Culture Ethics Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion Politics

Why abortion may increase during a Donald Trump presidency

Many American voters who held their noses and cast a ballot for president-elect Donald Trump said they did so because of his campaign promise to overturn Roe v. Wade, overriding their other concerns about his lack of experience or his fundamental character problems.

I have a couple of friends in this category. Deeply religious people, they admitted that they voted with tunnel vision. Abortion, they said, was so important an issue that they had to vote for the candidate who promised to make it illegal.

Yeah. About that. Not only is Trump unlikely to repeal Roe, but his administration may become a catalyst for actually worsening abortion rates in this country. The history of the last thirty years shows that America has had its best success in decreasing abortion when Democrats have occupied the White House, not Republicans.

That is largely because women are more likely to abort a fetus when they lack adequate jobs and health care coverage — which is the economic situation Trump wants to reduce them to.

Last night, the U.S. Senate began the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), carrying out Trump’s pledge to return millions of Americans to their formerly uninsured status. (Trump has also promised to replace the program with “something better,” which has not yet been specified.)

When the ACA repeal is complete, it is possible – even likely – that Trump will have contributed to an upturn in the number of abortions in America.

That’s because despite the lip service that GOP candidates have paid to reducing abortion, what’s required isn’t just appointing pro-life judges. What’s required is creating hospitable conditions for American women, especially the poor, to actually raise to honorable adulthood any children they don’t abort.

And that is where Republicans fall short.

Let’s take a look at the CDC’s annual numbers. After increasing under Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan, abortion began to decrease in the late 1980s with the administration of George H. W. Bush (senior). It has continued to decrease with every presidency ever since, so that’s something to celebrate.

abortions-in-the-us-1983-to-2013However, the more dramatic plunges have occurred with Democratic presidencies, not GOP ones.

  • George H. W. Bush (Rep.), 1988–1992: .008% decrease over 4 years
  • Bill Clinton (Dem.), 1992­–2000: 36.9% decrease over 8 years
  • George W. Bush (Rep.), 2000-2008: 3.7% decrease over 8 years
  • Barack Obama (Dem.), 2008-2013: 19.5% decrease over 6 years (data from 2014 and 2015 are not yet posted by the CDC)

In other words, abortions decreased during Bill Clinton’s presidency by nearly ten times the amount they decreased during George W. Bush’s (-36.9% vs. -3.7%), even though both men served the same number of years. During Bush Sr.’s administration, the rate of abortion didn’t even drop by a single percentage point.

Despite his promises to repeal Roe v. Wade, Donald Trump’s economic policies are poised to Make America Abortion-great Again. He’s creating the perfect storm of economic conditions in which abortion flourishes. Poor women now face a lack of health care (including contraception coverage), increased tax rates for the poor, a stagnant minimum wage, severe cutbacks to food stamps and Medicaid, AND an end to early-childhood programs for educating their kids.

Republicans, apparently, want every unborn child to have a chance at being born. But if those children also want health care, food, or an education, they’re out of luck.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.

91 Comments

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  • The relationship between the political party in power and abortion rates is minimal at best, and more likely non-existent. There was something else happening that cased abortion rates to decline….and those things happened regardless of who was in the white house.

    The relationships between these two facts are as “strong” as the relationship between:

    The number of people who have drowned by falling into a pool and the number of films that Nicolas Cage appeared in , or

    The divorce rate in Maine and Per consumption consumption of margarine.

    See these examples, and other ‘spurious correlations’, here – http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

  • To suggest that people that are against government delivered, or government managed healthcare, are against healthcare is fallacious. There is strong evidence that the more government you get into the management of healthcare, the more expensive it becomes, the lower the quality of the care, and the more rationing from bureaucrats that occurs. Having left Canada 4 years ago for the U.S., the quality of care and access to care here – both in wait times time as well as technology and medicine – is vastly superior here to what is available in Canada.

  • I believe it was the increased access to birth control, family planning services and better sexual education, especially for poor women. The Right’s efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood over the abortion issue is going to negatively impact all aspects of reproductive health and child morality numbers.

