If the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court holds true, states will soon have the ability to outlaw abortions through their state legislatures. When that happens, the pro-life movement will enter a new phase. Now that legislatures have the power to outlaw abortion, the question is how this will be done. Who should be punished when abortion are done, even though they are outlawed?
Unfortunately, based on the reaction to the recent Louisiana HB 813, it seems the pro-life movement has shown a rift. This piece is going to discuss what should be done in light of this rift about how abortion is regulated and outlawed.
At first glance, it seems the pro-life movement has a healthy majority of people who do not want “women” to be prosecuted or punished at all when abortion is outlawed. Instead, this majority wants to punish the person “performing” the abortion – i.e., the abortionist. It seems a minority believe that because abortion is killing someone, then anyone (including women and mothers) who seek to kill an unborn baby should face the punishment of the law. After all, if paying someone to kill someone else is a crime, and abortion is killing someone, why wouldn’t you punish a woman for paying someone to kill someone?
This is the potential break-up of the pro-life movement. For this reason, we need to talk about the next phase of the pro-life struggle. But first, let’s talk about the reaction to Louisiana HB 813, the proposed law that “criminalizes” women seeking abortions.
The Response of the Mainline Pro-Life Movement to Louisiana HB 813
The incident that brought to this issue to my attention is HB 813. This bill in the Louisiana Legislature defines a fetus, embryo, and zygote as a “person” for all legal purposes, including criminal purposes.
A significant portion of the pro-life movement did not like this. That fact came to my attention because Tom Ascol, who is running for the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention. Tom Ascol was upset that an SBC organization – the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC – took a side, and took the wrong side. The acting president of the ERLC, Brent Leatherwood, signed on to “An Open Letter to State Lawmakers from America’s Leading Pro-Life Organizations.” Here is what the Open Letter says:
As national and state pro-life organizations, representing tens of millions of pro-life men, women, and children across the country, let us be clear: We state unequivocally that we do not support any measure seeking to criminalize or punish women and we stand firmly opposed to include such penalties in legislation. (emphasis in original)
The reasoning for this stance is described as follows:
But the tragedy of abortion isn’t limited to the unborn child who loses her life. The mother who aborts her child is also Roe’s victim. She is the victim of a callous industry created to take lives; an industry that claims to provide for “women’s health,” but denies the reality that far too many American women suffer devastating physical and psychological damage following abortion.
While not stated directly in the letter, it is intuitively believed that it is “abortionists” who should be punished for abortions, not women. The instigation for this letter dated May 12, 2022 was Louisiana, HB 813, which defines a “person” in the law as the following:
“a human being from the moment of fertilization and also includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not”
It also defined an “unborn person” as follows:
“Unborn child” means an individual human being from fertilization until birth.”
However, the thing to note is that the bill does not necessarily “criminalize” abortion, because the law in Louisiana already criminalizes abortion. Here’s how that works.
The law in Louisiana on “homicide” says the following:
Homicide is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable omission of another. Criminal homicide is of five grades:
(1) First degree murder.
(2) Second degree murder.
(4) Negligent homicide.
(5) Vehicular homicide.
