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May 06, 2013

Kirsten Powers: Let's Stop Pretending on Late-Term Abortion

She rejects the political fiction of a "clump of cells" that the left and the media (but I repeat myself) pushes.

I’ll put my cards on the table: I think life begins at conception and would love to live in a world where no women ever felt she needed to get an abortion. However, I know enough people who are pro-abortion rights—indeed, I was one of them for most of my life—to know that reasonable and sincere people can disagree about when meaningful life begins. They also can disagree about how to weigh that moral uncertainty against a woman’s right to control her body—and her own life. I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome back-alley abortions.

But medical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her “fetus.” It’s a baby. Let’s stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.

How is this OK? Even liberal Europe gets this. In France, Germany, Italy, and Norway, abortion is illegal after 12 weeks. In addition to the life-of-mother exception, they provide narrow health exceptions that require approval from multiple doctors or in some cases going before a board. In the U.S., if you suggest such stringent regulation and oversight of later-term abortions, you are tarred within seconds by the abortion rights movement as a misogynist who doesn’t “trust women.”

Speaking as a liberal who endorses more government regulation of practically everything—banks, water, air, food, oil drilling, animal safety—I am eternally perplexed by the fury the abortion rights contingent displays at the suggestion that the government might have a serious role to play in the issue of abortion, especially later-term abortion.

She then analogizes NARAL to the NRA, a comparison that occurred to me as well, though I would put it differently than Kristen Powers. Let's look at the media's alleged problem with the NRA.

What is the problem with the NRA? That the NRA, to protect a core right, illogically and wrongly blocks "common sense legislation" on the outer peripheries of that right, and this is terrible because the "great majority of the public" wants such "common sense legislation." Furthermore, the NRA, because of its central position in politics, is able to scare off politicians from "doing the right thing" by branding them as weak in The Cause. That dratted NRA just won't compromise.

Remember that the media is required to disguise all substantive policy opinions as merely opinions about procedure. That's why their beef against the NRA is phrased as if the substance of the right, the right to be armed, is the furthest thing from their mind. No, as the media tells the tale, their disapproval with the NRA is not about what the NRA protects but merely how it protects it.

Well: if all we're talking about is tactics and not substance, how is NARAL different than the NRA at all?

Watch how easy it is for me to re-write the above paragraph starting "What's the problem with the NRA?" to direct it against NARAL:

What is the problem with NARAL? That the NARAL, to protect a core right, illogically and wrongly blocks "common sense legislation" on the outer peripheries of that right, and this is terrible because the "great majority of the public" wants such "common sense legislation." Furthermore, NARAL, because of its central position in politics, is able to scare off politicians from "doing the right thing" by branding them as weak in The Cause. That dratted NARAL just won't compromise.

Now, if the media's objection to the NRA is strictly procedural and not about the substance of which rights the media believes should be guaranteed by the Constitution -- why isn't NARAL attacked by the media for the same sins?

Note: I'm not actually analogizing the two. I'm saying that if the media claims this is its problem with the NRA, and this has nothing to do with its leftist bias, why aren't they flogging NARAL for similarly pushing the "most extreme interpretation of the right under question" and "absolutely refusing to cede even the smallest amount of territory in the name of common-sense compromise?"

Recently we saw a Planned Parenthood representative stating that it was her opinion, and her employers' opinion, that the decision whether or not to kill an already-born baby was between the mother and her doctor.

Where's the media's interest in "extremism"? Oh right, they're goddamned liars and they're not against "extremism" so long as it's extremism of the left.



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posted by Ace at 07:36 PM

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