  • All of the ones who said it was his. But the cajoling was done by intermediaries with cash in hand.

  • Not so fast. It’s obvious why the decrease under WJC & BHO far exceeded that under the two Bushes: a robust economy, in the latter case, recovery from the recession caused by his predecessor’s war entered into fraudulently.

  • Unfortunately, wait times appear to vary according to what one is waiting for in spite of the US spending being about twice as much as Canada on a per capita basis. Office visits when sick and getting a physical are low profit services so wait lists can be very lengthy. Expensive elective surgery or services are accessed quickly however. Unfortunately, birth control and family planning likely fall under the longer wait times group of services.

  • Maybe abortion has always been about what men want? Maybe it’ll always be around as long as men want their women cheap, accessible, and exchangeable?

  • There is a responsibility step that occurs BEFORE the choice of getting an abortion: women can control whether they get pregnant (seriously, you can! For example, if you know you can’t afford to get pregnant, abstain!). And abortion is not the only choice: there is adoption. So blaming the president because you “had to” choose an abortion is disingenuous, it seems.

  • Jana, I usually like your posts. But this one was as shoddy as they come.

    First, your first statement is not at all supported by the link you gave. “Many American voters who… cast their ballot for president-elect Donald Trump…” did not say what you say they said. The linked article’s sub-heading states “Abortion may have been a major factor”. Note the *may*. It gives some statistics that support the may. But no quotes from “many”, and no direct poll questions that support your statement.
    Second, it should have been glaringly obvious that the massive dip from one year to the next (1997-1998) suggested this was not an apples-to-apples comparison. Sure enough, delving into the statistics, from 1998 onward the CDC did not count California, North Carolina, a often other states as well.

    I did not vote for Trump, and have been a very vocal critic in face-to-face conversations with friends, on Facebook, internet posts, wrote letters to Congressman to ask they oppose his extreme views. But this is just another extreme-partisan fake news post/article/opinion piece that we have had way too much of since November.

  • Not very likely. Abortion is primarily needed for economic reasons. As long as we have an economy where the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many we will have the same rate of abortion we have always have, 1/5 to 1/3 of all pregnancies ending thus, mirroring the strength of the economy. The above comment suggests women are not sexual beings and that women benefit from monogamy. Neither is so.

  • Men have absolute control over who gets pregnant. Keep your pants zipped!

    No woman gets pregnant without a man’s involvement. America needs to take action against those men running around, immorally impregnating women willy nilly. Those irresponsible men are creating the abortion problem. They don’t take parental, financial, or social responsibility for the fetuses they create. They need to be shamed for that, even jailed! That will force them to keep their pants zipped and stop their slutty behavior. Shame on them!

  • Belief systems which preach the morality of taking the life before first breath, also preach the morality of promiscuity, homosexuality, prostitution, pornography, and transgendering. I want these beliefs DEFUNDED and removed from our public schools. It’s like having a state funded Satanic religion forced on children with mandatory sex ed and mandatory beliefs about origination and morality. What makes you think woman specifically, and society in general, doesn’t benefit from monogamous relationships?

  • Abortions take place primarily because of immorality. Of course, no one wants to point out that the Emperor has no clothes. There are not that many abortions from married couples. Abortions are primarily due to sex outside or marriage and the attempt to get rid of “the evidence.” Wrong is wrong. If economics determines if you do right or wrong, you don’t have a very good moral compass.

  • Feel free to fund it yourself. Don’t force me to pay taxes to kill babies. Take a look at Planned Parenthood’s founder and founding philosophy. The idea was to stop too many non-white children. They have been amazingly effective in this. Yet the Left ignores this completely.

  • So interesting that you feel expecting men to control their sexual behavior and be responsible means I hate them. Then the males who advocate the same for women are obviously women haters.

    The War on Women has just been verified by Luminous! (There’s great irony in your name.?)

  • But if those children also want health care, food, or an education, they’re out of luck.

    Hmmm. Yeah. They’re better off dead. The unhinging of the left proceeds unabated.

  • Because no one benefits from such a system at all except those who want power and control over others. what you want and what you’ll get are two different things.

