By Dave Andrusko
There are many ways to understand the 2016 presidential election. But one we have emphatically underlined is precisely what the “mainstream media” minimizes: the extent to which a victory for Hillary Clinton would empower the most extreme elements of the pro-abortion movement (which is already out of the mainstream to begin with).
More and more you read/hear/are lectured that any limitation, however commonsensical, however protective of women’s health, however widely supported by the public, must go.
And beyond that, you and I must pay for the deaths of innocent unborn children. And if you are a health professional, rest assured that a Hillary Clinton Administration would attack your right to resist involvement in abortion out of conscience: “abortion on demand and without apology.”
To disagree is ipso facto evidence that you are a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal whose only objective in life is to oppress women.
I thought of the colossal arrogance at work this morning when I re-read a post that ran at salon.com.
The core of Mary Elizabeth Williams argument is (a) those dastardly pro-lifers unfairly co-opted “life” which is (b) doubly unfair because she also believes life begins at conception but that doesn’t make her “one less iota strongly pro-choice.”
You can see where this is headed by the end of the first paragraph. So Williams tries to preempt some rather obvious criticisms (before moving on to say, who cares?).
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.
There’s lots of other self-indulgent gibberish like this, but let’s just talk about what Williams is saying here first. If what follows sounds cold, I would respond it’s hot as the sun compared to what Williams is unloading.
a. All life is not equal. Williams may or may not limit the inequality to the unborn but my guess is that if you pin her down, the same thresholds would apply to other dependent groups (see below).
b. She’s the boss. Never mind that the child didn’t create herself. (Come to think of it, all the more reason she is expendable!) The pregnant woman will do what she wants to do because….she is more powerful than the child, the very same rational that feminists have rightly protested when men use it to subjugate women.
c. If you are “non-autonomous,” it doesn’t take much (if any) justification to send you into oblivion. Dispensing with you only requires that it is “right for her circumstances.”
Williams takes pleasure in an unspoken but obvious assumption: better to be coldblooded than inconsistent.
She hammers abortion defenders who dance around–who try to draw fine distinctions about–when human life becomes a “person.” Who cares?
As a society “we make choices about life all the time in our country” (“prisoners in our penal system; “patients with terminal illnesses”;and “accident victims”), Williams thunders.
What this has to do with abortion escapes me, but I guess the gist is “life” is “life” and often the disposition of “life” is decided for you by others. And in any event, this is all in service of justifying the conclusion there is no point in pregnancy where [the unborn child’s]“life” is any less subject to being taken than before.
Moment of conception, ten seconds before birth, all is “life” and all is subject to the whim of the more powerful.
All are lives, as Williams concludes, “worth sacrificing.”
I’m not sure if she actually believes this, but maybe she does. Williams draws attention to an op-ed by Emma Maniere (“Why I’m Pro-Choice”) which Williams is convinced turns the tables on pro-lifers. Maniere wrote, “Some argue that abortion takes lives, but I know that abortion saves lives, too.”
The extremely rare case where the life of mother is at stake? Of course not. Maniere and Williams are using the imagery figuratively, not in “the most medically literal way.” Abortion as life-saver refers to “the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families.”
If I told you pro-abortionists could be this hard-hearted, this cavalier, this ruthlessly it’s-all-about-me, some would say I was indulging in hyperbole times ten. In a polite way, some would suggest I was making it up.
Problem is you just can’t make this stuff up. Not if you are a morally sentient human being with even the most minimal sense of justice.
These are the kinds of people who would be overjoyed by the election of Hillary Clinton–one of them.