Donald Trump is at it again. While being interviewed by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last Wednesday, he was asked if women should get punished for having an abortion if abortion was outlawed.
After attempting to avoid the question in typical Trump fashion, he responded by suggesting that women, indeed, should be punished for having an abortion. Hours later, Trump reversed his position by claiming that the abortionist and abortion providers should be punished. After his backpedaling, he accused MSNBC of cutting out parts of the interview.
Trump’s convoluted answers are not surprising, because he is relatively new at acting like a conservative or a politician. To attract the pro-life vote — a large contingent of conservatives — he must tread lightly. However, his confusion reflects a broader misunderstanding, namely that the pro-life position is not charitable.
Women who seek abortions are often at the end of their rope, and thus Trump’s response to these women should be one of care and rehabilitation, not one of condemnation.
More importantly, women should have access to counseling and healthcare services, which do not include contraception. On the other side of the coin, the abortion doctor and providers should be jailed.
The pro-choice crowd will argue that abortions will be pushed into back-alleys and a woman’s health will, consequently, be more at risk. A popular comparison the Left sometimes makes is that outlawing abortion is like outlawing marijuana: they both still happen, so why not make them legal and regulated? But abortion and marijuana are fundamentally different and, therefore, this comparison is flawed.
Women get abortions because they feel like they have to, whereas people want to smoke marijuana and, speaking economically here, the more marijuana a person has, the better off they believe they are.
This situation does not apply to abortions because the more abortions a woman has does not make the woman better off. Theoretically, the women is just as well-off as she was before the abortion, and this does not take into account the emotional pain experienced and the loss of the baby’s life.
If abortion is outlawed and the only way to get an abortion is to perform dangerous underground abortions, the rate of the abortions will decrease because, for women, it would be harder to find someone to perform an abortion, and the health risks would increase, regardless of whether or not the abortion was self-inflicted. From an economic viewpoint, when the transaction cost of a product increases, the quantity demanded of the product decreases.
Therefore, banning abortion will lead to an increase in the birthrate, and, God-willing, a change to the culture of death in the U. S. But Trump is certainly not making it any easier.