Questions & Answer
No. Retroactive enactment of laws is a violation of the US constitution, nor would that ever be our desire.
The goal of this legislation is not to punish women and imprison mothers for long prison terms. Rather, it is to establish equal justice for the preborn – the same as the born enjoy. It is to correct injustice and oppression of a whole class of people – the preborn.
The new law would go into effect after it passes and only apply from its effective date forward. On the effective date, abortion clinics would close in Pennsylvania, and all chemical weapons of mass destruction would be removed from all pharmacies and store shelves throughout Pennsylvania. Women would hear and know that killing their preborn children carries the same penalty that killing their born children does now. With the severe penalty of a first degree murder penalty, the new law would act as a powerful deterrent to effectively restrain the evil of abortion.
We expect that the new law would essentially shut down abortion in Pennsylvania and that there would be very few who would ever be prosecuted under this new law. The reason we are confident of the deterrent effect is that while there are presently 33,000 abortions a year by Pennsylvania parents because they are not currently prosecuted, there are only about 670 murders of born people in the state, most likely because it is such a serious criminal offense and because the culture has been taught through good criminal law that it is not right to kill born people. Abolitionist legislation will re-train the culture that it is also not right and not moral to kill preborn humans.
There have been many questions about why this prohibition on abortion must include the nomenclature of first degree murder or why the prohibition must be by a murder statute.
If it was currently legal for men to rape women, is there a way to ban rape and enact a deterrent to prolific rape without holding the men accountable and without having severe criminal penalties as a means to justice and to act as a deterrent to the unwanted behavior? If there was a speed limit but there were never citations issued nor criminal fines, would the general public adhere to the speed limit? In the same way, how is it possible to ban and deter a serious criminal activity without having the violation of the ban incur a severe criminal penalty? Also, if we treat the murder of the born in a particular manner, it seems that to establish equal justice for the preborn, we must treat their victim status in like manner to the born.
The proposed legislation classifies the intentional killing of a pre-born human being as murder. This would not classify life-saving medical intervention that inadvertently leads to the death of a child as murder. In a case where the utmost care was given to protect both the life of the mother and the life of her pre-born child, but where the pre-born child did not survive, the situation would be deemed a tragedy, not a murder.
The original Hippocratic oath, circa 400 B.C. said “I will either give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.”
C. Everett Koop, who was the Surgeon General under Ronald Reagan was a pediatric surgeon for decades. He said “When a woman is pregnant, her obstetrician takes on the care of two patients—the mother-to-be and the unborn baby. If, toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarian section. His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature. The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”
The Association of Pro-Life Physicians also contends that doctors never have to willfully kill an unborn child in an abortion to save a woman’s life. “When the life of the mother is truly threatened by her pregnancy, if both lives cannot simultaneously be saved, then saving the mother’s life must be the primary aim,” according to the doctors association. “If through our careful treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born patient inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical and is consistent with the pro-life ethic. But the intentional killing of an unborn baby by abortion is never necessary.
The baby is not responsible for the sins of his father. God can and does bring good out of evil of all kinds. Murdering the baby short-circuits this good process and deprives many people of blessing. We must of course be concerned with helping the rape victim to heal and recover, as fully as possible. Shall we propose that one who has been so violated, so violently treated, then engage in her own act of violation and violence toward the baby God placed in her womb? The answer to the evil in the world is never more evil.
Do any of us know what kind of person the child will end up being, if left to grow and develop as all pro-choice activists were left to grow and develop? Who knows whether she would become a great world leader, whose activities culminated in the elimination of rape altogether? Would not her exploits and the gladness of heart she would bring become that much greater, the blessing more magnanimous, when contrasted with her painful origin? Love and grace are most keenly felt when suffering is deepest, when the contrast is widest between the nadir of anguish and the apex of glory.
Compassion shown to the victim and to her child, an adoption of a “rape baby”, care from surrounding community – all of these things shine that much brighter when they are focused on overcoming a deep darkness. How does the woman win if she inflicts not merely pain and trauma, but indeed death, upon her own child? An abortion will not erase the fact that she has been raped. Compared to the total number of abortions performed in the USA, post-rape abortions comprise an infinitesimally small percent. Shall we base the entire law structure on the issue of abortion on less than 1% of cases?
While birth control methods of contraception are not abortifacient, and are therefore not included in the practice we seek to abolish, we do believe that the birth control mentality in America fuels the abortion industry and ought to be opposed. However, birth control methods of contragestion are abortifacient and thus their prescription and use could be prosecuted under the new law.
We must remember to emphasize the scientific fact that a unique human life begins at conception. While evidence for this claim was lacking in the 1970s when Roe v Wade was enacted, it is now indisputable that human life is present from the moment of conception. Second, pre-born humans have fundamental rights to life, health, and well-being, because Almighty God has commanded such to all of humanity. Fundamental rights are rooted in the ontology of the human – they are intrinsic to what humans are and exist solely because we are human, created in the image of God. In other words, there is no such thing as a human who does not possess these rights. Third, abortion is, as we’ve argued many times before in countless ways, the evil of our age and never justifiable. The prescription and use of substances that perpetuate this evil cannot be tolerated.
Contraception – prevents the formation of a fertilized egg. Some forms of contraception: Barrier methods (such as prophylactics [condoms]), Natural Family Planning (NFP), Rhythm method
Contragestion – prevents the implantation of the blastocyst (the fertilised egg) into the uterine wall. Some forms of contragestion: IUDs (such as Mirena), Regular monthly birth control pill, Plan B.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) have created approximately 600,000 frozen embryos, orphans without a womb to call home. These orphans, in storage across our land, have been all but abandoned by their parents. They are frozen in time, most being stored just in case their parents decide to have another child. Tragically, most parents won’t return for them. So, most of these children will probably just be disposed of when their shelf-life expires, if they last that long. These embryonic children need to be advocated for and cared for just like the others. And we must do the caring and advocating.
Many Christians, recognizing the value of these tiny Image-Bearers in the eyes of their Creator, have stepped in to care for these abandoned, adopting them just as they would any other orphan in need.
Some of this content was originally published by Abolish Abortion California, and is used by permission. Abolish Abortion Pennsylvania is not formally affiliated with Abolish Abortion California, but shares its abolitionist mission and principles.