(LifeSiteNews) — It’s hard to imagine a less popular position than this one, but yes, state laws should allow for the prosecution of the adult woman who procures an illegal abortion, for the sake of the woman herself and for the sake of her older children. My wisdom comes from 15 years as a foster parent for the State of Tennessee.
This piece is a rebuttal to Prof. David Bonagura’s column entitled “Don’t Criminalize Women for Abortion,” published by The Catholic Thing on July 21.
Prof. Bonagura works from the presupposition that the woman who procures an abortion is no threat to the general public. His naiveté is understandable; most people do not understand the insidious way in which abortion affects the older children of the woman who aborts.
What would make a woman so desperate as to seek an illegal, dangerous abortion? I will tell you: her desire to maintain custody of her older children.
Every hospital in America routinely tests newborns for illicit drugs. If the baby tests positive, the hospital makes a referral to children’s services. The state then takes custody of the baby and the woman’s older children. If no suitable relative is available to take them, all the children go into foster care until the woman proves that she is clean and able to care for her children.
The woman who is pregnant and using illicit drugs knows all this. She knows that if she gives birth in a hospital, she will lose her baby as well as her older children. So she aborts the baby. The state is none the wiser, and her older children remain at risk for neglect and abuse. This happens all the time. The woman who procures an abortion may well be a threat to her older dependent children, not to mention future children she may conceive.
The use of abortion to hide the abuse and neglect of older children will continue unabated in states where abortion remains legal, but in pro-life states, we have a chance to intervene. At the very least, every illegal abortion must be referred to children’s services, so that the proper authorities may check on the welfare of other dependent children.
The mother and her child(ren) are not the only victims of abortion. The woman who aborts doesn’t just kill her own child. She kills someone else’s child. Someone else’s grandchild, niece or nephew, brother or sister. The state has a compelling interest in prosecuting all the perpetrators, in pursuit of justice for all the victims, while recognizing the mother’s peculiar role as both victim and perpetrator.
30+ powerful big-box, Big Tech, and mainstream media companies are targeting their young female employees by offering abortion travel “benefits” to new mothers — to kill their children for the sake of corporate profit and productivity!
THIS PRO-DEATH CORPORATE CULTURE WILL DESTROY LIVES AND VILLIFY BIG FAMILIES AND PRO-LIFE VALUES IF WE DON’T ACT NOW!
***WE CANNOT LOSE THE PRO-LIFE VICTORY AFTER ROE V. WADE TO ANTI-FAMILY COMPANIES! SEND A MESSAGE TO POWERFUL CEOs TODAY THAT YOU SUPPORT OUR CHILDREN’S RIGHTS OF LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!***
SIGN THE PETITION NOW TO WIN THE CORPORATE PRO-LIFE BATTLE!
Starbucks said it would reimburse travel expenses for employees who need abortions and cannot get them within 100 miles of their homes. In a memo on Monday, the company said it wanted to ensure that its employees had “access to quality health care.” https://t.co/PI1Yg2xKTx— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 16, 2022
Amazon says it will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for non-life threatening medical treatments including abortions, according to a message seen by Reuters. https://t.co/9M4Dtdzb4X— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 3, 2022
The pro-life movement has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to send a pro-family message to millions of citizens for generations to come — but we cannot LOSE OUT on this moment by caving to corporations and their cheap and disgusting “abortion” benefits!
CONSUMERS MUST SEND A RESOUNDING MESSAGE TO ALL CORPORATE LEADERS THAT WE WILL NOT TOLERATE EMPLOYEE ABORTION PRESSURE!
SIGN TODAY and demand the following company CEOs SUPPORT WOMEN AND CHILDREN NOW!
***WE ARE DELIVERING THIS LETTER TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM!***
Jeff Bezos – Amazon
Brian Moynihan – Bank of America
Whitney Wolfe Herd – Bumble
BuzzFeed – Jonah Peretti
Cigna Health Insurance – David Cordani
Citigroup – Jane Fraser
CNN – Chris Licht
Comcast – Brian Roberts
Condé Nast – Roger Lynch
CVS Health – Karen Lynch
Dick’s Sporting Goods – Lauren Hobart
Goldman Sachs – David Solomon
Hewlett-Packard – Enrique Lores
JPMorgan Chase – Jamie Dimon
Kroger – Rodney McMullen
New York Times – Meredith Kopit Levien
Lyft – Logan Green
MasterCard – Michael Miebach
Meta/Facebook - Mark Zuckerberg
Microsoft – Satya Nadella
Paramount – Brian Robbins
Patagonia – Jenna Johnson
PayPal – Dan Schulman
Procter & Gamble – Jon Moeller
Salesforce – Marc Benioff
Starbucks – Kevin Johnson
Target – Brian Cornell
Tesla, Inc. – Elon Musk
Uber – Dara Khosrowshahi
Vox Media – Jim Bankoff
Disney – Bob Chapek
Yelp – Jeremy Stoppelman
Zillow – Rich Barton
*** SIGN NOW AND MAKE YOUR PRO-LIFE AND PRO-FAMILY VOICE HEARD AT THE WORLD'S LARGEST CORPORATIONS! TELL THESE CEOs TO STOP SUPPORTING ABORTION TODAY! ***
Image Logos: Wikipedia
Prof. Bonagura employs a popular but false dichotomy: we can either offer the woman love, hope, and mercy or we can criminally prosecute her. I submit that the truly charitable thing is to do both. Prof. Bonagura argues that the woman who aborts needs healing through counseling, perhaps even psychiatry, but how shall we compel the woman to get what she needs apart from criminal prosecution?
Criminal prosecution need not result in jail time; the woman’s debt might be paid by submitting to a recovery program of her choosing which helps her transition to a healthy life. But treatment requirements are unenforceable outside the criminal-justice system.
Promiscuity, abortion, and drug addiction are all highly correlated. All are coping mechanisms for dealing with tragedy which, in turn, lead to greater tragedy. Each one feeds on the other in a destructive cycle that is incredibly difficult to break. In compassion, what would we do for the addict? The post-abortive woman is very likely to benefit from the same intervention. Post-abortive women need to be actively rescued through the criminal-justice system, not passively tolerated until they register for a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat.
Finally, Prof. Bonagura argues that the optics of criminally prosecuting post-abortive women would be terrible and may turn public opinion toward legalized abortion. I would argue that optics are irrelevant. The legacy media will crucify us no matter what we do. We must do what is right in the sight of God and do our best to persuade others of the rightness of our actions.
As pro-lifers, we contend that there is no difference between abortion and infanticide. Most Americans support criminal prosecution of the woman who kills her newborn baby. If we support prosecution for infanticide but not abortion, we concede a difference that isn’t real. Let’s just do the right thing and leave the consequences up to God.
Jennifer Hay is a Catholic mother of six children, none of whom are impressed with her career as a mechanical engineer for a Fortune 500 company, her four patents, or her pro-life activism.