I recently read an article by a pro-life source arguing that they weren’t seeking to jail post-abortive mothers. They said that abortion produced two victims [I would argue that it produces many more than two, but more on that below.] and they had no wish to punish women who were victimized by abortion. Well and good. Kind of a moot point, because abortion is, sadly, legal for the most part and no one seems to prosecute women who seek illegal late-term abortions anyway. But, it was a forward-looking article, hopeful that one day abortion would be made illegal.
I agree that abortion produces many more victims than just the dismembered baby. The mother has torn out a piece of her soul when she kills her own child or consents to its murder. This will haunt her for the rest of her life. I have nothing but compassion for women who have to get up every day and remember what they’ve done. The father is another victim. The living siblings of the murdered baby. The grandparents, who sometimes have forced their own child to murder her child. Even other family members such as brothers and sisters of the abortive mother. Then you move on a little: people who work in abortionaries whether they are performing the abortion or not are also victims of abortion. They are killing their own souls. Everyone who is touched by abortion is a victim, a victim of one of the most heinous crimes that exists.
Reading the few comments that had been left on the article I was startled. The general thrust was, “They’re all murderers; throw them in jail and throw away the key!” Now, these are pro-life people, people who are supposed to be fighting for life. I left a comment asking where their compassion had gone? Were they forgetting about the 13 and 15 year old girls who were taken to an abortion “clinic” and told if they didn’t cooperate their family would be hurt? [Planned Parenthood has a long-standing history of covering up statutory rape, child molestation, incest, child sex-trafficking, etc. These things happen daily in their abortion mills.] What about the seventeen-year-old who comes home and is told by her parents that if she doesn’t get an abortion she can get out on the street? The woman who is of lower-than-average intelligence and believes the secular indoctrination that the baby is nothing but a mass of tissue until 7 months?
My answer was a wave of hate and vengeful language.
I was blown away. People said that every woman walking in knew she was killing a live baby. One said she was not an advocate for the woman, but for the baby who was the victim here. People accused me of wanting to let murderers go free, keep the jails empty of everyone who had ever committed a crime. I responded (pretty mildly, for me) that I thought were were opposing abortion out of LOVE. That we could none of us look at another soul and say, “he is worse than I.” That we must show compassion or our works were worth nothing. My heart was breaking just feeling the heat emanating from the screen.
Now, I know personally women who have killed their babies for nothing but self-admitted selfish reasons. Who knew they were killing a living baby. Who refused help and insisted that abortion was the only good answer. I have struggled with anger in these situations. It is hard to have compassion and to remember that these are the actions of people who are gravely spiritually ill. That only someone who has told her conscience to take a long walk off a short pier could kill her child in cold blood. I’m just saying that prison is not the answer here. Certainly not a blanket answer.
Father gave a good sermon on the story of the Prodigal Son today (appropriate, given that this is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son). I’m not going to recap the whole thing but I want to comment on an aside he inserted in the middle. He noted that secular society points to the man wallowing in the pig sty (enslaved by his passions) and says this is normal, this is good, this is desirable, this is legal, this should be encouraged and supported. Well, I was thinking about that. It seemed to me that I was standing next to the pig sty. Inside were women who had killed their babies or were in the act of doing so. They were suffering. On my left were people saying that the women had every right to be there, that there was nothing wrong at all, that it was wrong to suggest they might not want to be there or to offer to help them out. On my right were people saying that the women had gotten in the pig sty under their own steam and of their own volition. They deserved to be there and to suffer. Each group was yelling at the other and throwing mud. And Satan is running both groups. All I could think was, isn’t anyone going to help those poor women out of the pig sty, wash them off and feed them? Bring them home?
God welcomes us all home. No matter what we have done. No matter what is in our past or present. There are no recriminations, no “I told you so’s”, no dirty looks, no eye-rolling, no sarcasm, no ambivalence. Just love and joy.