By Dave Andrusko
When the New York Times runs a guest pro-life op-ed….when a pro-abortion Times columnist subsequently concedes there is something to the argument….and when in the following days the Times publishes a vigorous pro-and-con on the original op-ed, you might conclude that even in the bastion of pro-abortion journalism, there are shafts of light.
We’ve discussed Lauren Enriquez’s op-ed twice [here and here]. Lauren makes many useful points which we discussed in detail. For our purposes here in discussing the letters-to-the-editor, the most relevant point is her overall thesis: there ought to be room in a “Women’s March” for women who are against abortion, even if the organizers are pro-abortion to the teeth.
To be clear, there were far more letters hammering Lauren than supporting her. But the Times did print some affirmative statements.
The first critical letter bashed a poll Lauren cited which was “suspect.” Taken for the Knights of Columbus, the Marist poll was thorough and enlightening. The writer didn’t like what the poll found, which made it “suspect.” The March was “inclusive,” the president of NOW argued, because there were lots of women and assorted groups, which of course begs the point.
Other letter writers recycled canards so old you could figuratively see the rust. Abortions will always occur. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. Pro-lifers don’t care about children after they are born. And my favorite, “Pro-life” isn’t “pro-life” it’s “pro-unborn and pro-patriarchy.” Oldies but not goodies.
The affirmative letters, it should be noted, lacked the harshness and bitterness and condescension that was rampant in the criticisms.
They appreciated (unlike what was on display in the critical letters) that people can respectfully disagree; that there are basic questions that cannot be sloughed off–“Arguments are futile until we acknowledge that this is the fundamental questions: Is abortion ‘terminating a fetus’ or ‘killing a baby’?”–and that you cannot necessarily identify where someone is politically because they believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to the weakest among us.
Bravo to Laura Enriquez for provoking such a spirited exchange in the pro-death newspaper of record.