Pro-life narrative: “Women regret their abortions.”
Pro-life organizations often speak of abortion regret as being the guaranteed result of aborting your baby. They pass around various statistics and give the impression that all women who get abortions regret it and suffer immensely afterward. Setting aside the arguably incomplete nature of these statistics, even if we didn’t argue about whether those stats are true, we should still ask the question: should the fact that women regret their abortions have any influence on whether we institute just laws criminalizing women for abortions?
If a person regrets a violent act they committed, should we forgo punishing them for that violent act?
Is their regret enough punishment in itself?
A thought experiment
If a rapist later regrets it,…
If he’s FILLED with remorse,
and suffering from PTSD flashbacks of what he did,…
if he has been beaten up by a gang in prison for his crime,
if the officer left him in the back of a hot car too long,
if he got marks on his wrists from the cuffs,
if his girlfriend broke up with him,
if his own mother won’t even speak to him anymore,…
we still wouldn’t say he was the “second victim of the rape.”
The woman – and only the woman – was the victim of the violent sexual assault that day.
And any court would be FOOLS to suggest that the rapist was also an “equal victim of the sexual assault” right alongside the poor young lady left beaten, bloodied, naked, and battered on the side of the road.
NO ONE in their right mind would suggest that he was a rape victim, no matter how much the rapist has suffered emotionally or physically after committing the crime.
What about forgiveness though?
Now we can say that…
and still hope the rapist finds forgiveness in Christ.
We can say that and still do prison ministry—offering Biblical counseling (after a Biblical rebuke) to the rapist.
We can say that and still teach him the difference between “regret” (because of personal suffering) and true “repentance” (hating one’s sin and forsaking it because it’s displeasing to God).
We can say that he was not the “second victim of the rape” because we are people of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) who know how to “judge righteously” (John 7:24).
Recognizing the Victims
Now, when we think of abortion and aborting mothers…
we need to exhibit the same type of “sound mind” and “righteous judgment” as we do for the rapist in this scenario.
We can recognize that the rapist may have been the victim of other things that were perhaps unjust (ex. an officer who put the cuffs on too tight or left him in the car too long, a prison gang who beat him up),
while holding to our sound mind in recognizing that only the woman was the victim of the sexual assault.
Likewise, a mother can be the true victim of all sorts of things in her life – pre-abortion and post-abortion – and some of those things may even have been a direct RESULT of having killed her baby,
but the baby – and only the baby – was her victim when she hired her child’s assassin and paid the blood money.
Her baby – and only her baby – was the victim of the abortion that day.
Her baby – and only her baby – was the victim of premeditated, cold-blooded murder by his/her own mother.
And if we don’t get that simple fact down straight,
we will never abolish abortion. Because you can’t abolish a crime while confusing the perpetrators with the true victims.