A certain class of pro-choicers have had a lot of success using an allegation (which they often know is false, I think) that pro-lifers hate women. So pro-lifers end up being more reticent than they objectively shouid be to talk about the sometimes moral culpability of women who abort. In their caution, they may make over-generalized statements painting all women who abort as if they were teenagers being misled by their grandmothers.
Rehumanize International is asking a related question involving the mother's culpability, having to do with the punishment of women who abort: https://www.rehumanizeintl.org/post/life-after-roe
It would be good to get a conversation going about this.
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Rachel Crawford
Thank you for sharing the article Michele! I am glad you shared it because it is good to get more pro-life people thinking about this. Obviously that article has a bigger focus on legal ramifications and this one is more focused on the moral ramifications, but the main disagreement between what Andrew writes in this article and Christina Yao's position is whether or not the woman is an agent in the abortion or a victim like the child.
Andrew would argue (and I agree with him) that women who have abortions are morally culpable to some degree or another. We think saying that nearly all American women who get abortions are victims deprives them of moral agency. While I recognize the horrific reality that there are some women who are literally forced to have an abortion against their will, that is not the story of most post-abortive women in the United States. I think recognizing that many post-abortive women have actively participated in the abortion decision and have some amount of moral culpability leads to clearer thinking on the abortion issue and better services for women who want healing from their abortion. So while I must respectfully disagree with that position Yao takes in her article, I want pro-life advocates to think through the issue for themselves and come to their own position. I appreciate you sharing very much.
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We have a discussion going on this over at the Rehumanize Intl post, which I'll share with you if you friend me. :) Here's what I said:
Related to this is the question of forgiveness. We believe in and teach that God forgives women who have abortions. We've been asked by women who are planning to abort if they should also plan to ask forgiveness. I never recommend that course of action because that would make me complicit in the abortion if I said, "Sure!" The thing is, I can't be sure the woman will be in the same mindset after her abortion as before. Plus, I've never heard a woman say--and this is the main point--that she knew abortion was wrong, did it anyway, asked God to forgive her, and everything was fine. I don't think that's a failure of God to forgive--He forgives the worst sinners--but a failure of the woman to ask, perhaps because her shame and guilt is worse than for a woman who aborts without the consciousness that it's wrong.
So, in a restorative justice setting, how does the "court of opinion" come up with a determination of how culpable the person was? They kind of have to first be in a place mentally or emotionally or spiritually where they can accept correction and restoration.