Friday, April 07, 2006

" El Salvador abortion is punishable by up to 30 years in prison."

Lindsay Berenstein's post looks at the truly mad state of affairs in El Salvador since abortion was criminalized there eight years ago.

Salvadoran law admits no health exemptions, not even when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother. Hospitals even force women with ectopic pregnancies to wait until the embryos burst inside them, lest the precious-but-doomed embryonic material end up in purgatory sooner than God intended. The government literally employs "forensic vagina inspectors" who are tasked with examining women who have lost pregnancies under "suspicious" circumstances.


Is this the dream of those who imagine that immoral choices should be subject to legal penalties?


Jim said...

Hoots, if I get your tone right, then I believe you're unintentionally buying into a false choice here. Certainly what that government is doing is immoral and should itself be illegal. But so should abortion, except for legal AND moral exceptions. And in Scripture there is only one permissible reason: To save the mother's life, on grounds of self defense.

To say that abortion is wrong, but should not be criminalized is like saying infanticide the day after birth is wrong, but should not be criminalized. Murder is murder, whether in or out of the womb.

There are many acts that are morally wrong, but should not be illegal. They are non-criminal sins, defined by Scriptural principle. But there are others that warrant criminal sanction, abortion among them.

The real question here is: What is to be a society's standard for deciding such matters? If we do not appeal to the Bible, then we must appeal to some other standard. America's current ultimate standard is majority vote on the Supreme Court, i.e., five votes out of nine, among them Ginsburg and Breyer, both of whom think they should look to European laws to decide ours, rather than strictly interpret the U.S. Constitution. In other words, they shamefully spurn their job as judges and act as legislators.

Keep up the good blogging, but watch out for those who would have us make false choices.


Hoots said...

The real question here is: What is to be a society's standard for deciding such matters?

Well said. And I am in full agreement. The problem I have with most so-called "pro-life" arguments is that they advance a legalistic approach to a moral question, leaving no room for moral choice. I have blogged til I'm blue in the face about the original language of Roe which never countenanced abortion-on-demand, much less into the third trimester. Subsequent legal decisions and the reluctance of state legislatures to propose kind of restrictions, even after the first trimester, made it a muddy issue or it would have been resolved by now.

Legal distinctions between "quickening" (first-trimester) and later in the pregnancy seem to have been ignored by both sides of the issue. Absent legislative clarity, the courts are able to do as they will, but if elected representatives craft laws properly, no court will ever be able to "legislate" from the bench. I lay the failure at the feet of out elected lawmakers. It is too easy to scapegoat judges because lawmakers do not want to face the hard task of addressing the problem.

Answering your question, society's standard will very likely fall short of a Christian ideal, but unfortunately most people are unable to speak rationally about the distinction between what is legal and what is moral.

K T Cat said...


In general, I like your blog.

This post gives a binary choice to a problem with millions of options. It's probably not reasonable to sentence someone to 30 years in prison for abortion. Maybe we could just use them as testing dummies for the Army's next Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle or have them drawn and quartered.

Oops! Looks like I went in the wrong direction with the sentencing concept.

Hoots said...

kt cat,
I'm glad you like my blog.
I think I understand millions of options but not binary choice. Maybe the penny will drop later. That happens to me a lot lately.