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Pro-abortion activist responds to column

By Matt C. Abbott

I guess I should be flattered that an abortion “rights” activist – and the director of an abortion “rights” organization -- even bothered to read my column. Not only that, but she sent me the following lengthy e-mail in response to my column "The abortion-seeking woman: perpetrator or victim?" (I won’t use her real name and organization, as I obviously don’t want to give her free advertising. Also, I did do a bit of editing, but not much – mostly deleting the links she included throughout her e-mail, plugging her organization’s Web site.)

"I'm glad to see someone on your side more or less own the consequences of a decades long declaration that abortion is murder.

"I do have a couple of bones to pick with you though.

"First, you have to be very careful about giving passes to women who claim they are coerced into having an abortion. You used some code phrases. You said 'not all abortion-seeking women are perpetrators.' You emphasized 'all.' Then you said you believe in 'some cases the abortion-seeking woman is indeed the perpetrator.'(I added the emphasize on some). Your side has always bemoaned the Doe ruling that allowed health exceptions for women seeking abortions claiming that opened up a big hole yet now you come proposing a similar opening for women to justify 'murdering their babies?'

"We don't give many passes to women who murder or solicit the murder of their battering husbands so why would we give passes to most all - as your wording indicates - women who 'claim' they were coerced by a boyfriend, parent, or husband? And what would constitute a level of coercion that could be used to justify 'murdering their baby?' Wouldn't all these women you would see as being coerced have had other options like calling the police to report it, calling a so-called crisis pregnancy center - or just leave the home so as to avoid being 'coerced'? With other options available to them why would we even consider giving but just a small handful an exemption to facing life in prison or in states like Texas the death penalty for 'murdering their baby?'

"Either abortion is murder or it isn't and if it is we can no more allow exemptions for women and teenage girls to 'murder' their baby than we can allow women to murder a battering spouse.

"So, what you should have said is that there may be occasions in which coercion rises to the legal level in which - not out right acquittal is in order - but perhaps leniency is in order and even fewer occasions in which acquittals may be in order. Your sides idea that women are mere victims of everyone else including an abortion provider is demeaning to women. Even when abortion was illegal before in our country, women weren't victims of an illegal abortionist - a good one or a bad one - they were victims of the law that forced this medical procedure into the underground. Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of women make the decision daily to have an abortion and there is absolutely no coercion from any one involved. They believe they aren't financially or emotionally prepared to parent and THEY decide all on their own to have an abortion.

"The fact is that in spite of your seeming 'support' for punishing women and teenage girls for having an illegal abortion, you left yourself too much wiggle room with words like 'some' and 'not all' for me take you seriously that you really believe we ought to punish women and teenage girls for 'murdering their babies.' You mislead yourself and the reading public with your claim that in 'some cases' the woman is the perpetrator when the truth is sir, it's only in 'some cases' the woman ISN'T the perpetrator.

"Matt, you can't prosecute a husband, parent, or boyfriend or any other person for 'convincing' a woman to have an abortion any more than you can prosecute a worker at a so-called crisis pregnancy for 'convincing' a woman not to have an abortion. If a person holds a gun to her head as she has an abortion that's a different matter but there's no way we can enforce the type of law you are suggesting.

"You said that for pro-lifers to 'portray all abortion seeking women as victims is a case of misguided compassion.' Matt, it isn't about misguided anything. They know the public will not stand for prosecuting and imprisoning women and teenage girls most particularly for first trimester abortions that the public believes should always remain legal so the pro-life movement's reaction is to ignore the challenges made by Quindlin. We've been making this challenge where ever we go for years now.

"Pro-lifers never thought their knee-jerk declaration that abortion IS murder would ever force them to own, accept, embrace, follow through on and answer for the inevitable consequences of declaring abortion IS murder. They now want to distance themselves and disown that inevitable consequence ...

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