt of an aborting mother defy logic. Yes, some mothers are forced by evil parents or sexual partners to have abortions, and can fairly be called victims. The vast majority are complicit in the murder of their children in the same sense as the mobster who contracts a hired killer. The law on contract killing places responsibility for the murder as much on the one who hired the killer as on the killer himself. If our nation ever returns to its senses and makes abortion legally equivalent to murder, the mother who willingly undergoes the procedure must receive the punishment for murder along with the “doctor” and associated personnel.