In the most recent episode of the podcast “The Fifth Column,” the co-hosts and guests engaged each other on whether pro-lifers believe women who’ve had an abortion should face criminal punishment.
Earlier this month, longtime National Review writer Kevin Williamson was briefly hired and then quickly fired by The Atlantic after backlash for his controversial views on abortion. Williamson, who was born as an unplanned pregnancy prior to Roe vs. Wade and subsequently adopted, is vehemently pro-life.
In a few tweets and a podcast interview, Williamson, said he was “absolutely willing to see abortion treated like regular homicide under the criminal code.” He separately contended that capital punishment for such an offense should include hanging — while reiterating his opposition to capital punishment generally.
‘Baby Murderers Sound Like the worst!’
Williamson’s remarks prompted prominent feminists to lose their minds, and spurred some to insist that a majority of pro-lifers really do want to criminally punish women who decide to abort their children. This discussion was reiterated in the Fifth Column podcast episode, and I’ve transcribed some highlights of the conversation below. All of the participants described themselves as pro-choice.
“If you really think that your mothers are murdering your own children, then you would say ‘Yeah that person deserves to be hung,'” said Kat Timpf, of National Review. “I bet you that a lot of people agree with him, but just don’t want to say so. If you really believe that that’s murder, then why wouldn’t you agree with that?”
Matt Welch, editor-at-large at Reason magazine, brought up that Donald Trump had called for women who’ve had abortions to be punished in early 2016, prompting many pro-lifers to publicly distance themselves from the then-candidate’s comments.
“The natural logical point of this, if you do treat them [unborn babies] as humans, is to charge them [the mothers] with capital murder,” said Ben Dreyfuss, of Mother Jones.
“So Kevin Williamson, in that scenario, is being more honest,” Welch said.
“Which is why pro-lifers are wrong,” Dreyfuss quipped. “And so stupid! It highlights how stupid they are!”
“Abortion is yucky!” Welch said.
“The first time I went in and I looked at this gummy bear blob inside of my wife who didn’t have all of its appendages yet, but I heard that heartbeat,” said Kmele Foster, a partner at Freethink, whose wife recently had a baby. “It f***ed me up a little bit.”
“I think it’s very easy for a man to be pro-life, you can just Tristan Thompson the s**t outta that,” Timpf said, in reference to Khloe Kardashian, who recently had a baby with a man who reportedly cheated on her while she was pregnant.
“If you are someone who is pro-life, and you really do believe that these women are committing murder, which I don’t, and if you really do believe that — they’re literally murdering babies, why wouldn’t you hang ’em?” she said. “Baby murderers sound like the worst!”
“I think what this proves, though, is that conservatives say that abortion is murder, but this proved that they don’t actually really see it as murder,” she continued. “Because if they did see it as murder, they would have been behind Kevin Williamson 100 percent.”
“It’s entirely possible for someone to have like a perspective that is somewhat nuanced about an issue like this,” Foster said.
“We are not having a conversation about abortion in America, just in the same way that we are not, generally speaking, having a conversation about gun rights in America,” Welch said. “One side emotes, the other side emotes. They know the middle has been actually decided by the Supreme Court.”
Yes, Abortion Is Murder
By definition, a successful abortion results in the end of an unborn child’s life. A woman goes into an abortion clinic pregnant, undergoes the procedure, and emerges without the baby. The baby’s body is disposed of. When a pregnancy is further along, an abortion is a brutal procedure that requires a doctor to literally rip apart a baby in the womb with teethed clamps. That is no exaggeration. You can watch a video with an animated diagram illustrating the procedure in the first trimester, second trimester, and third trimester here.
“Killing a baby at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason at all, is wrong,” former abortionist Anthony Levatino says in the video outlining a first-trimester abortion.
Science shows unequivocally that life begins at conception. At the moment an egg is fertilized, it becomes genetically unique. It is no longer part of the mother or part of the father, but a third entity, right at that moment. Thus terminating a fertilized egg is by definition ending a life. It is not stopping a potential life from forming, it is killing a person whose life has already begun. It is wrong.
But mothers who have done this should not face the death penalty. The central goal of the pro-life movement is not to add to the death count, but to try to save as many lives as possible. To say that hanging women who’ve had abortions is necessarily the logical end of the pro-life movement is false and illogical.
