By Dave Andrusko
I grant you that 1,096 words makes for a pretty hefty article, especially online. But actually you would have anticipated that Dahlia Lithwick would have needed at least three times that number to cram all the errors she stuffed into a dreary piece that ran on Slate magazine last Thursday.
The headline talks about why public opinion polls show more support among Millennials for gay marriage than for abortion. The former is not our issue, the latter is, and in a minute I will offer my thoughts why Millennials (roughly ages 18-30) are so pro-life. (Much more than Lithwick allows. See www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/06/a-portrait-of-millennials-that-conceals-as-much-as-it-reveals-about-their-strong-pro-life-convictions/).
But since Lithwick’s jumping off point is the Protect Life Act, let me talk briefly about a few of her egregious misstatements where she swallows whole a slew of pro-abortion talking points.
To begin with the pro-life leadership of the House can walk and chew gum at the same time. Sure, the pro-abortion Senate may sit on the bill, which passed the House last week 251-172. But in considering who to elect to the House next year, voters will know that 172 members thinks it’s just fine that ObamaCare-authorized funds can be used for abortions or to subsidize health plans that cover abortions. That is hardly a ‘waste of time,’ unless you are a pro-abortion Democrat desperate to hide from your own voting record.
And to that point, Lithwick insists even to bring up the Protect Life Act is—what?—uncouth. Obama says ObamaCare doesn’t do what is so clearly does, and to point that out–and try to eliminate those provisions–is to call him a “liar.”
I will be more generous to Lithwick than she is to pro-lifers. She insists that the Hyde Amendment already “prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.” But the whole point of the effort in 2010 was to EXTEND the principles of the Hyde Amendment to ObamaCare, which Obama and the pro-abortion Democrats in the Senate consciously and deliberately thwarted.
And, of course, Lithwick recycles the astonishingly cynical lie that the conscience provisions of the Protect Life Act (in the words of pro-abortion House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) ultimately would lead women to “die on the floor of health care providers.” We already discussed this at some length (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2011/10/passage-of-the-protect-life-act-the-day-after ), so let me offer just two quick quotes.
First, from NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson:
“During today’s debate, opponents of the bill repeatedly claimed that it would allow hospitals to deny women ‘emergency’ abortions. In reality, the bill does not change the longstanding federal law in question, called EMTALA, which requires that in an ‘emergency’ a hospital must do its best to stabilize both the pregnant mother and her ‘unborn child’ (which is the term used in the statute). The Protect Life Act allows federal funding of an abortion required to save a mother’s life.”
And, second, as pro-life Congressman Chris Smith explained, “Conscience clauses and EMTALA have coexisted for many years without a problem.”
So why are young people so pro-life? The one-note pro-abortion mantra is that they have no personal experience of a time when there were protective state abortion statutes. Lithwick ruefully remarks, “By failing to paint a vivid or enduring picture of what came before, we are asking them to imagine a return to a past that must seem Paleolithic.”
Lithwick adds that pro-abortionists have also made a strategic mistake (or at least held on to something past its prime): they have framed the abortion issue as one of “privacy,” which doesn’t resonate with Millennials the way it would were it framed as an issue of “equality.”
Lithwick is on to something, even though ultimately she draws the wrong conclusion. In any proper understanding of the Constitution, “privacy” never flew. It was the flag the Supreme Court planted in order to announce its discovery of the “right” to abortion lurking somewhere in the recently minted right to privacy.
So it’s not just that Millennials aren’t mesmerized by “privacy.” It was just a legal façade all along.
But equality—aka “fairness”—IS a value that Millennials value dearly. However, in fact, it is a preeminent American value, regardless of age. More to the point equality does not cut the way Lithwick believes it does.
Is it fair to take the life of a helpless unborn baby? Does it further the cause of women’s equality to abort 650,000 to 675,000 unborn females each year?
Hardly. Millennials are pro-life because they know the reality of abortion. Truth be told young people—as Joleigh Little of Wisconsin RTL so often puts it—“get it.”
There is a chilling truth that is hammered into their psyches from Day One: THEY could have been a “statistic.”