  • But your happy to have me pay taxes to support your religious beliefs, which according to every religion but yours, is a false religion.

  • I want the military defunded as well as any group that contributes to a violation of the 1st commandment. Leave women alone. Their body, their choice.

  • How about this, when all women must submit to you for all their personal decisions then your opinions as to how they live their lives will matter. Until then, your suggestions can be taken under advisement or completely ignored.

    Even better, when you become pregnant, you can make a decision concerning abortion or adoption.

  • And if they don’t, what makes you think they have to care what you think here?

    You mistake having an opinion with having a say. As much as you have your opinion about women seeking abortion, none of them are ever answerable to you for such decisions.

    S1utshaming doesn’t give you a right or power to decide for others.

  • Interesting how narcissistic guys are deluded into thinking they have a say in what a woman does with their lives.

    You can think anything you want about what women do with their bodies. Nobody has a compelling reason to care.

  • So you’re advocating abstinence? Personally, I’d like to see abstinence until the individual is physically and emotionally fit for parenthood. Statistically, results for abstinence aren’t impressive in reducing sexual activity, teen pregnancy, unwanted pregnancies or abortion.

    I don’t know about the first on the list, but free birth control has proven to be highly effective in reducing the rest.

  • It doesn’t matter how immoral or s1utty you think women seeking abortions are. You have no say in the matter. Women aren’t answerable to you for such things.

    Frankly I think anti abortion types are narcissistic myopic dishonest people who want power over women. It’s not about concern for life. It is worship of a fetus. Life only matters at gestation.

  • Danny, I really think something that would bring about a dramatic change in risky sexual behavior is a change in male sexual mores. That would require a cultural shift and men would have to lead it. The end of glorifying male promiscuity would be a powerful tool.

  • Now that you’ve decided it’s ok for women to market themselves, I suppose you like free markets where prices can be negotiated. Let me ask you, how cheap should men allow women to become before they stand up and say this isn’t right? Is it ok for a woman to prostitute herself for a hamburger if she’s starving, how about a quarter of a hamburger or just the tomato slice. We are talking only consensual sex of course. We could even only allow it if she proposes it, if it’s her idea so to speak. There has been many instances in history of people selling themselves into slavery for the rest of their lives. Should this be allowed or can you say, no this isn’t right. Of course, you are limiting their freedom, but are you not protecting them?

    I’d would argue that through saying “no, that isn’t right”, you are protecting the would be buyer too, because a human rights violation hurts both parties involved.

  • You don’t pay for abortions. The Hyde AMendment has been in effect for about 30 years. And I don’t like paying for war, but I do.

  • The most common reason women choose abortion is due to poverty and economic problems. And blacks are disproportionately disadvantaged. PP is not on the streets kidnapping these woman. And it’s pretty obvious that by making birth control more difficult to get, more unwanted pregnancies occur.

    Look at what happened to Texas. The maternal death rate went UP.

  • How about we mandate that all men, upon puberty, must have a reversible vasectomy? To be reversed only when a contract is made between him and a woman to try to have a child.

  • Most unplanned pregnancies are due to birth control failure.
    Adoption is an alternative to parenting, not pregnancy. And there are currently 400,000 children in foster care so how about we find parents for all those children before bringing more into the world?

    You don’t have to have an abortion,but you have no right to tell anyone else what to do.

  • States that have abstinence only have the highest rates of teen pregnancy. These are usually red states, with republican governors.

  • Nope. Economic concerns. And who are you to determine morality? I think it is immoral to force a woman to bear and unwanted child.

  • Did Hitler think he was doing good to the people of earth by killing the Jews? Did not Stalin allow the starvation of millions of his own people to benefit the surviving? Did not Mao establish his control killing millions for humanist reasons? Is not abortion simular, it’s a devil’s bargain. Trade the babies for sexual freedom, for financial gain, for materialistic things in this world? The worst atrocities ever committed, we’re done for humanistic reasons. Man in His reason, decides some have to be sacrificed for the benefit of others.

  • This would do nothing to protect people from the psychological damage that comes from promiscuity and women would still be treated as ever cheapening commodities.

