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Opening Arguments

Happy abomination day

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history. Why would even "right to choose" advocates celebrate such an abomination? But NOW apparently is. The headline on this AP story is a little misleading -- "U.S. abortion debate altered by Obama presidency" -- but the story itself gets it right:

"The alignment of a hard-core pro-abortion president with pro-abortion Democratic majorities in Congress means that many existing pro-life policies are now in great jeopardy," Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee wrote in a memo this month.

It's not the debate that will change but the balance of power. As long as abortion is legal under Row v. Wade, abortion proponents and opponents will continue to agrue around the edges, over such things as federal funding and parental notification. Pro-life advocates will lose some ground now, but that will only make them more determined. Pro-choice groups aren't going to modify their beliefs, either.

Here's a chance for Obama to try out his apparent belief that consensus can be reached on just about anything. He could offer a middle ground approach that, 1) tried to better prevent unwanted pregnancies and, 2) provided incentives for those who opt for something other than abortion, such as adoption. This would require each side to give up something. The life side would have to stop opposing greater birth-control efforts among the unmarried. The choice side would have to actually encourage a choice other than abortion. Wonder which side would flinch first?


Thu, 01/22/2009 - 10:32am

Do you think it's consistent with the ideals of limited government to throw a woman in jail for refusing to carry a fetus to term?

Leo Morris
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 10:56am

I haven't heard many pro-life supporters actually advocating that -- have you, really? Most seem to suggest penalizing those who perform the abortions. Since you bring it up, how do you feel about the possibility of the federal government spending money to help mothers kill their unborn babies? (I can use loaded language, too.)

"Limited government" to me means, among other things, having only the laws absolutely necessary and enforcing them uniformly and universally. Whether you think jailing those women is consistent with that depends largely on what you think that fetus is, doesn't it? You wouldn't throw someone in jail for having her appendix taken out. Would you if she killed her invalid grandmother? How about her comatose grandmother?

Bob G.
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 11:40am

Leo's tack on limited governemnt seems OK.
(as long as the laws ARE enforced UNIFORMLY and UNIVERSALLY)
Can't argue with being FAIR.

Yet, after ALL this time, with ALL the measures for birth CONTROL in place...we STILL have unacceptablly HIGH numbers of unwanted pregnancies (and abortions).
What's that scream to you?
(Show of hands? Anyone?)

Thu, 01/22/2009 - 11:47am

I might get on board with putting a universal contraceptive in the drinking water and doling out antidotes to couples who pass some minimum standards for parenting.

But, I'm probably a little grumpy from my collections work where I see someone barely or un-employed, complaining that they can't pay because they have 4 children with 3 different people and a 5th one on the way. And complications from the 5th one makes it so they can't work and they're waiting on their disability application to be processed.

Meanwhile, I waited until I was 31 and financially stable to have kids, work a full time job, wonder if I'm throwing my money away as I put money into their college accounts as the market tanks, and . . . . wait a second, I'm digressing here.

tim zank
Thu, 01/22/2009 - 12:33pm

Doug sez: But, I