Therefore, if a fetus, embryo, or zygote is a “human being,” then abortion is homicide. The strange thing is that HB 813 doesn’t really “do” much except say what pro-lifers have been saying for decades. Regardless, a large number of pro-life organizations took issue with that tactic. Here is a list of the people and organizations who signed on to the letter, as of May 12, 2022:
- Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life
- Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
- Archbishop William E. Lori, Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Eric J. Scheidler, Executive Director, Pro-Life Action League
- Dr. Gregory P. Seltz, Executive Director, Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty
- Ralph Reed, Founder and Chairman, Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Timothy R. Head, Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Aaron Lara, Presidente, Congreso Iberoamericano, por la Vida y la Familia
- José L. González, Founder and President, Semilla
- Marie Ashby, Executive Director, National Association of Pro-Life Nurses
- Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, Founder and President, New Wave Feminists
- Catherine Glenn Foster, President and CEO, Americans United for Life
- Jeanne F. Mancini, President, March for Life Action
- Brent Leatherwood, Acting President, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
- Bradley Mattes, President, Life Issues Institute
- Kelsey Hazzard, President, Secular Pro-Life
- Kristen Day, Executive Director, Democrats for Life of America
- O. Carter Snead, J.D., Director, de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture, University of Notre Dame
- Terrisa Bukovinac, Founder and Executive Director, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising
- Herb Geraghty, Executive Director, Rehumanize International
- Joe Kral, President and Editor-in-Chief, Society of St. Sebastian
- Cheryl Lewis, Director, Alabama Citizens for Life
- Karen Lewis, Director, Pro-Life Alaska
- Luis Howard, Director, Arizona State Right to Life
- Rose Mimms, Executive Director, Arkansas Right to Life
- Brian Johnston, Director, California Pro-Life Council
- Chad Schnitger, President, Faith & Freedom Coalition of California
- Steven Ertelt, Director, Colorado Citizens for Life, Editor, LifeNews.com
- Suzy Smith, President, Pro-Life Council of Connecticut
- Rita Rinaldi, Director, Delaware Citizens for Life
- Ross T. Gillfillan, National Director, DC Metro Life Alliance
- Derrick Jones, President, DC Metro Life Alliance
- Hon. Lynda Bell, President, Florida Right to Life
- Martha Zoller, Executive Director, Georgia Life Alliance
- Janet Hochberg, Director, Hawaii Life Alliance
- Kerry Uhlenkott, Legislative Coordinator, Right to Life of Idaho
- Dawn Behnke, Esq., President, Illinois Federation for Right to Life
- Mike Fichter, President and CEO, Indiana Right to Life
- Kristi Judkins, Executive Director, Iowa Right to Life
- Steve Scheffler, President, Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director, Pulse Life Advocates
- Mary Wilkinson, President, Kansans for Life
- Carol Dengel, National Director, Kansans for Life
- Hon. Addia K. Wuchner, R.N., Executive Director and CEO, Kentucky Right to Life
- Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director, Louisiana Right to Life
- Hon. Karen Vachon, President and Executive Director, Maine Right to Life
- Darla St. Martin, President, Maryland Right to Life
- Myrna Maloney Flynn, President and CEO, Massachusetts Citizens for Life
- Barb Listing, President, Right to Life of Michigan
- Scott Fischbach, Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life
- Barbara Whitehead, Director, Mississippi Right to Life
- Susan Klein, Executive Director, Missouri Right to Life
- Medora Nagle, Director, Right to Life of Montana
- Sandy Danek, Executive Director, Nebraska Right to Life
- Melissa Clement, Executive Director, Nevada Right to Life
- Lance Lemmonds, President, Nevada Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Roger Stenson, President, New Hampshire Citizens for Life
- Anne M. Perone, Esq., President, New Jersey Committee for Life
- Angie Smith, President, Right to Life Committee of New Mexico
- Ethel Maharg, Executive Director, Right to Life Committee of New Mexico
- Anne LeBlanc, Chairman, New York State Right to Life
- Bill Pincus, M.D., President, Barbara Holt, National Director, North Carolina Right to Life
- Jason Williams, Executive Director, North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition
- McKenzie McCoy, Executive Director, North Dakota Right to Life
- Michael V. Ciccocioppo, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
- Christopher Merola, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Faith & Freedom Coalition
- Mike Gonidakis, President, Ohio Right to Life
- Tony Lauinger, State Chairman, Oklahomans for Life
- Lois Anderson, Executive Director, Oregon Right to Life
- Barth Bracy, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Right to Life
- Lisa Van Riper, President, South Carolina Citizens for Life
- Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life
- Dale Bartscher, Executive Director, South Dakota Right to Life
- Valerie Johnson, National Director, South Dakota Right to Life
- Stacy Dunn, President, Tennessee Right to Life
- Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., Director, Right to Life of Utah
- Mary Hahn Beerworth, Executive Director, Vermont Right to Life Committee
- Olivia Turner, President, Virginia Society for Human Life
- Esther Ripplinger, President & CEO, Human Life of Washington
- Wanda Franz, Ph.D., President, West Virginians for Life
- Heather Weininger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Right to Life
- Larry Hell, President, Wyoming Citizens for Life
In other words, that’s a lot of people who are reacting negatively to this bill. There was so much reaction that on May 13, 2022, the bill was withdrawn.
