Trump and abortion

So, presumably you heard about Trump making comments that women should be punished for having abortion.  And then very quickly walking this back once he learned that was not what he was supposed to say.  A brief bit from Vox:

Donald Trump blew up the news cycle on Wednesday by telling Chris Matthews at a town hall that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions if the procedure is outlawed.

Trump later reversed course and said that if abortion were illegal, criminal penalties would fall on doctors, not women. That’s the mainstream pro-life position, but Trump seemingly wasn’t aware of this…

Here’s what Twitter had to say about the whole thing.

Many pro-life people were upset by Trump’s comments, and said they don’t represent the movement

Years – decades! – of the pro-life movement saying it’s not looking to punish anyone for abortion, cut out at the knees by Trump.

— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) March 30, 2016
Trump’s comments are what someone who isn’t actually pro-life would think someone who is pro-life would want to hear

— Josh Perry (@MrJoshPerry) March 30, 2016
In all my years of being pro life, I’ve never heard another pro lifer want anything but grace and healing for women who’ve had abortions

— Michele Frost (@michelelfrost) March 30, 2016
This is the pro-life movement I know:

— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) March 30, 2016
Some said Trump’s views show that he’s not truly pro-life

Don’t overthink it: Trump doesn’t understand the pro-life position because he’s not pro-life.

— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) March 30, 2016
Trump demonstrated his “flexibility” on the abortion flip flop. #DelicateDonald

— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) March 30, 2016
How can we have any idea what Trump will believe tomorrow when Trump has no idea what Trump will believe tomorrow.

— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) March 30, 2016
Others argued that Trump exposed the reality of pro-life policies, and the underlying logic of the pro-life position

Every R running for prez agrees with Trump on “punishing” women who get abortions. That’s what it means for abortion to be illegal.

— Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) March 30, 2016
Nope. This wasn’t a verbal malfunction. This was an unplanned moment of honesty that should be taken seriously.

— Pamela Merritt (@SharkFu) March 30, 2016

Why is it against the mainstream pro-life movement to argue for criminal punishment for women who have abortions? I would argue that it is simply for the reason that this is a politically very unpalatable positions, as Trump has just made eminently clear. Logically, if you are going to argue that abortion is the moral equivalent of murder– as many in the pro-life movement do, how could you possibly argue that the woman who seeks out and chooses to have an abortion is not criminally culpable? It literally does not make sense. Trump, being a fake pro-lifer just telling conservatives what they wanted to hear, naturally assumed they would support punishing women who obtain abortions. I actually see it as somewhat parallel to the Catholic Church’s unwillingness to publicly condemn and call for the outlawing of IVF.

Now, I don’t blame the pro-life people for being politically expedient– that’s what you do to succeed in politics.  But then again, if you are going to claim that you are making a moral, not a political argument, it seems to me you need to follow through on the logic of that moral argument.
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