Saturday, August 13, 2005

He's a man, so his opinion doesn't count

John Tierney strikes a similar tone on abortion as I did in this post earlier this week, which was promptly criticized by Maria over at 2 political junkies. His jumping off point is the commercial sponsored by the abortion rights organization Naral in which Supreme Court nominee John Roberts was accused of supporting violence against abortion clinics. Tierney says the great mistake the abortion rights movement makes is playing to its activist base:

Treating the issue as a civil rights crusade may be good for mobilizing some women, but this strategy alienates the public because it ducks the central issue. If you believe that life begins at conception, then protecting women's rights means protecting the rights of females in the womb, too.

The abortion debate, unlike the civil rights debate, can't be resolved by appealing to any widely held moral or legal principles. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court discovered a right in the Constitution for pregnant women to be left alone by the government. But that just ducked the question - what about the fetus's right to be left alone? - and angered huge numbers of Americans. ...

I wish the pro-choice movement would appeal to centrists of both sexes instead of playing to its activist base. The best way to keep abortion legal is to rely not on the Supreme Court but on the public, because three-quarters of Americans do not want to outlaw abortion.

Many of these people have moral objections and resent the Supreme Court's presumption in its Roe v. Wade decision, but they're also pragmatic enough to realize that a ban couldn't be enforced and would create a new set of problems. If Roe v. Wade were overturned and abortion policy left up to the states, these pragmatists would start to matter more than the ideologues on the left and right who now dominate the debate.


Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

Years ago, I used to read most of the Times each day. Physically. Actually paid cold hard cash for it. Now, I check Circuits online, and I am gone.

So, for those of you that knew Safire was gone, but were not really paying attention to what squishy Canadian Bobo would be replacing him, here is a nice background article about John Tierney (not John F. Tierney D-MA). I wonder how long he will last working on "murder's row" (as Safire refered to the hallway with him, Dowd and company).

1:38 AM


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