I would like to offer my own reaction to the proposed law, and then move on to my beliefs about subjecting women to prosecution for abortions.
My Reaction to the Proposed Law
So, here’s the deal. HB 813 “criminalizes” abortion by not really doing much. It adds on a section 29.1 which says this:
A. Without limiting prosecutorial discretion, this state and all political subdivisions of this state shall enforce the provisions of this Subpart without regard to the opinions and judgments of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113(1973), and its judicial progeny, past and future, including but not limited to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), and June Med. Servs. L.L.C. v. Russo, 140 S. Ct. 2103 (2020).
B. Existing provisions relating to prenatal homicide or regulating abortion or abortion facilities are not repealed but are superseded to the extent that the provisions conflict with or are inconsistent with this Section.
C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and pursuant to R.S. 14:4, this Subpart relates to the homicide of any person, including an unborn child.
D. Nothing in this Section shall alter any existing presumption, defense, justification, immunity, or clemency.
E.(1) Any federal statute, regulation, treaty, executive order, or court ruling that purports to supersede, stay, or overrule this Section shall be in violation of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Louisiana and is therefore void.
(2) This state and its political subdivisions, and agents thereof, may disregard any part or whole of any federal court decision which purports to enjoin or void any provision of this Section.
F. Pursuant to the powers granted to the Legislature by Article X, Part III, of the Constitution of Louisiana, any judge of this state who purports to enjoin, stay, overrule, or void any provision of this Section shall be subject to impeachment or removal.
As such, this law does not “create” any crimes. It merely applies existing crimes to unborn children. That’s all this bill does.
Once again, I’d like to note that this proposed law does not change much. Instead, the bill merely puts into practice laws that are ALREADY ON THE BOOKS in Louisiana (but just not enforced), regarding criminal abortions and homicide. For example, here is a law that criminalizes abortion in Louisiana when the abortionist is not a physician licensed in the state of Louisiana. So… …let’s get what this law actually does.
The law changes the definition of “person” in the criminal code to this:
(7) “Person” includes a human being from the moment of fertilization and also includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not.
Therefore, what this law PROPOSES is that a prosecutor (if he wants to, because he has prosecutorial discretion) can prosecute a woman getting an abortion pursuant to the homicide statutes AFTER FERTILIZATION, which could be up to six days after sexual intercourse. That SOUNDS radical.
Well… …it sounds radical until you realize what the prosecutor (as soon as Roe v. Wade is officially overturned) can ALREADY DO ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME THING based on what is on the books RIGHT NOW.
HERE IS THE DEFINITION OF A “PERSON” RIGHT NOW IN THE LOUISIANA CRIMINAL CODE:
“(7) “Person” includes a human being from the moment of fertilization and implantation and also includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not.”
Therefore, the laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS (as soon as Roe v. Wade is officially overturned) say a prosecutor (if he wants to, because he has prosecutorial discretion) can prosecute a woman getting an abortion pursuant to the homicide statutes AFTER FERTILIZATION AND IMPLANATION, which is like three to four days after fertilization.
So… …like…. HB 813 changes almost nothing in real life. Because, you see, if Roe v. Wade goes away, and the laws on the books in Louisiana are enforced, then that means that laws like the following one on First Degree Murder WHICH IS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS would be applicable to unborn children:
§30. First degree murder
A. First degree murder is the killing of a human being:
. . .
When the offender has the specific intent to kill or to inflict great bodily harm upon a victim who is under the age of twelve or sixty-five years of age or older.
So, yes. That would apply to an abortion, as the child is “a victim” and under the age of twelve. As for the mother? This would mean that laws like the following one on Solicitation of Murder WHICH IS ALREADY ON THE BOOKS would be applicable to mothers:
§28.1. Solicitation for murder
A. Solicitation for murder is the intentional solicitation by one person of another to commit or cause to be committed a first or second degree murder.
