Pictured: John Michener
Are Women Who Abort, Victims or Criminals?
Yes. Some women who choose to kill their babies are victims. Others are criminals. Unfortunately, most State officials and activists in the PLM either reject or ignore the second category, choosing instead to classify all women who kill their preborn babies as victims and follow the corrupt commandment: “Thou shalt not punish the woman.” This corrupt commandment is a major reason why, even after the Dobbs opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe opinion, the practice of modern-day child sacrifice is continuing in Oklahoma.
Just before Thanksgiving 2023, the leader of an east-coast pro-life organization addressed the question, “Should women be prosecuted for illegal abortions?” This was his answer, in part:
“We do not believe that women should be prosecuted for abortion, because the state of public thought about abortion precludes us from assuming women understand what they are doing in an abortion…
It will take many years to undo the misinformation, propaganda, and deception of the last 50 years.
And so, while a minority of women might have full moral culpability for abortion…most women don’t. It makes no sense to advocate for prosecution when only a tiny minority could be found guilty, and the rest would be unjustly dragged through our criminal justice system.”
The bold assertion that women do not know what they are doing in an abortion would be hard to prove, even in the 1970s, prior to the common usage of ultrasound in obstetrics. But even if it were true that a majority of abortion buyers in the early days were naive victims, it has certainly not been true in recent years. After decades of beautiful ultrasound images, and with easy internet accessibility to the latest information, the miracle of life in the womb is common knowledge. People now know better.
I believe only a small percentage of women are truly victims. They are young and under the control of an older handler, often a hardened boyfriend, parent, or grandparent directing the steps of a scared child. Some woman are coerced physically and psychologically by sex traffickers, but these are the exceptions. In fact, the website notavictim.org is a repository of compelling evidence that the vast majority of those who seek the means to kill their children by abortion know exactly what they are doing.
The truth is that abortion providers are meeting a demand. The parents and grandparents of an unwanted child seek out an abortionist and pay him to murder their child. Or, as is the case now in Oklahoma, they seek out and purchase a chemical murder weapon. Sometimes other family members, friends, or a boyfriend encourage the scheme. In any other crime we would recognize these participants as accomplices.
In their history we read that the Israelites made their sons and daughters “pass through the fire” of Molech (2 Kgs. 16:3, 17:17, 21:6, 23:10; 2 Chr. 33:6; Jer. 32:35; Ezek. 20:26, 20:31, 23:37). Yehovah calls this practice of child sacrifice “evil” and an “abomination.” In fact, it “provoked him to anger” and was a primary cause of God’s judgement and wrath upon their nation. Dare we call these Israelite parents victims?
Today we see people in various states of heart and mind seeking to “slaughter God’s children” (Ezek. 16:21). Some are in denial. Some are hard-hearted, scared, evil, and twisted. Perhaps some have even been victimized. Regardless of their situations, we must not use their various mental and emotional states to justify their actions or excuse the heinous practice of child sacrifice. Even in the light of pastoral care for people in difficult circumstances, we must still recognize the sin of abortion as a criminal act of murder.
Because every human being is intrinsically valuable, and for justice to be served, it is morally incumbent upon those living in proximity to investigate every homicide and prosecute the appropriate parties. What district attorney would prosecute a naive, thirteen-year-old girl who was abused and coerced? But the attacker, family members, friends, and doctor who victimized her and murdered her baby should certainly be held accountable for their actions. And should a victim mistakenly be prosecuted, I believe we can trust a jury of our peers to extend mercy when appropriate and to establish justice for preborn humans in cases of murder by abortion.
The greatest teacher and behavior-modifier of the broader culture is fear of the law. For example, the most effective way to keep people from speeding is not funding a billboard campaign about the dangers of speeding; it is to post the speed limit and punish violators. Likewise, when it comes to abortion, social support and education are of some value, but to effectively save the most lives possible, we must outlaw abortion and prosecute transgressors of the law.
This is a matter of principle, not practicality. The number of cases should not be considered in the question of whether or not to prosecute. Even so, it would be a mistake to assume we would see thousands of expensive, tedious, and heart-wrenching trials. It would take only one or two marquee cases for everyone in the State to get the message that they cannot get away with murder by abortion.
It is a grossly bad argument to say that because some percentage of people did not know they were sinning or breaking the law, we should not prosecute those who did know. How dare we refuse to grant justice to innocent human beings because it might be financially or emotionally challenging to prosecute cases? Again, the law is the most powerful and effective teacher we have for effecting immediate and broad change of public behavior, and protecting women from prosecution only robs us of the greatest teacher and tool at our disposal. It further entrenches our culture of death and contributes to the victimization of women.
Right after Roe was overturned, pro-lifers in Oklahoma were granted a clean slate, a chance to start over and to enact moral and constitutional laws that would completely abolish abortion. Oklahoma did shut down its physical deathcamps, but as we have documented in previous articles, pro-lifers enacted laws to allow women to continue killing their own preborn children privately at home. One wonders, would we allow these politicians to get away with this kind of injustice if the victims were born children? Recall the story of Andrea Yates, who drowned her children in the bathtub because she was depressed, or Darlie Routier who stabbed her son to death with a kitchen knife because of financial trouble, or Dena Schlosser who hacked off the arms of her eleven-month-old daughter Margaret. In these cases the women were found either guilty of murder or to be insane. We would never default to the position that all women should be granted authorization to murder their children, so long as those children were delivered through the birth canal. Yet, currently, the opposite is true. The Republican legislature and governor have specifically granted women the legal right to murder their children, so long as those children have not passed through the birth canal.
On 3 February 2023, an Oklahoma City KOCO-TV reporter asked Governor Kevin Stitt about a bill to revoke the legal protection of women who personally commit murder by abortion. When asked if he would sign such a bill, Governor Stitt said, “No, we’re not going to punish women in the State of Oklahoma. That’s preposterous.”
On 21 November 2023 Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond issued his opinion to clarify whether or not women who abort their own babies can be charged with a crime:
“Oklahoma law does not allow the punishment of pregnant women attempting an abortion, self-induced or otherwise. The Legislature has repeatedly made this clear in statutory text, and just last year [via its abortion trigger law], repealed the one law that would have expressly allowed such a prosecution.”
In conclusion, some of those who get abortions are victims, but this should not be our default assumption, and it certainly should not be an excuse to refuse to prosecute those who knew what they were doing and did it anyway. Unfortunately, since the overturn of Roe, politicians, lobbyists, and the biggest influencers in the PLM have rebuilt on the old paradigm that all women are victims. This approach plays right into the hands of the abortion industry which has been transitioning to privately and personally administered abortions that cut out the hired hit man.
Pro-life Republicans in Oklahoma continue to deny preborn humans the right to life and equal protection of the law by protecting women who commit murder by abortion, a policy that is morally indefensible. They cry “Victory!” and “Peace!” when there is no peace (Jer. 6.14). The prophet Isaiah pronounced, “Woe to officials who enact unjust laws and keep issuing unfair orders!” (Isa. 10:1).
Fear of the law is essential to protect innocent preborn humans. We must insist on personal accountability for the shedding of innocent blood. Before mercy can be extended, we must administer justice. Justice is the road to mercy, although for those who lack humility and repentance, justice is an end in itself. It is not an either-or proposition; God expects and demands both mercy and justice (Amos 5:12; Zech. 7:9-10; Mic. 6:8; Luke 11:42).
John Michener is the Director of Oklahomans United for Life (OUL). You can contact him at: