Monday, October 20, 2008

The abortion apologist

Doing his best to ensure that a mother’s womb is the most dangerous place on earth, Reppert is at it again:

My arguments have been this.
1) Roe v. Wade will almost certainly not be overturned regardless of who is elected President.

NOW, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood beg to differ.

2) Even if it is overturned, it will not result in many babies being saved through legal restrictions. I would be surprised if any state, even the reddest of the red states, would pass a comprehensive ban on abortion.

Of course, who wants to a save a few babies?

3) Abortion rates rose until the Clinton administration, after which they have steadily decreased. There may be many reasons for that, but one of the has to be the passage of the Familay and Medical Leave Act, which made it illegal for employers to fire employees who took unpaid time off to bear children. Health care reform would be another way in which abortion might be discouraged.

Reppert disregards the fact that Bill Clinton also signed the 1996 Welfare Reform Act into law.

4) I don't see an overwhelming case for the simon-pure pro-life position. I can see both sides of the issue, and some of my moral intuitions suggest that you can't give the same right to life to something that is not conscious that you do to something that is. I'm not coming out as a staunch defender of "a woman's right to choose" and would like to see more restrictive laws on abortion than are presently allowed under Roe.

Some of my moral intuitions tell me that in a lifeboat scenario, a second-rate philosopher is the first passenger we’d throw overboard for the common good.

4) While abortion is an issue that generates a lot of moral passion, other issues, such as slavery, poverty, corporate responsibility, misguided wars, torture, and global warming (or climate change if you prefer that expression) are also moral issues of considerable importance, and they are issues where the President's action have a much greater and more direct effect than in the area of abortion.

Of course, this is only persuasive if you share his ignorant and faddish views on the subject.

So no, I reject the case for a one-issue abortion-based vote. I have made these points a number of times here. If you think this makes me "every baby-butcher's best friend," you should reflect on how many babies have been saved from abortion as a result of 8 years of Reagan, 4 years of Bush I, and 8 years of Bush II. This is a matter that was settled by the one branch of government deliberately set furthest away from the political arena, the judiciary. I'm also convinced that we have not exercised enough leadership in looking for ways to decrease abortion apart from the long arm of the criminal law.

Of course, this is simple-minded.

1. To overturn Roe v. Wade, several factors need to be in play:

i) Openings on SCOTUS

ii) A conservative president who will nominate conservative judges.

iii) A conservative Congress which will confirm conservative nominees.

iv) A cumulative replacement rate at SCOTUS

Bill Clinton set back the prolife cause by nominating liberal judges.

For Reppert to argue that we should vote for a liberal Democrat because Republicans have thus far failed to sufficiently change the composition of the court is truly idiotic since one reason they’ve failed up until now is the election of liberal Democrats who reverse their gains.

2. In addition, there is more to abortion that domestic policy. It also involves foreign policy. Groups like NOW, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood attack Bush because he did reduce abortions by reinstating the “gag order” and cut off funding for “abortion services” oversees.

Of course, that only spared the lives of black and brown babies, which clearly don’t rank very high on Reppert’s scale of values, so as far as he’s concerned, that doesn’t count.

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