the sole non-negotiable

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Dec 30, 2006

Frances (Catholics for a Free Choice) Kissling has one serious problem. If pro-aborts join the call to reduce the number of abortions, doesn't that imply that abortion is a bad thing? But if they admit that it's a bad thing, they've conceded the moral argument out of hand. True, it's an astonishingly late recognition of what should have been obvious from the outset, but it's really got her squirming. Her writhings are worth reading in full.

Is abortion a morally neutral act? Is it, as some have said, an unambiguous moral good? This is where we go limp and get tongue-tied. Why, people ask us -- if abortion is such a good thing; if it results in women coming to terms with their moral autonomy, making good choices for their lives, acting in the interests of society and their existing and future children -- do we want to reduce the need for it? Simply put, the movement as a whole and most of our leaders find it difficult to acknowledge publicly that we have spent our lives, our passion, fighting for something that both is central to human freedom and autonomy and ends a form of human life.

Coming from another speaker -- an IRA terrorist, say, or a Marxist guerrilla -- that last sentence might seem to be the prelude to an act of remorse. In this essay, it's a boast.

Kissling has one of those Peter Singer-like minds that executes all witnesses to its own moral incoherence, i.e., she'd rather watch her principles kill off the innocent than recant them. She understands that this "resolve" comes at the cost of shocking the squeamish, but it's a cost she's willing to pay.

Why then do we get so caught up, so tongue-tied when we are asked if we want to prevent abortion? We spend countless hours trying to find the most nuanced way of answering this question. We worry that some woman will be hurt if we acknowledge the moral ambiguity of abortion. Yes, words are important, but so is vision. Should we say there are too many abortions in the US? I doubt it. Which abortion tipped the balance from just enough to too many? It’s a little bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: too hot, too cold, just right. Which woman should not have had an abortion? What reason was frivolous? Our heads spin! We believe we are on thin ice if we say we want to reduce the number of abortions.

Wait a second. What exactly is she afraid of when the ice cracks? It is an electoral defeat for pro-aborts that's likely to follow a Hillary-style "safe legal rare" maneuver? On the contrary, it was adopted by Dems only because it's a politically attractive feint, and Kissling not only admits the attractiveness but encourages the feint. No, something much more important is at risk. Pay close attention to Kissling's every term in the line that follows:

Tactically, there is concern that an explicit goal of working to prevent the need for abortions or to reduce the incidence of abortion undermines efforts to demonstrate that those opposed to abortion are extremists.

Apply the Steve Grand macro here: if that last sentence doesn't make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does.

I don't see how it could be any clearer. The pro-abortion movement, when all the politically expedient slogans are dispensed with, is about hatred: specifically, hatred of anyone who holds himself objectively accountable to right and wrong. Rather than lose their grip on that hatred, they're prepared to throw overboard every subsidiary value -- coherence, freedom, sanity, even women themselves.

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