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otr dashback: 4-26-04 -- feelings

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 02, 2008

Ellen Goodman loyally works all the NARAL talking points into her pre-march column, including the predictable lie from the studio of Josef Goebbels:

After all, those of us who remember when birth control was illegal and when 10,000 American women a year died from illegal abortions don't have to imagine a world without choices.

As former abortionist Bernard Nathanson admits, the 10,000 dead number was a total fabrication which he and his fellow advocates invented and promulgated purely for its shock value. In parroting the number, decades after the fraud has been exposed, Goodman concedes the obvious: that she writes as a shill.

But there's a deeper point at issue, one made by Hadley Arkes in a Crisis article from the 1980s (now lost to me, alas). Mario Cuomo gave a speech in which he warned that women would die in back-alley abortions were his opponent to be elected. Arkes pounced on the sophistry and, in a scathing exercise of demolition, assimilated Cuomo's philosophy to that of that old South, quoting the exchange in Huckleberry Finn between Tom Sawyer's Aunt Sally and Huck. Having arrived later than expected, Huck pretends to have traveled downriver in a steamboat, which had come to grief:

"We blowed out a cylinder head."

"Good gracious! anybody hurt?"

"No'm. Killed a nigger."

"Well, it's lucky; because sometimes people do get hurt."

Unspoken but taken for granted in Aunt Sally and Huck's conversation is the conviction that blacks don't rise to the level of human beings, whence their death or injury is not a matter for concern. Though Aunt Sally's feelings are certainly meant to be genuine -- she is sincerely shocked at the prospect that an engine room explosion might burn or maim people -- her moral universe is so constructed that blacks are wholly excluded from those "subjects of consciousness" whose joys, sorrows, pleasures, and pains are recognizably human and so deserving of compassion.

Thus Cuomo, thus Goodman. Unlike the hand-wringing pro-aborts such as Anna Quindlen and Naomi Wolf --who admit the humanity of the unborn child, furrow their brows over the so-called dilemma, and then give the baby a thumbs-down anyway -- Goodman and Co. can only try to shock us with the numbers of slain and wounded on the assumption that the fetus has the moral status of a fingernail clipping. Or a black slave in 1840s Mississippi. They just don't count.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 02, 2008 4:34 PM ET USA

    Or that 10,000 women bleeding to death as a result of a botched abortion is more harrowing than the death of, what is it now, 40 million infants who were ripped limb from limb...

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