Sex-Selective Abortion Follow-up

I recently posted on the topic of sex-selective abortion. After seeing an article on LifeSiteNews on the recent Congressional vote on the sex-selective abortion bill, I felt a little bit of a follow-up was in order. LSN’s Steve Mosher writes:

 [T]he vote on PreNDA has exposed dozens of Democrats, along with a handful of pro-abortion Republicans, as pro-abortion extremists. After all, what else are we to call those who favor abortions performed for the sole purpose of eliminating unborn baby girls because of their sex?

Call me the perpetual nay-sayer if you will, but I find this entire statement to be flawed from top to bottom.

First, unless it is really  justifiable, I really dislike throwing around the word “extremist.” Whether we like it or not, roughly half of Americans support the abortions status quo and even more believe it should be legal in certain circumstances deemed sufficiently sympathetic. It can hardly be considered “extremist” to simply vote pro-choice, and labeling it as such is really a distortion. Labeling things that are mainstream and well-precedented (which pro-choice politics are), if not reasonable (which they aren’t), as “extremist” is what radical leftists specialize in, because truth is meaningless to them. We can be and ought to be better.

Secondly, I simply do not believe that any of the Democrats or Republicans who voted against the legislation “favor” the elimination of girls through abortion. Frankly I would have been absolutely shocked had they voted in support of it, and I suspect the same is true of LSN’s writers and editors. If you are pro-choice, you are going to favor choice. If you’ve already decided that unborn children aren’t really human beings, or even more perversely and illogically, that they are but that it is still justifiable to kill them, what difference does it  make what sex they are? And isn’t bad enough that they favor the elimination of human beings through abortion? Does this really make them worse than they already are?

I get the point of this legislation: force the Dems to make a difficult choice. But then there’s the dirty part of it I don’t like: pretend that the protection of unborn females was the sole motivation behind the legislation, and that there was nothing political about it in the least. And then when the Dems do exactly what we expect them to do, act appalled and speak of radicalism, extremism, etc. It strikes me as dishonorable. I also have to object to even proposing that the law could actually do something to prevent people from obtaining a legal service for an illegal reason that can only be known through what amounts to the honor system.

I said it before, and I will say it again: all reasons for abortion are absolutely equal in their moral evil. Mess with that equation even in the slightest, and I believe the credibility of the pro-life position takes a serious hit. I don’t oppose opportunistic measures such as these simply because I see them as wrong “in themselves”; I firmly believe that you cannot pursue a moral and just end – such as the elimination of abortion – with anything less than the highest level of integrity and honor.

In closing, I really don’t want to insult people who have likely done a lot more than me in the real world to oppose abortion and save lives, and I don’t attribute bad motives to the vast majority of them. But the historian, philosopher and strategist in me can’t remain silent. And finally, this has nothing to do with slavish conformity to the modern liberal rules of political engagement, which are hypocritical and absurd. I endorse all sorts of strategies against abortion that many would disregard as “extremist” from a modern liberal point of view.

11 Responses to Sex-Selective Abortion Follow-up

  • Joe Green says:

    Bon, I suggest you read Professor Hadley Arkes’ brilliant analysis on the topic on “The Catholic Thing” web site before reaching any final conclusions.

  • Chris Pennington says:

    First, unless it is really justifiable, I really dislike throwing around the word “extremist.” Whether we like it or not, roughly half of Americans support the abortions status quo and even more believe it should be legal in certain circumstances deemed sufficiently sympathetic. It can hardly be considered “extremist” to simply vote pro-choice, and labeling it as such is really a distortion.

    Seriously, read that again.

    I don’t think any other word but “extremist” can define pro-choice, or better labeled pro-abortion. If ever something deserved the label extremist, a pro-choice mindset does.

    On a side note, but within this topic you have to watch this political ad by Joe the Plumber.

    Its Brilliant!

  • PRM says:

    Mosher’s early experience, of course, was with China. There, probably, sex selection is the main motive for abortions, particularly the uncoerced ones. In China, as it happens, sex-selective abortions violate the law–but the law is unenforceable. If one is inclined to oppose the bill in Congress, this would be a sounder reason than adducing the opportunism of its proponents.

