By Dave Andrusko
I usually skim books by pro-abortionists—the arguments are repetitious and drawn from the same fetid pool of anti-child and (usually) anti-male rhetoric. But I believe I will have to read Katha Pollitt’s “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.”
Is it because Pollitt’s book promises a breakthrough, so to speak, a new way of defending the indefensible? Not if you read the 100% sympathetic reviews that have appeared in the usual places (Slate, the New York Times, Salon, etc., etc.) But that’s not the point, although you keep hearing notions that an abortion absolutist is somehow reaching out to people who share none of her militancy or her views.
So what does Hanna Rosin, writing for Slate, like about Pollitt’s new book? (There are a few quibbles, but that is a subject for another time.)
First and foremost, Pollitt reaffirms Rosen’s own condescending prejudices. For instance, it’s so 1950ish to think there could possibly be anything wrong about abortion, anything the tiniest bit problematic.
Why can’t the movie “Obvious Child” make a joke out of the lead character obliterating her unborn child? “We shouldn’t need a book explaining why abortion rights are important,” Rosin writes. “We should be over that by now.”
So why aren’t we collectively “over that” by now? You guessed it: us.
“The reason we’re not, according to Pollitt, is that we have all essentially been brainwashed by a small minority of pro-life activists.”
Before I go any further, it is always instructive to remember how contemptuous pro-abortionists are not just of us—what else would you expect?—but of the American public. They are all fools, dolts who can be manipulated by a handful of anti-abortion whackos.
Is it any wonder the abortion militants increasingly have an image problem, one some of the saner types are trying to rectify by sort of giving up on the content-free “pro-choice” idiom?
And, by the way, if you are Rosin, you would think you’d be more careful talking about “brainwashing.” It was her side that dredged up the ridiculous, reason-free “war on women” meme, one which, as the public thinks more deeply, is beginning to lose its hold.
Anyway, back to the review.
Again, I haven’t read the book yet, but can anyone read the following paragraph (pro, con, or have no opinion on abortion) and not smile?
“Pollitt aims her book at the ‘muddled middle’ who have been infected by the awfulization [of abortion] without thinking about it that much. To win them back she’s crafted a lengthy Socratic response dissecting the contradictions on the pro-life side.”
Note who the muddled (or “mushy”) middle is, besides being “infected” (gosh, now we’re reduced to spreading viruses?). In fact, as polling data going back decades reveals, it refers to all those Americans who are told they are “pro-choice” when, in fact, they oppose the reasons for which 90%+ of all abortions are performed.
Rosin/Pollitt might concede the numbers (not my conclusion, of course), but counter that’s just they haven’t had the benefit of reading Ms. Socrates’ wisdom.
Just one other point (there are at least four or five more worth considering but…). For reasons that make sense only to the hard-core pro-abortionist, Pollitt believes (Rosin writes) that the “moral high ground is in reclaiming the right to have an abortion, regardless of the circumstances.”
None of this “hard case” nonsense for the abortion on demand without apology crowd. That simply breeds defensiveness, an invitation to defeat.
So, Pollitt/Rosin and their ilk believe that the way to the American public’s heart is through….abortions at any stage of gestation, for any reason, or none, paid for by you and me. Honestly, they really do believe they’ve stumbled on the key that will unlock the mystery of why they haven’t secured abortion-on-demand.
Here’s the distilled essence of philosophy of the absolutist times ten pro-abortionist:
“The fog of regret has meant no one is able to confidently defend or even cleanly describe what’s actually going on: Three in 10 American women have abortions by the time they hit menopause. They are not generally victims of rape or incest, or in any pitiable situation from which they need to be rescued. They are making a reasonable and even admirable decision that they can’t raise a child at the moment. Is that so hard to say? As Pollitt puts it, ‘This is not the right time for me’ should be reason enough. And saying that aloud would help push back against the lingering notion that it’s unnatural for a woman to choose herself over others.”
Rosin proudly tells us between her second and third (living) children, she aborted a baby. In so doing, clearly she pushed back “against the lingering notion that it’s unnatural for a woman to choose herself over others.”
Did she have post-abortion regret? Naw, although “Part of me thinks the shadow aborted child stayed with me and created a space for the last one to be born.” But don’t draw any of the wrong conclusions. Rosin was too busy working and caring for her two children to even think about the one she didn’t have time for.
Here is Rosin’s conclusion, which is as chilling as it is sad:
“Like Pollitt said about the pro-lifers, I recognize that the fetus and the mother have a complicated relationship without being able to fully articulate what that is. The aborted fetus hung around as a concept, nothing at all like the living children I already had. Having an abortion left me with a sense of what a great power it is to be able to give life but also a sense that I can trust myself to use it carefully.”
Rosin’s “complicated relationship” was that she and her husband brought that child into existence but—trusting in her own wisdom—chose not to give him or her life (birth). Sorry, kid, your timing was off.
It reminds me of the woman we wrote about earlier this week, the one who posted a letter on Reddit to the child she was about to abort:
“I promise I will see you again, and next time, you can call me Mom.”