  • Oh my. Coulda swore it takes two to make a baby. But ok. Maybe it’s only women with turkeybasters and Peppermint Patti for a girlfriend. Slutshaming? How ironic you use that term in defense of women. But I gotta admit. With Jana veering off course from legitimate and deserved criticism of the LDS church into moaning and nail biting about The Donald, this blog just isn’t that fun anymore. I’m happy to cede the ground to angry powerless people.

  • “you have no right to tell anyone else what to do.”

    Many feel they have the right to unfortunately.

    How some folk try to equate or insinuate that the “killing” of a fetus by a woman is murder i.e., murderers, which are the most unacceptable and villainous type of person in a society, is disingenuous and stems from ignorance and primarily emotion.

    Understandably so, as many ill-informed anti abortionists get emotional due to the palmer reflex and heartbeat of the fetus to name a few and use it disingenuously as evidence of cerebral involvement. The palmer reflex that develops around the 15th week and persists for another 7 weeks or so, is not proof of cerebral involvement, as most terminal anencephalic neonates will exhibit remarkably strong palmar reflexes.

    It is interesting that in Canada there is no criminal law restricting abortion. There used to be law against it prior to 1969 and it was liberalized that year only to be thrown out completely in 1988 by the Supreme Court, as the society found that doctors and women exercise the right to abortion responsibly, without the need for any “legal”restrictions.

  • How about you get your tubes tied? Don’t need your crazy genes passing down line. God the manufactured outrage in blog is hysterical.

  • I got one for myself as a gift years ago, but a free gift so to speak as the publicly funded healthcare system paid for it though it was done by a private clinic.

  • When I lived in Greece, my male cousin, to my dismay referred to these women as playing the role of men and thought it was cute.

  • Well, Crap for Brains, my opinion about women is that they make their own decisions. You know because they are people with their own lives.

    BTW, is Breitbart down? I think that site is far more appropriate for the level of discussion you are used to than here. Now run along. Adults are having a discussion

  • Was there a point to make in all of that bullshit? The only thing you had there was an objection to the word s1utshaming as ironic Based on???????

    Oh right, you are just here to fling poo like a chimpanzee with ex lax. Never mind. There is no point in treating you like an adult.

    BTW your capitulation is accepted.

  • Which has nothing to do with the two points I brought up. And, like Jana’s claims, at this point are completely unsubstantiated.

    If you are going to make that claim, please define an “abstinence only” state and provide the data that specifically backs up your claim. Also, please clarify if the data included in your teen pregnancy data includes married 18-19 olds. I’m willing to bet money it does.

  • So you believe that people who are against abortion should vote for people who actively PUSH abortion on the basis that unrelated policies MIGHT make abortion rates go down?

  • Can’t vouch for married 18-19 year olds but since the average age of marriage is about 24, I doubt it has any significant impact.

  • So you have an anecdote. Long term date suggests something far different. That sex education + access to effective contraception has far greater success.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/8/30/12709638/teen-pregnancy-birth-control

    Teen births are plummeting — and the reason is incredibly simple

    “What changed was how teenage girls used contraceptives. The percentage of sexually active teens who used at least one type of birth control the last time they had sex rose from 78 percent in 2007 to 86 percent in 2012. More teens gravitated toward better types of birth control — like pills, IUDs, or implants — rather than relying on lower-quality birth control like condoms.”

    U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade
    “A more important driver of the declining abortion rate, Jones said, appears to be improved access to contraception, particularly long-acting birth control options like IUDs. She noted that women in the United States have been using the highly effective devices in growing numbers for more than a decade, and said the declining birthrate suggests more women are preventing unwanted pregnancies.”

  • I don’t know if you or someone else erased your links. I only got through two of them earlier today before they were erased. But neither of those two supported your statement in any way.

    The first one that actually had data clearly showed there was a correlation between teen pregnancy rates and race. Not as sexy as blaming it on conservative values and the Republican Party, but the data is what it is.