    Mr. Bonchamps’s  refusal to rank-order reasons for opposing abortion makes a certain abstract sense. If, say, we make a fuss about partial-birth abortion, this could be taken to imply that we have nothing against abortion in principle, only a particular procedure.

    But the world is not an abstract place, and the pursuit of opportunistic targets can perhaps serve to bring the reality of abortion home to a public which, if truth were told, does not want to think about the issue at all (it’s icky; people with strong views on things are annoying–whatever). But fussing about partial birth abortion forces people to realize this really is butchering s baby. And fussing about sex-selection exposes the lie that it’s all about the welfare of women. And maybe some who facilitate these horrors will come eventually, in the depth of theirs souls, to rethink just what it is they are trying to accomplish.
     
    The logic in the abortionist camp is the mirror image of Bonchamps’s. Of course they don’t want to slaughter baby girls for the sake of slaughtering baby girls. But they are scared to death of anything that would legitimate any restriction on abortions, since, in their mind, any concession is bound to lead to others, and to the destruction of any pretense that there is a morally-valid rationale for abortion. I,for one, hope they are right about this. I can’ claim to be the “historian, philosopher, and strategist” Mr. Bonnchamps informs us he is; but I think attacking an enemy line its weakest points is often a valid tactic.

  • Bonchamps says:

    For the record: we are all historians, philosophers, and strategists.

    A few get paid to be so.

    As for the rest, its not the specific tactic of attacking an enemy at the weak point that I object to. It’s the subtle distortions of reality, such as the claim that voting against the SSA ban necessarily indicates that one believes it is a “good” thing. That has the air of overt propaganda.

  • Kristin says:

    It’s not shocking at all to me. If you’re pro-choice, then you’d logically support sex-selective abortion if it’s what the mother truly wants. That’s no more extreme than being pro-choice in itself; it’s simply consistent.

  • Jeanne Rohl says:

    What? It is exactly this line of liberal thinking that gave us “abortion on demand” until the very delivery date, euthanisia, infantacide. As well as all of the anti life agenda. 4,000 unborn babies a day, for the last 39 years, untold babies being “allowed to die” in their bassinets in cold sterile hospital utility rooms. Call a spade a spade. The rationalization of abortion by anyone is extreme. “Sing a little Louder”. As the boxcars moved passed the churches filled with worshipers, they, being loaded with discarded humanity, the worshipers were advised to “sing a little louder” so as to not hear the whining of the steel wheels upon the tracks. By not labeling a spade a spade on the anti life issues as Catholics are we not just advising people to “not feel uncomfortable” with their deadly opinions and their deadly votes?

    loads of humanity, the congregants inside were told to “sing a little louder”.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Jeanne,

    I don’t think we get anywhere by calling things that are accepted by half the population, and have been accepted by many different civilizations throughout history, as “extreme.” If anything, evil is usually mundane, ordinary, and normal. It is Christianity that appears on the scene as extreme, as an extreme challenge to the evil everyone has become comfortable with.

    I LIKE extreme things. I hate that the word has come to mean something bad. To be a deviant in dominant culture of death is a good thing.

    I also like my words to represent reality. I always call spades spades. I think we may just define spade differently.

  • Chris Pennington says:

    It’s the subtle distortions of reality, such as the claim that voting against the SSA ban necessarily indicates that one believes it is a “good” thing. That has the air of overt propaganda.

    Well, if you vote for it you certianly don’t think it’s a “bad” thing.

  • Bonchamps says:

    Voting to preserve “choice” doesn’t necessarily mean that one likes one of the potential choices. Plenty of “pro-choice” Dems believe it is a bad choice, but ought to be a legal one.

    Of course we disagree with this view. Of course their logic is flawed and their morality compromised. But I simply don’t believe that anyone voted against the ban because they think sex-selective abortion is actually a good thing. They were protecting a larger interest. That’s what politicians are elected to do. I refuse to react with faux outrage.

  • Valentin says:

    PRM I thik that Bonchamps point is that just because we getting angry about a particuler type of abortion doesn’t mean we are properly being about the main problem with abortion which is denying life at such a innocent and early age that the person has not even seen the light of day.

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