The only reason these laws don’t apply right now is that the Louisiana code at 14:87 has an exception for “abortion.” But Louisiana has a “trigger law” that makes this exception DISAPPEAR as soon as the constitutional right to an abortion is taken away by the Supreme Court. Therefore, when Roe is overturned, abortion in Louisiana automatically becomes illegal, per R.S.40:1061, with the following exception:
F. It shall not be a violation of Subsection C of this Section for a licensed physician to perform a medical procedure necessary in reasonable medical judgment to prevent the death or substantial risk of death due to a physical condition, or to prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ of a pregnant woman. However, the physician shall make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with reasonable medical practice.
In other words, just as I proposed in this post titled “The Legal Question Coming to Your State: When is It Okay to Kill a Baby?”, Louisiana is going to apply “self defense” as the guideline for when it is okay to kill a baby. It is ALWAYS wrong to kill a person, except to save the life of a mother or to avoid “substantial risk of death due to a physical condition” or “to prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ” of the mother. This sounds a lot like the “death or serious bodily harm” of self-defense.
And that is why I like (or… …liked) HB 813 in its original form. It was exactly what pro-lifers have been fighting for this whole time: a person is a person, no matter how small.
But the fact that HB 813 did not pass does not mean that anything crazy will change. Instead, the power people were worried about prosecutors in Louisiana having against women is something prosecutors in Louisiana WILL have against women, except that the relevant time period for a non-criminal abortion is extended by about a week after sexual intercourse.
Yeah. That’s literally it. And despite that, literally everybody ON THE PRO-LIFE SIDE freaked out about it.
That’s a worrying anecdote.
Why Abortion Penalties Should Apply To Women, Too
Based on this reaction, it seems like the pro-life movement could be breaking up. Why? It’s because lots of pro-life organizations do not believe “women” should be punished for abortion. Why? Because women are the victims of abortion, too, apparently.
And yes, often they are. As one woman stated in a piece I cannot find but still remember: “Everyone told me they would be there for me if I got an abortion. No one tole me they would be there for me if I didn’t.” That sounds like the woman being the victim there.
However, I am of the opinion that the laws should apply to women, too. More than “of the opinion,” I think this is the right thing to do. I’d like to encourage you to believe this, too. However, my reasoning here is NOT the standard reasoning, and I need to explain it. That’s what I’m covering in this section.
How a Stolen Car Chase in Virginia Relates To Prosecuting Women for Abortion in America
I am an attorney, and I often represent police officers. One police officer told me a story, and I would like to connect this story to WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO INCLUDE WOMEN IN THE CRIMINAL PROHIBITIONS AGAINST ABORTIONS. A police officer client told me a story once about a high-speed chase.
I need to emphasize that this story IS REAL.
In a particular town in Virginia (that I will not name), a “stolen vehicle” popped up this police officer’s in-car system after he was ran the tag of a vehicle that committed a traffic violation. He turned on his lights, and tried to pull over the car, but the car sped off. He was able to cut the car off ahead in a city street, and the car T-boned his police vehicle. And they arrested the suspect. I said that it sounded pretty exciting. Then the guy said:
“Yeah, the driver was twelve.”
“WHAT!?” I exclaimed, because this was shocking. I started making jokes about what crazy situations would lead a twelve-year old to steal a car and then go on a high-speed case. I joked that he forgot his homework. I made a joke that this officer shouldn’t take it personally because the only reason he got rammed is that the kid couldn’t reach the brakes with his feet.
Then the officer said, “Yeah, but this was actually his fourth stolen car.”
“WHAT!?” I exclaimed, absolutely FLOORED that not only would a twelve year old commit a felony like fleeing an officer in a stolen car, but also the fact that he had a rap sheet on felony theft of stolen cars. I started making jokes about how bad of a neighborhood this place must have been.
“Yeah, and after he hit me, he crawled from the driver’s seat to the trunk, and I almost didn’t know he was in there, until I heard him crying inside. I was distracted by the other people in the car.”
