Posts Tagged ‘feminists’
Over at Mere Comments, Hunter Baker takes aim at something Erica Jong wrote for publication at the Wall Street Journal.
One of the reasons I’m linking, trivial though it may be, is that I like him referring to something she says about the pro-life movement as a “tired old libel.” Which it is. But we don’t often call it that, which I think is a shame.
… but then Patricia Ireland goes on to say that she thinks a mother has the right to kill her child anyway. She doesn’t say it quite like that, but I think that’s a fair translation. Suzy B. has the quote, and ponders this “chink in the armor” of the pro-abortion forces.
Not that long ago a number of highly-placed liberals were outspokenly against abortion. Robert P. George, in an article about the life and times of Richard John Neuhaus, notes:
At the same time, more than a few notable liberals were outspokenly pro-life. In the early 1970s, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, for example, replied to constituents’ inquiries about his position on abortion by saying that it was a form of “violence” incompatible with his vision of an America generous enough to care for and protect all its children, born and unborn. Some of the most eloquent and passionate pro-life speeches of the time were given by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In condemning abortion, Jackson never failed to note that he himself was born to an unwed mother who would likely have been tempted to abort him had abortion been legal and easily available at the time.
The liberal argument against abortion was straightforward and powerful. “We liberals believe in the inherent and equal dignity of every member of the human family. We believe that the role of government is to protect all members of the community against brutality and oppression, especially the weakest and most vulnerable. We do not believe in solving personal or social problems by means of violence. We seek a fairer, nobler, more humane way. The personal and social problems created by unwanted pregnancy should not be solved by offering women the ‘choice’ of destroying their children in utero; rather, as a society we should reach out in love and compassion to mother and child alike.”
So it was that Pastor Neuhaus and many like him saw no contradiction between their commitment to liberalism and their devotion to the pro-life cause. On the contrary, they understood their pro-life convictions to be part and parcel of what it meant to be a liberal. They were “for the little guy”—and the unborn child was “the littlest guy of all.”
Semi-related: Lars Walker used to be a liberal, and he has a few things to say about what liberalism used to be about. Back before it went off the tracks.
The hijacking of the Left/Liberals by the abortion lobby is one of the saddest events of modern times. I wish the true liberals out there would recapture the name, and re-institute the worthy principles for which they used to stand. (I think we can agree, can we not, that much of what ‘liberals’ stand for today is unworthy?)
For that matter, even feminism used to be solidly anti-abortion. (Back when feminism stood for demanding to be treated like a responsible adult.)
Via Expat Yank, the BBC reports that more parents in the UK are ‘keeping’ babies with Down Syndrome. The article was part of a lead-up to a BBC Radio documentary called Born with Down’s. (If you don’t know already, I’m not fond of the way “keeping your baby” has come to mean deciding whether to kill the child, instead of weighing whether to seek parents willing to adopt.)
In the Expat Yank post linked above, Robert links to a September 6, 2008, post of his that looked at Gloria Steinem’s take on Sarah Palin, hunting, and abortion. An excerpt:
However, overlooking just for the moment our standard euphemisms such as “procedure” and the submerging of it into her own coined term “reproductive freedom,” because, in the end, the ultimate outcome in both cases is precisely the same, we find outselves in a remarkable place: the killing of wolves and bears obviously morally infuriates and disgusts Ms Steinem a great deal more than does the killing of pre-born human babies.
And remember the killings of those latter doesn’t even usually involve shooting at them from low-flying helicopters. A hunter can at least miss from up there. But pre-borns killed in a controlled, clinical environment lack even that narrow window of possible escape.
Well, yes. Wombs are supposed to be uncommonly safe places, but they do serve as traps in the case of abortions.
James M. Kushiner has noticed that “Many of the biggest successes in the culture of death’s campaign have been the redefinition of words or the use of words to obscure truths.” In A Crying “Vegetable”?, he takes issue with the use of “persisent vegetative state”. He uses the Lauren Richardson case as an example. He also says, “to return to my question about words, what should we call this current state of mind among doctors and judges: Persistent Vegetative Conscience?” (I’m not sure I’m willing to go exactly there, but I do see his point.) For more on the misuse of words, and how it muddies thought, see Defending words in the political vocabulary.