The Key to ending abortion is Guided Miscarraige. Remove the “person” without causing harm. If it is God’s will, the person will live without life support. That includes the life support from its Mother’s womb.
Allow people that are not viable to die a respectful death.
Peace through Liberty
Unfortunately, that’s not the view of, for instance, the Catholic Church. Both abortion AND the death penalty are held to be wrong (or, rather, abortion is always wrong, and the death penalty is in nearly every real-world situation wrong). People are still arbitrarily picking and choosing: the fact that babies are innocent and killers are not isn’t sufficient, in the church’s eyes, to go around killing them. That demeans and devalues human life just as surely as they believe abortion does.
Note, however, that punishment here is not death, the way it is for other recklessly caused deaths. It is restitution equivalent to lost goods: which is part of the reason the husband is owed the debt. Not exactly a stunning endorsement of the full personhood of the fetus, though neither is it conclusive evidence the other way either.
My grandmother died of COPD. It is a condition that causes your lungs to fill with fluid until you basically drown. For the last week of her life, she was not a “viable person”–there was no way she was going to survive. However, the only thing that we could really do for her was to refuse heroic measures. So we watched her go through days of what appeared to be excruciating torture. It was one of the most godawful things I have ever witnessed. If I could have have given her a lethal injection, I would have.
While I see the sense of what you’re saying, it seems to me that it requires that you pretend that a half-formed fetus might survive without assistance, when we know what the outcome is going to be. Whether it is a person or not, I don’t see any advantage to letting it suffer. Abortions definitely kill fetuses, but I have never heard of one that intentionally prolongs suffering.
The “right to life” in our constitution is a legal protection of citizens. It is clear that reasonable people can disagree about whether a fetus is even a person, so I don’t see how anyone can make the case that they are entitled to the protections of citizens. Even if they were, this sort of decision that requires a moral determination of the relative merits of the interests of the mother versus the interests of the fetus. It seems to me that only God (if there is such a thing) could make this sort of determination. The continuous debate over the subject shows that we haven’t been able to come up with a way to do it.
Thus, it seems to me that, ultimately, only the woman in question can legitimately make the decision, and whether it was right or wrong is between her and her god.
Also, while you can outlaw abortion, you can’t really prevent it. Past experience shows that the practical result of the law is making abortions much more dangerous. If a woman is determined to terminate her pregnancy, are we no longer interested in her health or safety. Seems to me by trying to intervene in this decision, we are just increasing the chance that both mother and fetus will die.
I merely stated the case of the fundamentalist right wing, and how they defend their case, scripturally speaking.
I don’t think any fundamentalist would ask for death or even life in prison in the case of abortion–if it were illegal–not of the woman who has the abortion. In the case of the abortionist that might be another question.
Psalm 139 (which I cited earlier) [presents a pretty strong case for personhood. it says that God knew David in the womb. You can’t know, personally, anything other than a person.
I was involved with the fundamentalist right wing during the major protests staged at abortion clinics in the 90s, and I don’t believe any of them that I knew want to go back to the way it was pre-Roe v. Wade. I believe they understand that there are cases where abortion may be necessary. What they do not accept is the wholesale, ubridled slaughter of unborn children for no other reason than it just isn’t convenient to have the child.
One other thing: If the child in the womb is nothing more than the property of the mother, to be disposed of at will, when after it is born, should it come under the protection of the state? Is it not still a dependant, even after it is born?