Donald Trump may have finally torpedoed his campaign by telling Chris Matthews and a nationwide TV audience that there should be “some form of punishment” for a woman who has an abortion. Consequently, he managed to horrify forces on the far left and to cause anguish in the pro-life community, which believes legal punishment should be reserved for abortionists rather than the women who seek their services.
Mr. Trump made the statement in a contentious interview in which he was being relentlessly pressed by Matthews, and so some allowance can be made. However, the exchange revealed once again the shallowness of Trump’s understanding of the life issue. He seems clearly to be someone who has given little thought or reflection to the matter of the sanctity of human life.
The Bible says, in Proverbs 15:28, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Solomon adds, in Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” Trump on this issue has very little knowledge to commend and thus it was only a matter of time before he made a fool of himself by opening his mouth.
He almost immediately sought to walk his statement back, but the statement he issued through his campaign in an effort to repair the damage was quite obviously written by someone else. Trump’s understanding on this issue is so thin he must have others do his thinking for him.
The pro-life community has long realized that the most effective way to rid America of the scourge of abortion is to treat the woman, from a legal standpoint, as a second victim of an abortion. The casualty count every time a pregnant woman walks into an abortion clinic is one dead and one wounded.
Anyone who has seen the devastating and lifelong effects of abortion on a woman’s mental and emotional health knows the suffering it can cause. Does she bear moral culpability for that decision? Of course she does. But the way forward for women is healing through repentance rather than time in jail.
It is the abortionists who should receive “some form of punishment” for serving as little more than hired assassins.
But Trump appears to have given very little thought to any of this. His pro-life conversion was based on his relationship with a couple who contemplated abortion but then saw the pregnancy through and brought a “superstar” into the world. When Trump was asked if he’d have become pro-life if the child had turned out to be a loser, he wasn’t sure. But a child’s worth is not based on accomplishments but on the fact that he bears in himself the image of God. That seems to be an utterly alien concept to Mr. Trump.
The presidency is far too important to entrust to a man with such an inchoate and rootless view of the sacredness of human life. The Bible says, “The lips of the wise spread knowledge, not so the heart of fools” (Proverbs 15:7). Let’s choose a man for the Oval Office who spreads knowledge and not folly when he speaks about life.