The Abortion Distortion: Just How Pro-Choice Is America, Really?

Jennifer Senior asks what might once have been an unthinkable question in liberal bulwark, New York Magazine:

Most New Yorkers hadn’t heard of Bart Stupak before he attached his devastating anti-abortion amendment to the House’s health-care-reform bill three weeks ago. We know a lot more about him now, of course: that he lives in a Christian rooming house on C Street; that he’s a former state trooper. He has become a symbol of legislative zealotry, living proof that the fight over the right to choose will always attract a more impassioned opposition than defense. (As Harrison Hickman, a former pollster for NARAL, put it to me: “If you believe that choosing the wrong side of the issue means spending eternal life in Hades, of course you’re going to be more focused on it.”) Just a week after the vote, when I reached the Michigan Democrat as he was driving across his district, he seemed dumbfounded that anyone found his brinkmanship surprising. “I said to anyone who’d listen: ‘Do you want health care, or do you want to fight out abortion?’ ” says Stupak. He points out that he’d nearly managed to bring down a rule about abortion funding earlier in the summer, this time in a bill about spending in the District of Columbia. “I said, ‘Look, that was a shot across your bow,’ ” he recalls. “ ‘I was being polite to you. That was a warning.’ And the leadership just blew us off.”

Until it realized it couldn’t, of course. And the results sent chills through the pro-choice world, dampening what was otherwise an impressive victory for Democrats on the issue of universal health care. If Stupak’s amendment holds, then any health-insurance plan that’s either listed on the government-run exchange or accepts federal subsidies—which would likely be almost all of them—would not be allowed to cover abortions. (The Senate bill is better thus far, but what the legislation will ultimately be, assuming it passes at all, is anyone’s guess.) Four days after the vote, Kate Michelman, the former head of NARAL, and Frances Kissling, the former head of Catholics for Choice, warned of an ominous new landscape in a Times op-ed: “The House Democrats reinforced the principle that a minority view on the morality of abortion can determine reproductive-health policy for American women.”

But is that actually right? Was Stupak’s truly the minority view?

According to a Gallup poll from July, 60 percent of Americans think abortion should be either illegal or “legal only in a few circumstances.” …

[continues in New York Magazine]

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest

    that's the problem with democracy, it places you under the authority of the lowest common denominator,
    the idea that the people i see at walmart or jumping around like fools on daytime gameshows have any power at all in decision making sickens me

  • Gregory

    Ah yes. The abortion question. Rather the pre-meditated murder of a human being due to the life of the human being would be inconvenient to the mother/parents question. It's not about rights because no one has the right to murder someone, unless you're in the military. It's not about reproductive rights, because women have the right not to reproduce by not engaging in sexual intercourse whose fundamental purpose, besides being loads of fun, is for procreation. Even in the case of rape, or the health of the mother, why exactly must the child lose his life in these cases as well?

    Abortion is another case of us trying to use science to get around the realities of the basic human experience. We live longer than we have a right to, senior citizens in America can now be seen a threat to democracy as most of them are ill-informed or allow themselves to be misinformed and say brilliant things like “keep your government hands off my medicare.” They want a free ride and have their hands out for the government but how many of them are against welfare? We life longer but not better and many folks our there have not only outlived their usefulness to society, they have rather become a millstone around the necks of the rest of us.

    Abortion in the modern era allows us to engage in sexual intercourse while allowing us to not have to deal with the responsibilities, and that's the bottom line. It's not about a woman's right to choose…because in the vast number of abortion cases in which neither rape or the health of the mother are the issue…the woman already made her choice.

    Until we come to face the facts about abortion and not use language to deflect what it really is, we'll never be able to get to the point where we can have a discussion about it. That is, why do we think it is okay to kill a child, just because it is inside the womb and not on the outside? (And the whole “when does conception begin” thing is moot. It is the cessation of life. Just because that life may or may not have developed fingers or toes is irrelevant.)

    We are not the first culture to have this attitude, although historically cultures have practiced infanticide, although we know that trying to abort a pregnancy has been going on for centuries if not thousands of years…but of course not at the scale it is at now.

    The Spartans famously rid their gene pool of bad material. Other cultures could not afford to support members of the community who were imperfect due to the peoples living in harsh environments. We can see still in Africa and elsewhere today that children, especially male children, must undergo a rite of passage that often involves and exceeds outright torture of the child. This is natural selection working in real time, that in order to continue to the age where you are able to pass on your genetic material, you must be shown that you should be allowed to. This happens in nature all the time where a dominant male must fight off other males for the right to shag.

    So the issue is…in the western world, Abortion is practiced regularly. A great number of people, but not necessarily the majority, support it, but through the psychobabble of “right to choose” and “reproductive rights” they themselves seem embarrassed to frankly discuss what they're referring to. We need to get to that point where pro-choice folks examine why they think the pre-meditated murder of a human being because that life would be an inconvenience is okay and then examine what that means about us.

    I myself believe that the support for abortion, despite the reality of it, is actually an indicator of something that we are not consciously aware of. We feel that killing , under certain circumstances, whether it's a child we don't want, even though we engaged in sexual intercourse whose purpose is to make a child…or if they are an “enemy combantant” is okay. This seems to be a reaction to the Judeo-Xian-Muslim idea of “one and you're done.” Because if you only get on this ride once, why do we not feel so bad when we murder someone, either through our military or through the doctor's tools? Human life does not seem as precious when we understand that we're not just biological processes but something more intangible. The fairness of people dying en masse via an earthquake or via bombing or ethnic strife or starvation or abortions, etc seems to be put into perspective when we realize that although that particular expression of humanity is not longer with us, that life does go on.

    Basically the abortion question is just one of many questions in the modern era. We life so differently than people who lived just 100 yrs ago, not to mention 300+ years ago that it will take another 100 years just for us to adjust to our advanced technology that makes things like abortion just another medical procedure. Our science has developed faster than our ability to adjust to it and to react to it objectively. We live in a world in which climate change appears to be due to our technology, and we look to technology for the solution. Meanwhile, what the human experience actually is or isn't is continually up for debate and we have ideologies fighting it out while the quest for what Truth is or is Not no longer appears to interest us.

    There's nothing wrong with us that an apocalypse can't fix.

    selah

  • ashley

    i think that abortion is the worst thing ever. its like saying that murdering somebody is ok. if its illegal to kill than it should be illegal to have an abortion. its the same as murder.. if you dont want a kid than just dont open your legs

  • ashley

    i think that abortion is the worst thing ever. its like saying that murdering somebody is ok. if its illegal to kill than it should be illegal to have an abortion. its the same as murder.. if you dont want a kid than just dont open your legs

21