William Saletan almost gets it. He recognizes that the million abortions a year are a moral tragedy. He sees a lot of the pro-choice rhetoric as the bunk that it is. But he just can't make the leap...
Then Keenan's communications director, David Seldin, leans in with a better answer. "Responsibility isn't something that's enforced by politicians," he says. "It's personal."
Now you're talking. For the first time, I'm hearing my reason for keeping abortion legal. I've always agreed with pro-choicers that the government is incompetent to regulate abortion. But I've never liked their aversion to moral judgments. If they'd just admit that abortion's legality doesn't make it right, or that some women take it too lightly, or that every abortion is tragic, I'd be so relieved. "Responsibility" gives me something to hold on to. It reassures me that the moral substance of life, which ought to take place in the personal and family spaces where government has no wisdom, really is taking place thereÂ?or at least that pro-choicers think it should. It's much easier to say no to legislation when conscience, not complacency, is the alternative.
Whew -- That was close -- Saletan almost had to align himself with the likes of Tom DeLay. But now he's got this responsibilityy" straw to grasp, so he can pretend to recognize the horror of abortion while maintaining his pro-choice views.
This is I think our main problem -- people don't like abortion, but they like pro-lifers even less. So they grasp at straws and come up with any excuse they can to maintain a pro-choice view in the face of this Truth. And nothing gets done.
I'm not sure what it would take to turn these folks around. Surely, the media is complicit by portraying most pro-lifers as rabid mouth-breathing extremists, but blaming the media isn't going to do it. Any ideas?