Pro-Life Is A Movement Of Compassion and Redemption
If you’ve ever been to the annual March for Life, chances are you’ve seen women holding signs saying they regret their abortions. Or you’ve met former abortionists and abortion clinic workers who now march for every child’s right to life. Pro-lifers embrace people like these who have participated in murdering children because these people have repented and changed.
And that is ultimately the whole goal. The pro-life movement is a movement of forgiveness and redemption. The goal is to empower women and welcome all, regardless of what they’ve done in the past. The whole point is redemption for tough situations.
Pro-lifers celebrate, accept, and work to heal post-abortive women. It’s a hallmark of the movement. Many prominent pro-life leaders are post-abortive women or former abortion workers who’ve repented from the evil things they’ve done and seek to save the lives of others. Abby Johnson, a former abortion worker at Planned Parenthood, left the industry in 2009 to start And Then There Were None, an organization that seeks to help abortion workers get out of the industry.
Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United For Life, had an abortion at 19 years old. Four abortion clinic workers held her down and she was forced to undergo the procedure after she changed her mind and no longer wanted to go through with it.
“I said, ‘I can’t do this,” she told CBN. “This is wrong and I feel really bad about this. Just let me go. You can keep the money.’ And they shouted for more people and I had four people holding me down. One – a nurse – and a staff member on each arm. The doctor aborted my child. I’m screaming. That’s not choice.”
“It was not pro-woman, it was not pro-me,” she continued. “They didn’t care about me, they didn’t respect my opinion. They were just in-‘n-out. They wanted me gone and they wanted my baby gone.”
This traumatizing experience and the sadness she later felt prompted Foster to fight for the unborn. The organization she helms fights to pass laws that restrict the practice of abortion in states across the country.
These women ought not to be shamed for their past deeds nor should they face capital punishment. Their stories are now a part of a movement that aims to stop the barbaric and evil practice of abortion — a movement that seeks to inform and educate women through organizations like ATTWN and the Human Coalition, which empower women and provide them resources to chose options outside of abortion and the abortion industry.
Women Are Victims Too
Yes, abortion is murder. No, women who have aborted their children should not be punished. Women who’ve undergone an abortion procedure are victims of abortion too. They’re victims of the abortion industry and the “pro-choice” movement, which purposefully tells women lies about the lives they hold in their wombs. Thus many women who abort their children do not know what they are doing.
They are victims of sexual assaulters seeking to get rid of evidence, and they are victims of abortion doctors — some of whom keep filthy clinics and have killed women on the table and infected them with STDs. Post-abortive women are victims of a society that demeans a woman’s decision to carry her child to term and either mother the child or choose adoption. Post-abortive women are victims of all of the societal ills that have contributed to their journey to the abortion clinic — poverty, a failing public school system, and an abortion-industrial complex that routinely lies to women about what the procedure is and its risks.
About 76 percent of abortive women are either poor or low income, and about 40 – 75 percent of women undergo an abortion due to economic reasons. Bottom line: women who get abortions usually are not doing so because they want to (of course, there are exceptions). By and large, women seeking an abortion are doing so out of desperation. Abortion is not an act of empowerment, it’s a decision a woman makes when she feels backed into a corner. This is underscored by the often dismal conditions at abortion clinics.
Many women are manipulated or outright forced into abortions, which reduces their culpability. In Alabama, a clinic failed to comply with state laws that require clinics to report to authorities whenever an underage girl seeks an abortion. A 13-year-old girl who did not speak English came to the clinic seeking an abortion. The age of consent in Alabama is 16, which makes this girl a victim of statutory rape. Her story was not documented, neither did the clinic ask for the baby’s father’s name, another state requirement. The truth was only revealed after a health inspection two years later.
This story isn’t at all unique. Planned Parenthood clinics in six states were willing to cover up sexual abuse, according to a Live Action investigation.
Women deserve better than the abortion industrial complex. Women who have aborted their child do not deserve to be punished, as they are victims too.
If you or someone you know is working in the abortion industry and seeking resources to find a new career, go here. If you or someone you know is faced with an unplanned pregnancy and looking for help, here’s a few resources to start with.
You can also e-mail me directly at the address listed below. I would be happy to talk and put you in touch with resources available near you.