Trump blundered into the abortion this week by remarking on the need to punish women who have abortions. Of course, Trump doesn't really believe that. It did, however, make an old issue resurface, and I see some confusion on the part of Christians in responding to Trump.
i) Certainly there are women who have uncoerced abortions. There are women who have abortions for convenience. There are men and women who have no compunction about killing somebody who's an obstacle to their ambitions, so long as they can get away with it.
ii) That said, laws have more than one function. Some laws are designed to exact justice. Conversely, some laws are designed to deter certain kinds of social behavior. And many laws attempt to do both.
iii) As a practical matter, it isn't politically feasible to pass laws that punish women who have abortions. Not only do such laws have no possibility of passage, but the very effort to sponsor bills to that effect would backfire. It would play right into the hands of the abortion lobby.
That isn't fair, but in a just world, we wouldn't have abortion on demand in the first place.
iv) In addition, the dispensation of justice is ultimately up to God. Up to a point, it's good to have laws that punish wrongdoing, but at the end of the day, no one will elude justice. That's what the final judgment is about.
v) In the meantime, the primary goal of the prolife movement is to prevent as many abortions as possible, given the political realities. With that in mind, we focus on deterrence rather than retribution. The priority is to save lives, not exact justice.
Moreover, given the political climate, these are competing values. Ideally, it's good to have laws that deter wrongdoing and punish wrongdoing alike. But if you can't do both, then you should prioritize saving babies, and leave it to God to right the scales of justice. We have no duty to engage in futile, counterproductive tactics.