Sunday, October 17, 2004

Ethically Bankrupt

Today on MTP, DeMint refused to actually say who should be punished (doctor, pregnant women) or what the punishment should be for being involved in an illegal abortion.

If one believes any voluntary termination of a pregnancy post-conception is "murder" then the answer is rather obvious -- both should be convicted of first degree murder. Those who believe this cannot stand by the more popularly palatable "rape and incest" exception, which is just ethical gobbledygook.

Republicans object to making "health" exceptions in laws attempting to restrict late term abortions. Somewhat justifiably they believe that it's a loophole big enough to drive a bus through. Perhaps it is, but it isn't a loophole so big that it would fail to reduce the instances of whatever procedure they're upset about this week. Instead they pass laws that have already been determined to be unconstitutional in order to keep the issue alive for yet another election season. Truly sick, really, given their professed beliefs.

I'm just about as close as one can be to being a pro-choice absolutist. But, decent people occasionally email me and wonder if there isn't some sort of honest compromise that can be found between pro-choice people and the more reasonable of the "pro-life" folk.

Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt, in her book The War on Choice, addressed this question rather simply. From memory, she said that, yes, there can be common ground -- finding ways to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. But, since the anti-choice leadership (though not, of course, all anti-choice people) is by and large against contraception and education about contraception, this isn't much of an option either. Which "side" is being unreasonable?

But, more generally better access to contraception, better education, and, yes, wider availability of abortion clinics would clearly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of late term abortions.

And, yes, the abortion rate is up since Bush took office...