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more eloquently than the blood of abel

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jan 04, 2010

If abortion is not something bad, why should we be concerned to make it rare? Pro-abortion warhorses Kate Michelman and Frances Kissling try to slap the Democrats out of their mushy “family friendly” posturing and get back to the no-nonsense business of dismembering fetuses -- with no apologies. This in a NYT op-ed from last November:

Many women -- ourselves included -- warned the Democratic Party in 2004 that it was a mistake to build a Congressional majority by recruiting and electing candidates opposed to the party’s commitment to legal abortion and to public financing for the procedure. Instead, the lust for power yielded to misguided, self-serving poll analysis by operatives with no experience in the fight for these principles. They mistakenly believed that giving leadership roles to a small minority of anti-abortion Democrats would solve the party’s image problems with “values voters” and answer critics who claimed Democrats were hostile to religion.

Democrats were told to stop talking about abortion as a moral and legal right and to focus instead on comforting language about reducing the number of abortions. In this regard, President Obama was right on message when he declared in his health care speech to Congress in September that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions” -- as if this happened to be a good and moral thing.

Given their premises, Michelman and Kissling are bang on target. Why connect abortion with an “image problem” unless that image were negative? And why should it be negative unless abortion were viewed as wrong? Yet if abortion were wrong, it would be absurd to defend it as a moral and legal right -- even in rare circumstances. Therefore (on this view) it’s an even more catastrophic error to pretend to work for reduced abortions than to reduce them in fact. The whole logic unravels at a touch.

Note that Michelman and Kissling take it as obvious that the Democratic Party's cautious inclusion of a few pro-lifers is a cynically contrived political feint and wholly contrary to its “principles”: those who respond are, in the Leninist sense, “useful idiots” momentarily needed to scrape together an electoral majority but of zero long-term consequence. Kissling moreover has repeatedly and convincingly pointed out that ‘reducing abortion by reducing poverty’ is a ruse: handy for electing progressives but entirely without statistical grounding in fact.

Michelman and Kissling are putting the question squarely to the Democratic Party: “Look folks, you have blood on your hands. There’s no denying that fact. So you have to remind yourselves ceaselessly that you are surgeons, and that the stains on your gloves come from waste tissue in an operation you were proud to perform. If, on the other hand, you should forget yourself, or weaken, or even momentarily feel a pang of regret, that blood will testify against you for the remainder of recorded history. It just can’t happen.”

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