“WHAT!?” I exclaimed, absolutely FLOORED by the fact that there were other people in a stolen vehicle driven by a 12-year-old. I made a joke about a bunch of 12-year-olds trying to go see an R-rated movie, trying to look old by driving a car.
But the officer offered some clarification: “No. The other guys were 17, 18, and 20 or something. They weren’t young.”
And that’s when the funny story became extremely sad. At that moment, I realized why the 12-year-old was driving the stolen car, ramming a police cruiser, and then fleeing the scene to cry in the trunk of the car.
You see, stealing a car is a felony in Virginia, and driving a stolen car is the “possession” of that car. Possession of the car is the evidence that you stole the car. Riding in a stolen car is neither a felony nor evidence of possession of that stolen car. Also, if you are 17, 18, or 20 in Virginia, you can be tried as an adult. That includes the possibility of the 17-year-old being tried as an adult, especially if that 17-year-old is a repeat-offender.
But if you are 12 years old, it is highly unlikely that you will be tried as an adult. In other words, just like pro-life leaders are trying to do now with women and abortions, this 12-year-old was “exempt” from any serious prosecution for stealing cars. And that was the reason the 17, 18, and 20-year-olds chose HIM to transport this stolen vehicle.
The juvenile justice system created a way for these older men and career criminals to put the 12-year-old in physical and legal danger to protect THEMSELVES.
So, think about this:
If “abortion” is criminalized, but ONLY the mothers will be exempt from prosecution or penalty, who do you think will take the place of the 12-year-old child crying in the trunk of the car that rammed into the police vehicle?
That’s the reason it is a BAD IDEA to create a specific exception for “women” and “mothers” in penalties for abortions.
This is not to say that the GOAL should be to prosecute women. No, not at all. This is why prosecutors are elected officials. HOW you wield the power of the prosecutor is what differentiates a good prosecutor from a bad prosecutor. That is why HB 813 has the all important phrase it in:
A. Without limiting prosecutorial discretion. . .
THAT is the real-world protection against scores of mothers being prosecuted for abortions. That is how it works in real life in countless crimes. And that’s how it should also work when we talk about abortion.
The Pro-Life Battle Has Only Now Just Begun
If you are pro-life, there’s one thing you need to know about overturning Roe vs. Wade:
You didn’t just “win the battle.” You actually just started the war.
And this war is barely metaphorical. So get ready. As in all wars:
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET DIRTY.
And no, I’m not just talking about the “dirtiness” of politics, although that’s always going to be a thing. Instead, I’m talking about actual dirtiness of waging a war that is BARELY metaphorical. Take note of what just happened after the leaked Supreme Court decision – BEFORE IT IS EVEN OFFICIAL – at a random crisis pregnancy center in Wisconsin.
When pro-abortion people make a claims “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either” in graffiti, and simultaneously throw a Molotov cocktail through the window, you should take them at their word. This is a war that at this point is barely metaphorical.
You see, when two sides are opposed to one another in a society, “the law” is just one side of the equation. The reaction to “the law” is the other side of the equation. The way that people react to a law that they do not want to follow cannot be ignored. We may acknowledge that people who want to break laws will always find a way to break laws. But HOW they break those laws is a function of the laws themselves.
So, let’s think about how people who want to abort children will do it in a world where everyone can be prosecuted for performing an abortion EXCEPT FOR THE MOTHER. This is the law of unintended consequences:
If you punish all people intentionally killing babies except the mother, YOU MAY THINK YOU CREATED AN “EXCEPTION” FOR THE MOTHER.
But what you don’t realize is that what really happened is that YOU CREATED A FUNNEL THAT DIRECTS THE EVIL OF ABORTION TO THE ONE PLACE IT WILL NOT BE PUNISHED: THE MOTHER.
And if my anecdotal story about a stolen car is something you think is “random” and doesn’t speak to any larger trend in society about people “exempt” from prosecution, let me show you the result of a quick Google search I did, looking for stolen cars driven by children. For the record, NONE OF THESE were the story my police officer client told me:
- 12-year-old steals car and crashes into fire hydrant. Passenger escaped.
- 16-year-old driver with older passengers goes 100 mph fleeing from police.