    The second admitted there are studies that suggest teaching abstinence lowers teen pregnancy rates. It also said there are plenty of studies that show no improvement by teaching abstinence. It referenced a study that suggested teaching abstinence might result in lower rates of using protection if those teens do have sex. But nowhere did it claim or show evidence that teaching abstinance only actually raises rates.

    Did you not think I would actually look at your links?

  • So it appears the problem was with my phone. As soon as I posted my previous reply, your comment with the links showed back up. My bad.

    Two things from your last two links that also squash your claim. First, some of that states – such as TX, AZ, MS, etc – that are listed in the 2nd to last link (which claims abstinence-only results in higher teen pregnancy) as being abstinence only states, are listed in the last link as not having state-mandated sex ed at all. Teaching abstinence only is not the same thing as having no policy. Since these are states with the highest teen pregnancy rates, it makes it appear the 2nd was padding its numbers to make teaching abstinence look bad.

    Second, when you do a quick google search of race by state, it’s easy to see (as stated in your first link) that teen pregnancy rates by state correlate highly to their racial diversity. That’s the major correlation. Until someone does a study that controls for race, supposed impacts of teaching abstinence only vs contraception is unproven.

    And, to reiterate my first comment, if you are going to reply to a comment, it’s typical to address the subject of the original comment, not just add another baseless claim.

  • The single biggest factor in abortion rates is belief systems. As long as people believe it is morally ok to spill the blood of the child in the womb for the parents material benefits, they’ll will continue to do so. These abortion loving beliefs are currently being taught in our public schools, protected and funded by our government, and currently encoded in our laws.

  • The Democrats are pro-abortion fundamentalists, for a start. Most of them oppose bans to abortion even above 20 weeks of pregnancy. Jim Wallis said that their party is so dominated by the pro-abortion lobbies that they have no interest in making abortion “rare” for a start. So, its pure hypocrisy to praise such a party while claiming to be pro-life.

  • That is one of the most disgusting and uninformed screeds I’ve ever heard. Please explain the humanistic justifications for the atrocities you mentioned.

  • Humanistic logic peaches it is reasonable to shed the blood of some to benefit others. It reasons that their is benefit and blessings which can be obtained by spilling innocent human blood. Hitler killed the Jews and handicap believing he could benefit the German people. Stalin had his altruistic ideas for why he killed any opposition, starved the farmers, stealing their lands, and building his empire. They were justifiable losses to achieve his dream of a better Russia. Same with Mao, literally killing the educated, because they were more likely to to question his authority and morality.
    Believing you can obtain benefits and blessings by spilling the blood of little ones(abortion) has become a global belief system in worship of Moloch, not unlike the Aztecs of the new world with their human sacrifice belief systems, by which they believed they could attain fertility and better crops.
    All this blood shed done out of humanistic reasoning, whereby these societies believed they could build a better world and obtain material things through shedding blood of the innocent.

  • OK then. “Freedom” which does not include the right to boink who you want to boink if they want to boink you whenever is entirely worthless.

  • Is slavery slavery, even if you don’t know you’re enslaved?
    Can God punish and destroy you with the very sin you pursue in rebellion against Him?
    Isaiah 49:26 (KJV) And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

    http://www.bibleforandroid.com/v/58859b2612d0

  • More like a blood salad to those trading their children’s blood for a imagined life of ease and benefits they believe to have value.

  • What they should be asking, is why abortions increase after sex ed and contraceptives come to your town?

  • I’d rather protect all humans then be willing to sacrifice some for the benefit of others. Abortion rights give narcissistic men power over women by making her cheap, accessible, and exchangeable to him. He is able to use her and discard her as a disposable sex toy, no responsibility, no commitment, and no consideration needed. Why do pimps and pedophiles make use of and benefit from abortion services? Why did Isis sex slave holders force their slaves to take overlapping birth control pills and still procure abortions when the contraceptives didn’t work.
    Women are being abused and man’s humanistic solution is to spill the blood of her children and trade her in.

  • Bullcrap. You don’t want to protect any people. Its all about exerting your will over women and showing zero concern for anyone after birth. Attacking abortion rights doesn’t protect anyone. But it does make the lives of women and children more hazardous.

