Christine Flowers, 4/8/2016 [Archive]

Sorry, But Women Who Have Abortions are Murderers

By Christine Flowers

Donald Trump is not what you would call a pro-life icon. In fact, I doubt that the status of little babies ever entered his mind before this election cycle, unless you count the little babies he sired with three different wives.

Now, however, Donald is running for president of the United States on the Republican ticket, and so he feels the need to make at least an attempt at "pro-lifiness," to paraphrase Stephen Colbert. At a recent town hall meeting with Chris Matthews, Trump tried to ingratiate himself with the conservatives by saying what he thought they wanted to hear: that he could see his way clear to punishing women who had abortions.

Now I am not a fan of Donald Trump, but I am really sick and tired of people using abortion as some weapon against anyone who has the guts to say it's murder, and that when you murder someone you deserve to be punished.

The touchy-feely members of the pro-life community never say this, of course. They use the sort of language that makes me scream, even though I travel with them, the sort of "everyone is a victim" mantra that somehow makes the woman soliciting the abortion and the baby who will never have a future equal in their pain.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. I think that women are as responsible as the abortion doctors in seeking to end to innocent human life, and if that makes me a heartless [rhymes with witch], so be it. But I am nothing if not consistent.

What I cannot stand are the people who say abortion is indeed murder, but who want us to have absolute compassion for the women who engage in the activity. One of my friends, a very smart woman who has a nuanced and sophisticated view of the issue, warned me against comparing relative "victimhood" because it wouldn't advance the cause of ending abortions.

I admire and respect her a great deal, but I strongly disagree. To allow women to believe that they are victims of society is some fraudulent piety that completely obscures the evil of the act in which they are engaging. And it is an evil act.

If you are still reading at this point and have not yet had your weekly aneurysm, my compliments. I know that you are not used to people being quite so candid about their position on abortion. We are taught that it is much better to assume a pseudo-compassionate stance about the horrible matter, to avoid appearing anti-woman.

I was, in fact, told by another friend that I need to "persuade" women into seeing the horror of abortion, not hit them over the head with a hammer.

My response is this: do we "persuade" men not to be rapists? Do we "persuade" robbers not to break into homes? Do we "persuade" ISIS not to behead Christians?

My point is that if we believe something is immoral and yes, criminal, we don't engage in "persuasion." We attempt to eliminate the evil act. And we punish those who persist in committing it.

You will of course say, and be absolutely justified, that abortion is legal. It is not a criminal act, thanks to Justice Harry Blackmun, who was so desperate to protect his doctor friends from prosecution that he whipped up a right to abortion that didn't exist in the Constitution.

But Trump was asked what he would do to people who had abortions even if the act was banned. There was the presumption that under Trump, abortion would be illegal. He was asked what he would do with the lawbreakers. And, inartfully, he said that they would be punished. And the heavens opened.

Trump is not stupid, and he saw his mistake. He later issued a revision (two, in fact) where he got to the point of saying that (surprise!) women are victims and would not be prosecuted, only those horrible doctors who go around forcing women to have abortions without their permission.

I don't blame him for caving, because he is not exactly a profile in courage, nor is he really a member of my movement. Still, I liked the little bit of authenticity he brought to the table.

All of this is to say that there is only one victim in the abortion scenario, and that is the baby who will never be born.

But you can't say that. Not even if you're a maverick. Not even if you're The Donald.


©2016 Christine Flowers. Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, and can be reached at

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