Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Round and Round We Go

I get more than a little frustrated with "pro-life" people who don't explicitly advocate outlawing abortion but nonetheless don't ever quite come out and say what policy position they advocate. I'm all for improving marketing, so if that's all we're talking about it isn't a big deal. But for years we've been hearing for the likes of Lord Saletan about how there's some grand compromise to be found between anti-choice people and pro-choice people which involves keeping abortion legal but supporting policies which nonetheless reduce the number of abortions. Of course, no matter how many times it is explained to them that the compromise position - which involves reducing unwanted pregnancies through comprehensive education and access to health care, along with perhaps economic aid and health care for mothers/children - has long been the very liberal position of everyone in the reproductive health and choice movement, they continue on as if they've discovered a Pony.

I believe there are people whose opposition to abortion is deeply felt and sincere, and understand that legal abortion is troubling for them. But there are two ways to translate that opposition into policy. One is to erect legal barriers which make it more difficult for poor women to get abortions. The other is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Since the latter is the liberal position, what the hell are we fighting about?

And, one more issue - in any relatively close election you can generally credit almost any subgroup as providing the marginal votes.