    “Abortion rights give narcissistic men power over women by making her cheap, accessible, and exchangeable to him.”

    Um, no. Men don’t ultimately have the say in the matter here. Its not their body. The woman has the final say in any such decisions.

    What you are showing me is that s1ut shaming and self-aggrandizing moralizing is the basis of your POV. You are trying to claim superiority over others that somehow extends to forcing people to accept your will, rather than respect their lives and personal decisions. As if everyone is answerable to you for such matters.

    “Why do pimps and pedophiles make use of and benefit from abortion services?”

    They are getting pregnant? That is a little different from the usual demographic one expects from that crowd. Your remark seems to posit that women are entirely under the control of lippy narcissistic men. Either pimps, significant others, child molesters or YOU. Pretty much denying their personhood and right to make decisions for themselves without asking little old you.

    “Women are being abused and man’s humanistic solution is to spill the blood of her children and trade her in.”

    Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t like women having abortions? Nobody has to care. Its never your decision to make because its never going to be your body. I cannot possibly give a flying crap what you desire or want women to do here. Your opinion is not the same as having a right or say in the matter.

  • Believing the woman is benefited or blessed by spilling the blood of her child in the womb is more then just an opinion some should be permitted to hold. It is currently a belief system codified in our law. If you want to discuss law, you must discuss beliefs. Everybody has opinions, but beliefs create laws and force others even the unbelieving to comply.

  • Pretending a woman is incapable of making decisions without your approval is a sign of self-righteous narcissism which typifies your view. Your view is that a fetus is a person, but its mother is your property to command. It is a morally repugnant view which lacks even the most basic rational underpinning.

    You have your opinions. The problem is you have the mistaken idea that your opinions must have color of law and that people must be coerced to comply with them. That is truly immoral garbage.

  • If anyone else kills the child, it is considered a capital crime, but women are treated differently under the law. Is this because she is viewed as ignorant or under duress? Is pregnancy unavoidable because of her ignorance or that someone forced her into that predicament? If so kill the man who did this, but do not spill innocent blood to cover up abuse or protect the abusers and willfully ignorant.

  • A child is born. A fetus is not. The dishonest conflation of born and unborn is a common affliction to fetus worship. It makes them say rather silly things which are contrary to the most basic facts of the matter.

    Evidently the whole notion that a fetus grows inside the body of a woman seems to elude you. Because it is inside her body, it is her choice and will that keeps it alive. If you don’t like the arrangement, take it up with the designer.

    Your opinion here means nothing if you respect a woman as a person. You do not. She is an object for you to command in your view. Hence the immorality and repugnant of your narcissistic views here.

    Even your Bible doesn’t recognize an abortional act against the mother’s will as murder of the fetus. It was a property crime against the father and mother subject to a fine.

    “Is pregnancy unavoidable because of her ignorance or that someone forced her into that predicament?”

    I am still not seeing the part where the woman must even bother to seek your approval on such matters. You don’t have to like her choices, you have no part in them. It makes no difference if you think she is being selfish, venal or irresponsible. It is her body and her choice.

    The problem is you assume a level of authority in the matter which does not exist. Nobody has to care what you think of a mother’s options here or your views of the fetus she carries. Personhood means one’s life and one’s body are their own.

  • Subject to a fine determined by the judges if the premi child was fine, otherwise life for life, limb for limb, eye for eye.

  • “if the premi child was fine, otherwise life for life, limb for limb, eye for eye.”

    Nope. Read your Bible more closely.

    If the MOTHER was killed, then its an eye for an eye. The penalty for murder. The mother is considered a person who can be murdered but the fetus is not. It is a crime against her first and foremost.

    If you are going to invoke your religious faith and the Bible for your position, you should not lie about its contents so readily. But dishonesty is a major part of your arguments so it is understandable.

