In my previous post (on the anniversary of Roe. v. Wade), I expressed my belief that abortion is government-legalized murder. But that's not good enough for a number of Christians, who demand that a woman who murders her unborn child be punished; some demand the death penalty.
I have expressed my opposition to capital punishment here (an argument which should be understood before reading on). The fact that the liturgical shedding of blood which characterized the Old Covenant era is no longer required under the New Covenant, does not mean that those crimes are not in some important sense "worthy of death." At the very least, school children should be taught that these things are contrary to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Society needs to make some kind of statement against these crimes.
But because I don't believe women who kill their children should themselves be killed, some pro-lifers say I'm not pro-life. Fine. Call me pro-choice.
I don't believe any woman should ever, for any reason, make the choice to kill her child, depriving that child of 80 or so years of God-given life, allegedly outweighed by a few months of the mother's inconvenience. But once the murder has been committed, I believe the shedding of Christ's blood spares us from the necessity of shedding the mother's blood (or the doctor's), as I explained in the link above. This allows us to deal with spiritual problems that led to the abortion, as well as problems caused by the abortion.
Chuck Colson's Prison Fellowship has published an interesting example of the healing that can take place in the life of a mother who has murdered her children, now that we're not required to shed her blood in capital punishment. The correlation is especially interesting in light of abortion advocates who are also advocates of "death with dignity."
Caroline and Lydia are but two examples of what the Institute [for Bioethics and Social Research] calls an “unexpected correlation” between abortion and pain-relief care. Dying women experience unresolved guilt and psychological pain related to their abortion—guilt and pain that stand in the way of a peaceful death. Their guilt is so great, Echlin says, that it impedes the effectiveness of their pain medication. Only when the abortion issue is resolved—when someone listens to them and assures them of God’s forgiveness—is the pain medication made effective, and the women able to die peacefully.
Denying the value of the unborn makes death with dignity impossible. The death of Christ makes healing and restoration possible, and government vengeance unnecessary.
Update: More discussion here:
Murder-By-Abortion Advocates Raise Important Issue: Should Women Who Have Abortions Be Punished?
Pro-life hard-liners who demand capital punishment for abortionists, and who also demand that other pro-lifers demand capital punishment, miss the importance of self-deception on a cultural scale. We now have millions of people -- three generations now -- who are victims of educational malpractice at the hands of government's compulsory atheistic education. Even though they know God's Law in their conscience, they've been trained to believe that the unborn child is a worthless blob of tissue. Before a jury will sentence someone to death, they must be convinced that a crime has been committed. Refusing to vote for a candidate who will not advocate capital punishment for abortionists is putting the cart before the horse. Legal reform will not see a punishment inflicted before the voters are convinced that abortion itself is a crime.
One way to make this argument is to show God's judgment: the inability of pain medication to work, is an example of Providence in action. Increased occurrence of breast cancer in mothers who abort is another.
Killing one's children is indeed "worthy of death," but we must leave vengeance "to the Supreme Judge of the world."