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red in tooth and claw

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jul 18, 2005

Vision Book Cover Prints

Abortion archpriestess Katha Pollitt contemplates a world without Roe, and cranks up the truculence. Democracy, she concedes, is too fickle an institution to protect the right to feticide. Some excerpts from her latest column:

In 1993 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg caused a flurry when she seemed to endorse this view: Roe, she declared in a speech, had "halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue." It's not an insane idea, even if most of its proponents (a) are men; (b) think Roe went too far; and (c) want abortion off the table because they are tired of thinking about it. ...

Overturning Roe would definitely energize prochoicers and wake up the young featherheads who think their rights are safe because they have always had them. That's why some staunch prochoicers have "Bring it on!" moments. ...

The trouble is, getting rid of Roe would energize antichoicers too. Even in prochoice states, they might be able to win spousal notification requirements, bans on "partial birth" abortions or even on all second-trimester procedures except to preserve life and health. A national consensus on abortion might or might not develop over time, but any such would not likely be as permissive as Roe. ...

If Roe goes, whoever has political power will determine the most basic, intimate, life-changing and life-threatening decision women -- and only women -- confront. We will have a country in which the same legislature that can't prevent some clod from burning a flag will be able to force a woman to bear a child under whatever circumstances it sees fit. It is hard to imagine how that woman would be a free or equal citizen of our constitutional republic.

Among the hardest of hard-core ideologues, Pollitt's contempt is fiercest for those in her own camp who give away the game by resorting to euphemisms or evasions that imply regret, moral ambivalence, or a bad conscience about abortion. She can't hide her disgust with NARAL for running a "Please Help Us Prevent Abortion" ad campaign. Because of the blatant cynicism? No, because it suggests that abortion is a bad thing. For those who have made their peace with state-sponsored homicide, it's the terror of this judgment that provides the heat behind the hatred.

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