- A 13-year-old driving a stolen vehicle in a fatal crash with a 38-year-old passenger
- 13-year-old driving in fatal crash with older teenagers inside
Those examples come from recent local news stories that I got off a simple Google search. I only chose the ones that involve minors driving stolen cars with CONFIRMED passengers in the car who were likely much older. I’m sure there are many more of these in real life, because local news can’t get details on certain crimes committed by a minor, because the police don’t release the names or details of a minor being accused of a crime.
So, let’s be clear: using the “exempt” minors for serious crimes is a real thing. What do you think will happen when we apply the same pressures, exemptions, and funnels to women with unplanned pregnancies?
This is why it is so important to understand that this is a war that has just begun. Crisis pregnancy centers are not “the front lines.” They are the refugee centers. There isn’t spray-paint on the front lines. There is actual blood on the front lines.
This is a barely-metaphorical war where the pro-life side now needs to “invade” a society – which currently kills one million unborn children a year – and take it over. If you think that the inhabitants are going to give that society up, you aren’t paying attention.
AND THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET DIRTY. SO GET READY.
Planned Parenthood ALONE takes in $1.3 Billion per year providing abortion services. Many of their doctors and providers are true believers in their cause, not mere corporate suits. Do you really think they’re just going to give up and surrender because pro-lifers won a Supreme Court case or a statewide vote? This is a barely-metaphorical war. So get ready for propaganda. Get ready for the quite-literal blood that was always on the hands of abortionists to fall on your hands, too.
Prepare yourself for what is coming next.
Everybody likes the idea of taking up arms to “fight for a good cause” until they see how dirty fighting actually is. In the next phase of the pro-life movement, the other side used to have all of the LITERAL blood and brains in very “clean” medical facilities. That’s about to change. The next phase of the pro-life movement is going to involve a lot of VERY LITERAL blood on our own hands, and it will be the blood of people we are trying to save.
The Next Stage of the Pro-Life Movement
The abortion movement wanted to make abortion (the intentional killing of a person) “safe” and “reliable.” Pro-lifers simply cannot allow our society to sanction the intentional killing of innocent people. That’s the basis of the barely-metaphorical war.
In the last phase of the pro-life movement, we had to explain why we wanted to “take away” the “bodily autonomy” of women. The next phase will be different.
You see, during the last phase, the “other side” could actually enact its policies into law, and the pro-lifers couldn’t. For this reason, to sway public opinion and galvanize its own side, some of the “extreme” actors on the pro-life side took the tactic of showing the bloody effects of the pro-choice side:
In the next phase of the pro-life movement, pro-lifers will be able to put their policies into law. You should expect the other side to learn from our success. You should expect that as soon as a woman dies from a botched abortion, pro-lifers will be told that we have blood on our hands.
But let’s not kid ourselves. While I’m not talking about “guilt,” I do need to let you know that we will quite literally have blood on our hands. The next phase of the pro-life movement is a barely-metaphorical war.
And one thing that is a staple of modern war is propaganda. So get ready. Things are about to get dirty.
How to Get Ready for the Real and Barely-Metaphorical Pro-Life War
How do you get ready for the real and barely-metaphorical pro-life war? The first thing to do is to mentally prepare yourself for what is coming. Remember that we are fighting a war against an enemy that rebels against God.
For a historical example, look at the following story about two mothers in a kingdom that rebelled against God:
Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” And he said, “If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress?” And the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him.’ But she has hidden her son.” When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes—now he was passing by on the wall—and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath on his body— (2 Kings 6:24-30)
I quote this story to show how dirty things can get when the Lord does not rest in the hearts of the people and when outward pressures exert themselves on those same people.
This is one ancient BUT REAL LIFE EXAMPLE of what even “women and mothers” can do in a world of darkness.
Or for a more recent example, note that six years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Have Mercy” about a homeless and drug-addicted woman who had a baby in a Subway bathroom, and left the baby in the toilet. The thing that was so sad to me (and which I still can’t shake) is that the woman pretended to be a customer so that she could use the bathroom. She stayed only 10 minutes, then she went away, leaving a trail of blood and a baby in the toilet.
