Good job, everybody!
It is a cliché to say that Americans never talk frankly about race. Yet our aversion to honest talk about race pales compared to the lazy, intellectually dishonest and cowardly way we discuss one of the major ethics conflicts of our age, abortion.
1. For some reason, it took seven months of the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination for anyone to ask Donald Trump about his views on abortion, which is a core issue to conservatives, progressives and feminists, as wellas a major factor in the controversy over the composition of the Supreme Court. Never mind that Trump’s answers were incoherent and contradictory, and that he took five different positions on abortion in three days last week: what was outrageous about Trump’s answer(s) was that he was obviously winging it. He had never given the issue any quality thought at all (if he is capable of quality thought, which I doubt), and faking it, indeed as he has faked his entire campaign. Do Trump supporters need further smoking gun evidence that he is not only unprepared for the Presidency, but too lazy, irresponsible and intellectually limited to be trusted with the job?
Okay, we know they do, because they are impervious to logic or reason. Still, this was a stunning display of Trump’s hollowness and incompetence as a candidate.
2. Then Hillary Clinton wandered into the same mine field, a map of which she should be know by heart. “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights,” Mrs. Clinton said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Now that doesn’t mean that we don’t do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to, you know, help a mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support.”
To begin with, the statement is false: the Supreme Court has ruled that embryos do have rights at some point, much disputed, before they are born. She was correct, however, that a living, growing organism that left alone and allowed to mature will be born, and will upon birth be a person in the eyes of the law and in the definitions of common sense, is by definition a person prior to that except for the absence of its birth, and thus is, by common construction, an unborn person, or, if you prefer, unborn human being, unborn baby, or unborn child. A bill is an unpassed law. A manuscript is an unpublished book. A law school grad is an unlicensed lawyer….which is to say, not a lawyer until something happens that has not happened yet. Hillary did not misspeak, except that speaking the truth is misspeaking to the pro-abortion lobby.
The problem is that Hillary’s terminology conjures up images of tiny hands and tiny heads, perhaps with tiny mouths sucking tiny thumbs. Hence she was immediately taken to the woodshed and told to be more careful about what she admits to.
Diana Arellano, manager of community engagement for Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, quickly responded that Clinton’s comments undermined abortion rights. It “further stigmatizes #abortion,” Arellano said on Twitter “She calls a fetus an ‘unborn child’ & calls for later term restrictions.”
The abortion movement has even issued guidelines to ensure that abortion advocates don’t humanize the growing human beings that they want to make sure can be erased upon their mothers’ whims. It advises against using terms like “abort a child,” recommending “more accurate/appropriate” alternatives such as “end a pregnancy” (Pregnant with what?) or “have an abortion” (accomplishing what?).
“‘Abort a child’ is medically inaccurate, as the fetus is not yet a child,” the guide reads. “‘Terminate’ a pregnancy is commonly used, however some people prefer to avoid this as terminate may have negative connotations (e.g., ‘terminator or assassinate’) for some people.”
Heaven forbid that ending a nascent life have any negative connotations.
The guidebook also vetoes “baby,” “dead fetus,” “unborn baby” or “unborn child” when discussing what it is that’s being aborted. It recommends the terms “embryo,” “fetus” and “the pregnancy.” “The alternatives are medically accurate terms, as the embryo or fetus is not a baby,” it explains.
This is more than a little deceitful. “Embryo” is not strictly applied to human beings (it applies to all developing life forms, including plants), but according to dictionaries, when it is applied to human pregnancy, it is frequently and accurately used as a synonym for developing human beings. Here’s Webster, for example: “Embryo...especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception.”
Is it fair, honest, descriptive and accurate to call a “developing human individual” an “unborn person”? Sure it is.
The pro-abortion movement will raise reasonable suspicion that it is trying to obfuscate, confuse and avoid the real issues at hand as long as it insists on playing this game of rhetorical hide-and-seek. It wants to justify ending nascent human lives: all right, make the case. Don’t pretend that it’s a different case. If Hillary Clinton, after all these decades as a pro-choice feminist, calls the life at issue an unborn person, this indicates that the pro-abortion forces know very well that unborn persons are what they advocate killing at will. They just don’t want anyone to think about it. They want everyone to be like Donald Trump.
3. Maureen Dowd of The New York Times interviewed Trump and asked him if, when he was a swinging bachelor in Manhattan, he ever was involved with a woman who had an abortion?
“Such an interesting question,” he replied, ducking. “So what’s your next question?”
Conservative pundits, incredibly, are calling foul. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, tweeted,
“Did anybody ever ask Obama that? Or Bill Clinton?”
No, and that demonstrates no double standard at all. Both toe the official party line that abortion is fine, ethical, and just a dandy thing altogether. Having a relationship with a woman result in an abortion would be completely consistent with their stated beliefs—heck, it would enhance their standing with feminists. The question is a legitimate one, however, to an alleged abortion opponent.
I would bet my home, my life’s saving and a passel of bank loans that Trump has paid for at least one abortion, and probably several, and never thought about what he was paying for, other than eliminating a problem. That’s ethically deplorable, but it’s just the way abortion advocates want it.