In 2008, according to the Guttmacher Institute, while the number of abortions in the U.S. remained "virtually unchanged from 2005 when the abortion rate was 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women...," Maryland, produced "a rate of 29 abortions per 1,000 women..." Maryland is a liberal state, economically, socially and politically. In announcing his decision to oppose the death penalty, Baltimore Republican Delegate William J. Frank at least sounded consistent when he told the Post: "I'm a reluctant convert to supporting repeal, but a convert nonetheless." Frank cited his "respect for human life."
Respect for human life should mean a murderer ought to forfeit his or her own life as payment for the life taken. Life in prison is unequal punishment. It is not fair to the victim, to the victim's family or even to the killer who has not received his or her "just deserts."
In the case of abortion, obviously there can be no sentence of death or life in prison for the "murderer." But that doesn't mean that Maryland cannot exercise an equivalent respect for life through laws that restrict abortion. Shouldn't the lives of the unborn also be spared a death sentence? If the Maryland legislature can stop the state from taking the lives of murderers, it can adopt restrictions that save the lives of many threatened by abortion.
I have often proposed a deal for my liberal friends who are anti-death penalty but pro-choice: I will surrender my position in favor of the death penalty, if pro-choicers support laws that protect the unborn.
It seems like a fair deal to me, but so far I've gotten no takers. This seems ideologically inconsistent, if they argue all human life is valuable.
The death chambers will close in Maryland for a few murderers, but thousands of abortions will continue in Maryland each year -- more than 1 million annually nationwide -- "sentencing" innocents to death without due process.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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