Criminalizing Abortion and Practical Application of Law

We appreciate your pro-life convictions and like you, we believe that life begins at fertilization and that the human "fetus" is a person in every relevant sense of the word. In our view, this implies that abortion always entails the taking of an innocent life. From these assumptions we move logically to the conclusion that abortion ought to be illegal. But does this mean that we would call for the prosecution, punishment, and imprisonment of women who might seek abortions in defiance of legal prohibitions? Absolutely not.

Why do we say this? Because the laws of a nation have a declarative as well as a practical function. They make statements about the corporate moral standards to which we as a people subscribe. They identify the behaviors we applaud and those we consider reprehensible. The law is, among other things, a teacher. What the government allows, or prohibits, impacts public behavior and morals. This aspect of the law's power and significance should not be underestimated.

In this connection, it's worth adding that, historically, laws prohibiting abortion in the United States have generally called for prosecution of the abortionist rather than the woman. That's because the woman has traditionally been viewed as a second victim (along with her child) of the abortion.

If you have further questions about this subject and think it might be helpful to discuss them at greater length, please call our staff of pastoral counselors.

 

Resources
ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage in the Culture

Reaching Hearts on Abortion

Articles
Life Issues

Family Policy Alliance: Life Issues

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