No penalty for mothers - Catholic Courier

No penalty for mothers

To the editor:

Recently a well-known person was asked what he would do if abortion became illegal — would he call for punishment for women who had procured an abortion? The American Center for Bioethics studied 200 years of legal history and concluded: "No evidence was found to support the proposition that women were prosecuted for undergoing an abortion or soliciting an abortion … There are no documented instances of prosecution of such women for murder or any other species of homicide… Given the American legal system’s reliance on precedent, it is unlikely that enforcement of future criminal sanctions on abortion would deviate substantially from past enforcement patterns."

In fact, there were only two cases in the 20th century in which a woman was even charged for committing an abortion, and the last one was in Texas in 1922. U.S. law is based on past legal precedent in making rulings on future cases. The focus of the change of the law would be to arrest the abortionist not the women. Many (women) I have seen in Project Rachel are often the second victims in this tragic act. In addition, there would be a need to address the men/fathers in the abortion. The mother often first feels unwanted by the father and sadly passes this along to her pre-born child ("Pain that is not transformed is transmitted"). Society would need to address men for pressuring women, giving money for the abortion or being indifferent or abandoning her in one of her most vulnerable moments of her life.

Father Jim Hewes



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