Yesterday, I asked what exactly is being demanded of a Nancy Pelosi (and millions like her) who think criminalizing abortion is going to be a very bad idea that will do nothing about abortion but will successfully raise maternal mortality rates by 21% (as just a start for the chaos that will ensue). In the course of it, I also noted that it will play havoc with the religious liberty of Jewish medical personnel whose tradition privileges mothers over the unborn, particularly in a crisis. Is it being suggested that they be rounded up and jailed if they act on their religious tradition, or what?
Some think that is an exaggeration. I note that MAGA rockstar priest James Altman (thankfully ousted by his bishop but still raking in the money from the Cult by cosplaying at martyrdom) says that Warsaw Jews got what was coming to them in 1944 Because Abortion:
The MAGA Cult is summoning demons that sleep very lightly when they casually toss around terms like “blooddrinkers” and “babykillers” to describe Jews (and that is, by the way, the overwhelming majority of Jews) whose tradition does not regard abortion as conservative Christians do.
In addition, some folks are imagining that the MAGA “prolife” cult of death has no intention of jailing (and if all goes according to plan, executing) post-abortive women for murder. The notion is that only thousands and thousands of medical professionals will be punished (again, for murder, which certainly never sends people to death row in this, the land with the largest gulag in the history of planet Earth).
Prescinding from the insanity of decapitating our obstetrical, gynecological, and pediatric system in a mad quest to impose purity on an already overburdened health care system, let us simply focus on the delusion that post-abortive and miscarrying women will entirely avoid the wrath of MAGA law once Roe is gone.
For the reality, of course, is that lots and lots of women in the US are themselves the people performing the abortion. And the result will be a lot more Purvi Patels, the woman Indiana sentenced to 20 years in prison for performing an abortion on herself. The artificial distinction that MAGA zealots for punishment want to pretend to maintain between the abortionist (who deserves the book thrown at him in the MAGA mind) and the patient, is entirely imaginary in the era of methotrexate, mifepristone and misoprostol. If you think women who induce their own abortions will not be charged with murder and that the Cult will not try to inflict the severest penalties the law allows, you are kidding yourself. Indiana Republicans have already shown us exactly what they mean to do and it will swell ours, the largest gulag in history, with thousands more people. It is a Cult of spite and vengeance that loves cruelty. And it has already tried and failed to charge women with murder in Louisiana and tried and succeeded in jailing miscarrying women in Texas.
A lesson from history (something the Cult hates) is still worth heeding. The reason Prohibition failed was technology. It was simply too easy for any rando to make booze, so the state ended up playing whackamole.
Same here. With the easy availability of abortifacients and the reality that a huge number of pregnancies end in miscarriage even when no abortifacient is used, the MAGA “prolife” cult of spectacularly overreaching authoritarianism is going (if they want to be logically consistent) to have to attempt the impossible, sadistic, and insane feat of investigating every failed pregnancy on suspicion of attempted homicide, as well as inflicting prison and (if they get all they want) execution on those women who perform their own abortions with abortifacients. And, of course, they will also wind up punishing women who use certain drugs, not as abortifacients, but for other medical needs, because civil law is a sledgehammer, not a surgeon’s scalpel. The Cult is ready for none of this and are going to make a massive dog’s breakfast of their Crusade. Unless, of course, they are stopped from this impossible authoritarian attempt to impose the Reich of Heaven on a population in which only 13% want abortion outlawed.
The only escape hatch from logical consistency will be to follow the path charted by Matt Schlapp, the massively racist head of the Conservative Political Action Committee, who sees an abortion ban, not in terms of saving lives, but in terms of giving a leg up to the White Master Race threatened with Replacement by Inferior Brown Races. Sez Schlapp:
“If you’re worried about this quote-unquote replacement, why don’t we start … with allowing our own people to live?” Matt Schlapp, who is white, asked U.S. media shut out of CPAC in Budapest, where he spoke on Thursday.
Scuttling Roe v. Wade is a “good start,” Schlapp reportedly emphasized, referring to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion doing just that.
“If you say there is a population problem in a country, but you’re killing millions of your own people every year through legalized abortion every year, if that were to be reduced, some of that problem is solved,” Vice quoted Schlapp as saying.
That, and not a damn thing to do with the dignity of human life, is what the MAGA cult are thinking about as they decide who will be punished and thrown in prison and who will get a pass so she can raise up pure Aryan stock (“our people” as Schlapp calls them) to beat back the teaming untermenschen.
In the end, of course, this mad scheme is doomed. The entire attempt to stop abortion by force, fear, law, blood, and iron is, in the end, the lazy person’s approach and, as laziness always does, it is going to create an impossible amount work for the lazy (and the victims who get in his way). The real way to approach this is to do something that selfish swine like Schlapp have no intention of doing: create a culture of generosity to poor families and women in crisis, as well as to teach the dignity of every human person, not use the unborn as human shields so that massively selfish conservative sociopaths can trample over all the people they want to rob, harm, and kill.
We can realize that now and not let the nuts create a mad legal regime that will make everything worse. Or we can let the nuts run the show.
One text to which the nuts in the Cult of Vengeance are appealing to a lot is this passage from the Catechism:
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”
“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”
The MAGA “prolife” Cult, being sure they know what is right, are certain they know that “appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights” has to mean their menu of draconian punishments for those they have decided need to get it in the neck: post-abortive women and their medical staff. That’s where they want to direct the vengeance and violence because, like the men who wanted to stone the woman taken in adultery, the furthest thing from their minds is their own sin. They want scapegoats and they want them now.
But let me suggest an entirely different way of reading this guidance from the Church that has never once entered the heads of the MAGA Cult. Given that nobody has an abortion for fun and that the #1 abortifacient in the US is poverty, suppose we apply the Church’s guidance this way:
- Every time a “prolife” politician battles to deny families a living wage, imprison them for as long as they want to imprison women driven by poverty to abort.
- Every time a “prolife” politician votes to cut food benefits for poor families, jail them.
- Every time a “prolife” politician votes to deny poor families baby formula, or destroys food benefits, or loots health care in order to build a completely unnecessary bomber, punish them as they want so badly to punish somebody else for caving into the economic pressure he put on her to abort.
- Every time a deadbeat father refuses to help a mother, jail him and confiscate his money and give it to mom.
- Every corporation (like Walmart) that refuses to pay a just wage and tells its workers to go on welfare should face severe penalties and confiscation of wealth to support families.
- Any corp that gouges struggling families for baby-food: send the CEO to jail.
In short, if you are a Catholic lusting to punish somebody with “appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights” then start by punishing all the powerful (including yourself) who create the demand for abortions with support for sadistic policies that make it harder and harder to create and rear families rather than just lazily focusing your self-righteous wrath on your traditional targets of poor and brown women. Until you have thoroughly repented your own complicity in creating and maintaining the poverty-driven abortion-industrial complex that your own choices have sustained, you have no right to cast the first stone. Discipleship to Jesus is about helping others and controlling yourself, not about helping yourself and controlling others.
We need to ask ourselves as Catholics: Do we just care about performative piety that makes everything worse or about actually saving lives by living generous and sacrificial lives like Jesus Christ?