Late-Term Abortion Laws Not About Jailing Women

06/07/2016 / International Standards Abortion Law 

A Spanish doctor known for performing late-term abortions on healthy babies is going to jail after nearly a decade of trying to get him there. This man, who lived an opulent life due to charging exorbitant fees for his (illegal in Spain) services, is one of the reasons late-term abortion laws matter.

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Dr. Morin. Photo credit: Albert Olive/EPA

Obviously, we believe there should be a law against late-term abortions first and foremost to protect pre-born children. There is no doubt that these are feeling human beings, and even the pro-abortion advocates do not deny their humanity at this point. They simply believe that these pre-born babies are less valuable humans because of their location and dependent state. But alongside protecting pre-born children, a late-term abortion law also criminalizes doctors and clinics who capitalize on desperation in such a proud, callous way.

There is a persistent fear that any law criminalizing abortion targets women who are low income, abused, or otherwise desperate not to have a baby. The goal of such laws, however, is to protect such desperate women from those who would take advantage of them, and to create a society where we must have supports and safeguards in place for these vulnerable women.

Continuing to allow abortion in no way protects vulnerable women, or future generations of vulnerable women. Rather, it allows us to stay trapped in a vicious cycle where our most desperate and most vulnerable stay exactly that.

Criminalizing abortion cannot be done in a vacuum. It must be done out of true respect for life, the lives of both mother and child.  We cannot respect the lives of pre-born children, yet tell women they will lose their jobs, their homes, or their social support if they choose to keep their baby.  To be pro-life is to fight for pre-born children and for women, to value both equally and to insist on care that allows both not only to live, but also to thrive.

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