John Tierney on Abortion in the New York Times
John Tierney writes “Pro-Choice but Anti-Naral” in the New York Times today, arguing that the NARAL adds that accused Judge Roberts of aiding and abetting abortion clinic bombers was bad political strategy.
Okay, fine. But, we all knew those ads were stupid. What interests me is some of the logic he pursues — writing from a “pro-choice” perspective:
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.[ed. the obligation of govt to protect innocent life works for me] 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.
Exactly. That’s one of the best restatements of the pro-life position I’ve read. What about the female fetus and her right to be left alone, to grow and live?
But there’s more. He goes on to argue, as many of us on the pro-life side do, that the debate over abortion belongs with the people at the state-level. “The debate over abortion would ebb as the issue was settled democratically,” Tierney argues.
Here’s where we disagree: Tierney believes that debate would be settled in favor of liberal abortion policies.
But he’s wrong. The reason groups like NARAL and NOW are desperate enough to do stupid things like run that over-the-top anti-Roberts ad is that they know they would lose on the state level, too.
Here’s what commentators in the MSM don’t understand: the pro-life movement already occupies the “moderate” ground they so extol. Pro-lifers have spent the last decade working to support parental notification statutes and a ban on partial-birth abortions — this is exactly where the middle ground is. The vast majority of American people support these kinds of common-sense approaches to the abortion controversy, and that’s why the abortion movement is losing their support.