  • Get a better Bible translation………
    “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” –Exodus 21:22-25

    Exodus 21:22 is the first fetal homicide law and concerns the child harmed during a separate assault. Pro-abortion theologians wrongly interpret this passage to refer to miscarriage, and only if the woman also dies is the penalty then life for life. But the passage distinguishes between the baby who survives the assault and the baby who dies. The meaning turns on whether the woman has a miscarriage or gives birth prematurely. And the Hebrew verb used is NOT that for miscarriage. Therefore the passage imposes only a fine on the criminal who accidentally causes a premature birth, but the punishment is life for life if the baby then dies. This shows that God equated the life of the unborn with that of the born, and abortion with murder. This passage, like Exodus 21:33-36, 22:5-6, and others, teaches that those who cause injury are responsible for their actions, even if the harm was unintentional. Therefore, this passage is the biblical model for any principled Unborn Victims of Crime Act. However, if the harm to the unborn in Exodus 21:22 spoke only of miscarriage, the teaching would then support legalized abortion by valuing the life of a fetus only with a fine, and only if the mother later died, would her death require taking the criminal’s life. But note the word used to describe the consequence of the crime described in Exodus 21:22, “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely,” the Hebrew word for miscarriage, shaw-kole, is NOT used. If the baby came out dead, a monetary fine would indicate a less than human value for the life of the fetus. However, because Exodus 21:22 says premature birth, and not miscarriage, the passage does not support a right to kill an unborn child, as contended by many who mistranslate this text. Rather, the text values the unborn child’s life equal to that of any other person. The author Moses (Mat. 12:26) mentions the idea of a baby coming out of the womb twice within three chapters. In Exodus 23:26, he uses the Hebrew word for miscarriage, speaking of barrenness and shaw-kole (miscarriage). But the word at Exodus 21:22 is yaw-tsaw, which means to come out, come forth, bring forth, and has no connotation of death but in fact the opposite. The Hebrew Scriptures use yaw-tsaw 1,043 times beginning with Genesis 1:24 where God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature…” In Genesis and Exodus alone Moses uses this word about 150 times such as in Genesis 25 describing the births of twins Jacob and Esau. Thus the Mosaic law requires the criminal to pay financial restitution to a woman unintentionally injured by a criminal if she “gives birth prematurely.” But then if that living being dies (i.e., the baby, soul, nephesh, which Hebrew word is always feminine, e.g., Lev. 19:8; Ps. 11:1) the text then applies the full Hebrew idiom which means that the punishment should fit the crime. If there is harm beyond a premature birth, and the unborn child dies, then the punishment is “life for life.”

    http://americanrtl.org/what-does-the-bible-say-about-abortion#Exodus21

  • The author of your cut and paste is as liar. You cribbed from a bullcrap source.

    The passage is

    …But if any harm follows THE WOMAN, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” –Exodus 21:22-25″

    Emphasis added. Once the author started off on that initial lie, the rest was worthless. Abortional acts are first and foremost an attack on the mother. Even now.

  • The adult human rights are spoken of elsewhere, this passage specifically speaks of the equal rights of the child in the womb. It was only a matter for judges if a capital crime was not committed. If the child was maimed, our died then the eye for eye, life for life law was enforced showing God equally valued and protected the child in the womb.

  • Like all fetus worshipers, you feel a need to lie in order to make your point. The author deliberately omitted a material term and simply elaborate on that false step. You repeat the same falsehood.

    “Equal rights of the fetus” is not mentioned in the Bible nor any laws. It doesn’t exist. The Bible treats a fetus as property.

    Your view isn’t about equal rights for a fetus. It can’t have any rights to exercise. It’s about stripping a woman’s rights to give to you concerning a fetus. A fetus can’t have rights greater to the born person whose body it inhabits. It has no separate existence before birth. Your terms here are dishonest euphemism for what amounts to reducing women to property.

    You needed to lie about your own religious justification here by deliberately misquoting the Bible. Get lost, dishonest trash.

  • Another thing your interpretation misconstrued, the “abortion” would have been accidental. A world of difference to the premeditated spilling of blood we have now.

  • You flat out lied about a Bible passage and elaborated on that lie and continue to do so.

    Get the hell out of here with your “interpretation” crap.

    You can save the sanctimonious garbage for your fellow lying trash. If you can’t be bothered to respect the lives of people, you alleged concern for the unborn is just self aggrandizing BS.

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