Yesterday, I went to jail as part of a start-up project devised to help women get connected with resources upon their release.
My friend Missy and I met with some incarcerated ladies to assess their situations. What were their needs? What could be done to help them on Day 1 of their release to keep them from going right back to their old destructive ways?
It was the first time I had been in that particular jail, and I noticed that the inmates had uniforms in varying colors. The inmate we were speaking with explained what the various colors represented. She went on to say that one inmate was in red because she had taken methamphetamine while pregnant. The drugs harmed her in-utero child, and she was now classified as a violent criminal.
In March 2016 at a town hall in Green Bay, Wisconsin, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews probed Donald Trump relentlessly concerning his position on abortion.
Matthews asked, “Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?”
“The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment,” said Trump.
“For the woman?” prodded Matthews.
“Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump responded.
In response to his answer, the backlash was severe. A media frenzy immediately ensued with attacks on Trump coming from all sides. Later the same day, Trump’s campaign issued a statement clarifying he meant doctors who perform abortions should be punished if abortion was illegal.
As pro-lifers, we concur with science that a separate and identifiable person with his or her own DNA and blood is growing in his or her mother’s womb. So, can we look at this rationally?
If a person kills another person, legal consequences exist. In other words, “there has to be some form” of punishment. States have varying laws as to how those penalties are applied. Was the killing intentional, unintentional? Did it involve reckless endangerment, or was the accused an accessory to the crime?
President Trump was wise to refrain from identifying specific forms of punishment.
The idea of punishing women for abortion raises the blood pressure of liberals and conservatives alike. Some praise post-abortion women as self-empowering heroes. In other circles, women are often considered victims of abortion.
We are victims primarily because we have been lied to by our culture. And we are still being lied to. The media has failed us. The legal system has failed us. And, in large part, the church has failed us.
Abortion is sold as a choice, but in reality, most women “choose” abortion because they believe they have no other choice. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to coercion and even violence. Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.
Research shows that the majority of mothers who had abortions were coerced and misinformed:
- 52% felt rushed.
- 54% uncertain of their decision.
- 64% felt pressured to abort; many were denied essential personal, family, societal or economic support.
- 67% had no counseling beforehand.
- 79% were not told of available alternatives.
- 84% were not properly informed; many were misinformed by experts about fetal development or risks.
A woman in a crisis pregnancy is in desperate need of help. She needs compassion, wisdom, and sometimes protection. What she doesn’t need is someone to help her kill her baby.
When I sit down with those women in jail, I know deep down inside that I belong there too. I was an accomplice to the murder of my own child. I handed over money and paid a man to get it done.
I didn’t know exactly what I was doing then as a confused 17-year-old. But I do now. I am no longer a victim because I know the truth. And Christ has poured out his mercy and forgiveness and freed me from the prison of guilt and shame in which I dwelled.
I was a victim because I was lied to. I was a victim because abortion was legal. Otherwise, it would have never happened, and I would be experiencing the joys of loving my 30-year-old daughter. Maybe I would even have grandchildren.
As I listen and learn from these women, I see how ill-informed or impulsive decisions affect them and those who love them in life-altering ways. But what if their crimes had been legal? Consequences of those crimes would still be working to destroy their lives. Their prison would be on the inside.
Satan has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). And he is the father of lies (John 8:44). What a monumental accomplishment He has enjoyed for all these decades as lives and families have been destroyed by his great, dark lie.
Women are victims of abortion because it is legal.