By Dave Andrusko
When you are a pro-abortion columnist, one who will defend abortion up and down the line, it must be a bit of a shock when someone who is even MORE pro-abortion than you are politely boxes your ears.
Enter New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who is a recent column bashes anyone who thinks that federal funding ought to go to full service health care providers. Kristof dares to ever so gently distinguish between abortion and everything else and ends with someone telling him (about the impact of potential cuts in funding), “You’re not taking away abortion services. You’re taking away my health care.”
That was enough to garner a stirring harumph from Steph Herold, a militant’s militant on abortion. Under the title, “When Allies Stigmatize: Nick Kristof, Family Planning, and Abortion,” Herold lays into Kristof, a “Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist” who, alas, “distinguishes abortion from other types of health care—a common false dichotomy but a peculiar stance from a global health advocate.”
The good thing about Herold’s piece is all you need to know is found in the first sentence. Kristof has committed the ultimate apostasy: abortion is health care, health care is abortion. You absolutely cannot suggest (and that’s all Kristof does)that there is anything problematic about abortion.
If you don’t want women to die, you not only must , must, must be in favor of unborn babies dying but you must also see cancer scans and abortions as two strands of one seamless garment. If we are to believe the Herolds of this world, tear one out and the garment unravels.
Just to take a couple of examples (the whole piece is one extended example). Understand that Kristof has already told his readers that “clinics” (aka clinics that perform abortions) are, in a real sense, pro-life. This stirs Herold’s considerable ire:
Kristof tries to make nice with mythical levelheaded anti-choice opponents by reminding them that “the truth is that these clinics do more to reduce abortion rates than any army of anti-abortion demonstrators.” This isn’t a new frame for Kristof, who wrote in 2012 that the correct policy approach to abortion was Bill Clinton’s formulation that it should be “safe, legal, and rare.” This focus on reducing abortions instead of expanding access to abortion again unnecessarily stigmatizes the procedure. He should explain that the focus needs to be on making sure every person who needs an abortion has access to a nearby clinic where they can get affordable, compassionate care.
Nothing subtle here. To even float the idea that having fewer abortions might just possibly be a goal takes the public’s eye off the ball: universal access, abortion clinics on every street corner,, and, of course, paid for by you and me.
She lays out her thesis in her next two sentences:
Pivoting to “reducing the abortion rate” presupposes that abortion is a negative health outcome to be avoided and that there are already “too many” abortions in the United States.
Both of these ideas couldn’t be further from the truth.
The usual-usual follows, but that’s just filler. Herold’s point? There can never, ever be enough abortions, just as access to abortion can never, ever be convenient enough. The former reinforces the point that abortion is a “good” thing (except, obviously, for the baby), the latter makes this “good” thing more and more and more prevalent.
Poor Kristof. Herold is uprooting the flag he has so firmly planted in the pro-abortion camp.