Additionally, if you want another set of examples from America before Roe vs. Wade, look at this piece in the Atlantic about the “dishonesty” of the Abortion debate. Even though the author seems to be pro-choice, the facts she gives should be very relevant to pro-lifers today. Look at the following quote:
By the 1960s, doctors seemed to have realized that Lysol was in fact a commonly used abortifacient, one with particular dangers. In 1961, Dr. Karl Finzer of Buffalo, New York, published a paper in the Canadian Medical Association Journal titled “Lower Nephron Nephrosis Due to Concentrated Lysol Vaginal Douches.” He described two cases. One of the women died; the other survived. In 1969, two physicians, Robert H. Bartlett and Clement Yahia, published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Management of Septic Chemical Abortion With Renal Failure.” It included five case histories of women who had attempted abortions, two with Lysol. The doctors estimated that 200,000 to 1 million criminal abortions took place each year in America, and that in many parts of the country abortion was a leading cause of maternal death. Overall mortality for patients who had become septic from botched abortions and were admitted to a hospital was 11 to 22 percent, but for those whose abortions had been induced with soap or Lysol, the mortality rate was reportedly an astounding 50 to 66 percent. “These young women,” the authors reported dispassionately, “are all potentially salvageable.”
When you read the story, you can see that many cases involve friends creating a concoction of Lysol and chemicals to induce an abortion. Oftentimes, it was “a friend” who did the procedure, which is described as a more intensive form of “feminine hygiene” using a douche. But then there was the following chilling line came in the piece:
I have read many accounts of complications and deaths from the years when abortion was illegal in this country. The subject has always compelled me, because my mother told me many times that when she was a young nurse at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, she had twice sat beside girls as they died from botched abortions. Both girls were interviewed by detectives, who demanded to know the abortionists’ names, but both refused to reveal them. “They were too terrified,” my mother always said.
Were these women who were dying from botched abortions refusing to give the name of a friend, or were they exercising their Fifth Amendment privilege? I suppose we’ll never know.
And so let’s talk about this “war.” The enemy is not a political enemy or a human enemy, even though the enemy works through humans and politics. This is a spiritual enemy. The enemy is Satan. he was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, and it is the desire of many who are lost to do what he desires. (See John 8:39-47)
By stating clearly and unequivocally that it is wrong to kill innocent people, we are doing the right thing. We do not desire to “punish” women for abortions, but it would be foolish to exempt them from punishment for abortions, too. Why? Because Satan is smarter than you. He will take your “charitable” desire that leads you to suppress the truth that a person is a person, no matter how small, and he will murder thousands with that retreat.
So, yes. The thought of putting women and mothers at risk of prosecution for abortion is not a pleasant thought, but you are at war with a sinister enemy.
AND YOUR ENEMY THE DEVIL IS NOT A PLEASANT DRAGON, MY FRIEND.
That is what we are up against. Things are about to get BAD.
The Spiritual Nature of the Barely-Metaphorical Pro-Life War
But don’t let the politics fool you. This war is “spiritual” in nature. It is only political as a tangent. It involves a lot of flesh and blood, but it is really about spirits and souls. The Bible speaks quite directly about this:
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Now is not the time we are going to be hailed as victorious winners in the “pro-life battle.” Instead, the next phase of the pro-life movement is acknowledging that the war has just begun. To use a biblical metaphor, Satan has been thrown to the Earth, and he is not very happy:
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:10-12)
So let this serve as a warning to the pro-life movement. You didn’t just win a battle, you started a war.
AND THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET DIRTY.
So get ready.
The Weapons of a Spiritual War, and What The Pro-Life Movement Is to Say
So, get ready for the new phase of the pro-life struggle, because it will be dirty. It will not be waged in “the halls of power.” It will be waged in streets and in homes. It will involve bloody bathrooms and safe-havens for abandoned children. It will have battlefields of hearts and souls. It will pit despair and retreat against courage and pain. It will field battalions of anger and tears. It will be a war between fear and faith, but we will only see the weapons of Lysol or love.
