Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The courage of their convictions

I'm glad to see a lot of folks jumping on pro-choice Democrats who feel they need to acknowledge the ickiness of abortion. As Yglesias says,
If aborting a fetus is morally similar to killing a person, then banning such activity clearly doesn’t diminish women. But if it’s not similar, then as Ginsburg is saying this cuts the heart of women’s status as free and equal autonomous citizens and bargaining rights away becomes very costly. But you can’t make any real sense out of the pro-choice position on a matter like this if you’re constantly apologizing for yourself.
Agreed. But while we're demanding that pro-choicers have the courage of their convictions, we might ask that pro-lifers do the same. The pro-life position is that abortion is murder. Nearly half the U.S. Congress ostensibly takes this very position. Indeed, a majority of the Congress, plus the president, took this position between 2001 and 2007. What did they do about it? They talked about it. They ran on it. But they didn't do much to change the law or shut down the clinics or prosecute the doctors or expectant mothers. Bush and congressional Republicans felt it more important to push for tax cuts and respond to international matters rather than stop what they claim to be a million annual infanticides. Bush wanted to create a "culture of life" before he pushed to abolish abortion.

I don't see how that's a remotely tenable position. An officeholder who claims to believe that a million murders are going here every year but devotes his attention to other matters simply cannot believe what he's saying.

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