In struggles like these, the Bible gives clear instructions about the stakes, about what is involved and what we must do:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)
Which brings us back to Louisiana HB 813 and the response of pro-life organizations with the “Open Letter.” One argument that we really need to destroy in this war is the idea that it is permissible FOR ANYONE to intentionally kill a human being, except for the normal exceptions for self-defense, which can also apply to abortion.
But here is the danger for the pro-life movement that responded against HB 813. HB 813 said something quite true. It said that a person is a person, no matter how small. And after decades of fighting for the chance to put this into law, the pro-life movement balked, because the idea of “punishing” women hurt too much.
In my opinion, the people signing that letter want to be “innocent as doves” without bothering to be “wise as serpents.” It is also my opinion that the people signing that Open Letter don’t want to get delivered to courts or flogged on the internet, or dragged before governors and presidents. They think that they can keep both their hands and reputations clean. But that’s not going to work. The first people who die in a real war are the weak. And the weakest people of all are those who will fall under mere propaganda.
The people who signed that “Open Letter” think that not subjecting women to prosecution is “winsome.” They think it is “persuasive.” But Satan doesn’t respond to “persuasion” or “winsomeness.” He responds to resistance and a clear statement of the truth.
So, if you do not want to be “weak,” but wonder what you will say if you are questioned about the fact that women could be prosecuted for seeking abortions, do not worry. We have already been told what we are to say:
Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)
Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. (Exodus 23:7)
“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” (Ezekiel 18:30-32)
That’s what we’re supposed to say, and we’re supposed to keep on saying it until the Lord comes back.
Or you could just share this blog post, you know. We’re all in this together, you know.
The Risks to Women by Exempting Women from Prosecution for Abortion
There is a simple reason we cannot “exempt” mothers from prosecution for abortion and simply punish “abortionists” for abortion. The reason is that mothers can be abortionists.
You see, people who want to punish “abortionists” but not “mothers” are soon going to find that “mothers” can also be “abortionists.” You don’t even need a dangerous concoction of Lysol and chemicals. There is a a pill for that. It’s called RU-486. The brand name is Mifeprex, and its generic name is mifepristone. It’s supposed to be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TAKING AN ABORTION PILL UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A DOCTOR IS ILLEGAL, BUT A WOMAN TAKING A PILL HERSELF IS EXEMPT FROM PROSECUTION?
I know that Satan has used a 17, 18, and 20-year-old to take advantage of the juvenile justice system to swallow a crying 12-year-old in the trunk of a car. That is why I believe that in the war of the pro-life movement, Satan will take advantage of a “charitable” exception to prosecution for “mothers” to swallow both mothers and their children in a far more sinister circumstances.
That is when we will find something far worse and more bloody than a 12-year-old crying alone in the trunk of a car.
The Dangerous Pro-Life Reaction to HB 813 through the “Open Letter”
So, here is the reason why I do not like the letter signed in response to that Louisiana law. HB 813 says something true: a person is a person no matter how small.
But for “strategic” and “political” and “persuasive” reasons, a large chunk of the pro-life movement is moving away from that clear statement of truth.
The pro-life movement thinks it is in a “political” war that is won through votes, but in reality, the pro-life movement is in a spiritual war that is only won with light and truth.
The open letter hides the truth for political expediency. That is a bad move. Satan is a far better politician that all of those 82 names on the Open Letter put together. He can do far more damage with darkness than we can do with our strategy.
The last phase of the pro-life movement was a legal skirmish. If we win that skirmish, we will have started a spiritual war. Things will not get better. They will get worse, because our true enemy is far more sinister and dangerous than we pro-lifers realize. We know how to set up crisis pregnancy centers and have adoptions, but I know at least 82 people who are not mentally prepared for what is coming next.
Being hated for saying in a law that it is wrong for ANYONE to kill someone is not a sign of “losing” a political battle. Instead, being hated by the entire world is the weapon of the real enemy in the real war.
Our enemy is the accuser of the Church and the ruler of this world. But our God has overcome the world.
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)
It is wrong to kill innocent people. May the light of the gospel shine in our hearts and cleanse our land from the halls of political power to the heart of every person.