Another one of the ironic boons from the despicable Supreme Court leak of Justice Alito’s draft majority opinion portending that Roe v. Wade is about to be overruled is how vividly it has exposed the intellectually dishonest and unethical nature of “pro choice” arguments. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following the abortion debate diligently, but in their fury and panic, abortion advocates are revealing just how weak their case is. They are also revealing that those who are willing to sacrifice nascent human lives for other objectives tend to have no compunction about using rationalizations, ad hominem attacks, classic logical fallacies and fearmongering as well as outright lies, when they finally have to defend their positions.
The reappearance of the costumes from “The Handmaiden’s Tale” is a neat symbol of the whole phenomenon. (How many of such protesters haven’t read Roe, the Alito draft, or Margaret Atwood’s novel? My guess: most of them.) To be fair, prominent Democrats like this guy endorsed the hysteria:
That delusion was apiece with the suggestion that women could force men to support abortion on demand by going on a sex strike. Similarly ducking the issues are the illegal demonstrations at the homes of Justices before it is even known who voted to end Roe, and President Biden’s moronic declaration in response to the leak that “this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that’s existed in American history—-in recent American history.”
Since Roe v. Wade has been almost unanimously regarded in legal and academic circles as a badly reasoned opinion (even Ruth Bader Ginsburg conceded it was a botch), the epitome of flagrant judicial activism and legislation by judges, those trying to defend the decision now have had to resort to distractions, diversions, straw men and fictional slippery slopes. “Next those fascists will ban inter-racial marriage and Brown v. Board of Education!” more than a few Democratic officials and pundits have proclaimed, apparently forgetting that just a few weeks ago they were demanding that Justice Thomas, the dean of the Court’s conservatives, recuse himself because of the activities of his very white wife.
Others have blamed the Catholic Church and argued that the maybe-ruling is a violation of the Constitution’s separation of church and state because four of the five assumed majority members, plus Chief Justice Roberts, are Catholics. The reversal would “deepen America’s divide” warned the New York Times. Heh. “Can’t have that!” sayeth the publication that didn’t concern itself with such division when it was covering a false case that President Trump had conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election, or when their favorite political party was illicitly impeaching Trump twice.
The Obamas, predictably, despite their legal education, resorted to the facile claim that no Roe would “relegate the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues. “Whims!” The Obamas, of all people, now don’t think that politicians respond to the will of the people? When did “personal decisions” become off-limits for the law? Deciding to rob banks is a personal decision. Raping a date is the result of a personal decision. Killing an abusive spouse is a personal opinion, just like ending the life you are carrying because it will disrupt your plans is a personal decision.
I have seen opinion pieces that defend Roe on the basis that abortion slows climate change. Many defenders have argued in print and on the MSNBC/CNN echo chambers that the motive behind a reversal is racism (though a disproportionate number of the human lives ended by abortion are black). Another tack is that retiring the contrived Constitutional right is hypocritical, since Republicans don’t support more federal assistance for children who are allowed to be born. The Times ran one op-ed that argued that fewer abortions would be bad for the economy.
Levi Strauss was among several companies that chose market-pleasing virtue-signaling over honest debate when it defended Roe as a “critical factor to the workplace gains and contributions women have made over the past 50 years,” and argued that “restricting or criminalizing access” to rubbing out unborn children in the womb “will jeopardize that progress.” Legalizing the murder of men would also presumably add to workplace gains for women: this is the same unethical “the ends justify the means” rationalization that pro-abortion activists and feminists have been using for decades to avoid trying to balance the competing interests that have makes the issue so difficult. (It’s easy, though, if you pretend one of the interests doesn’t exist or matter.)
Today Maureen Dowd resolutely refuses to acknowledge one of those interests, attributing the potential reversal of Roe to–get this—“priggishness.” Yes, it’s all about discouraging sex: Dowd’s hook is that the Court will be rejecting the sexual mores of Marilyn Monroe—I’m not kidding!— and thus is “yanking away the right of women to control their own bodies, strapping us into a time machine hurtling backward.”
“Spoken like the brave former fetus she is” was how Fox’s Laura Ingraham characterized similar remarks from another furious abortion activist last week.
Some of the other detours from legitimate debate include:
- Abortion can be good for the aborted child: “People who don’t want to be pregnant aren’t always capable of or willing to provide a healthy gestational environment—and that could be terrible for the children they eventually give birth to. Sometimes women abort because it is the more compassionate option. They know that alcoholism, addiction issues, mental health problems, or other circumstances will prevent them from adequately nourishing a fetus or protecting it from harm during gestation….If abortion is banned, we would likely start to see a lot more children born with severe birth defects and developmental issues. Some may say, “Hey, they were born, that’s all that matters.” But is setting up a person for a lifetime of suffering really a moral or humane choice?”
Tell it to Christy Brown. The pro-abortion pundit who wrote that, you’ll notice, avoided using the word “women.” “People who don’t want to be pregnant,” she writes. You know, I’m pretty sure men who don’t want to be pregnant don’t have a problem achieving that objective
- Eliminating Roe will make miscarriages “more traumatic.”
- Reversing Roe will “grow the government.” I especially like this one, because the vast majority of pro-abortion politicians want to increase the size of government.
There are many more. Send the ones you encounter into the comments.
I’ll end Part I by noting that Justice Alito, in his draft, states directly that the decision to reverse Roe implies no opposition to either the pro-abortion or the anti-abortion position. Of course, one has to actually read the opinion to know that.
28 thoughts on “The Dishonesty And Desperation Of “Pro-Choice” Advocates In The Wake Of The Dobbs Leak, Part I: Anything But The Issues”
Well, I’ve seen a poem titled, “This is what abortion looks like”, complete with a little grave stone when the child noting the date she was “liberated”. The poem documents the excitement of the “very much” wanted child. Then the dread learning about a serious defect, and the “heartbreak” regarding the decision to snuff it out.
It was was shared with the insightful comments, “This”, and followed up with comments, “OMG, I’m stealing this!”
Another quote by a “Traditional Christian Pastor” argued that the unborn are easy to advocate for. Then notes they aren’t called out by Jesus as worthy of protection. Thus, it is apparently hypocritical (or something) to advocate for the unborn to not be snuffed out. Again, insightful commentary was included.
Still another, as you share, notes that “if it was were about the baby, [insert socialist goal here]”. Thus to oppose both abortion and socialist goals makes you a mysogynist or something. Again, insightful commentary of the sort noted above was included.
A handful of posts tried to shake things up by making it sout like they were brave to parrot a poorly reasoned meme that called conservatives hypocritical meanies.
If any of these were shared with the honest goal of convincing someone who believes in abortion is murder, to believe about should be legal anyways, then we have a serious deficit of critcal reasoning in this country. I suspect we have an over abondance of ideological conformity, and political bad will afoot.
You didn’t mention the one about how abortion is responsible for the decrease in violent crime over the last few decades. A couple economists came up with that one and I saw it used in an argument last night. I guess the idea is that if you abort the potential criminals then we can reduce crime.
That claim is particularly amusing, because critics keep finding flaws in the methodology, and the original author, Levi, fiddles and republishes the numbers, claiming this time the numbers are sound!
I was surprised Reason posted the opinion piece by Elizabeth Nolan Brown because the entire piece is vacuous. Here is the link:
Oh, her next piece was worse, and that’s what Part 2 will be about.
Here is a comment made on that post.
One other thing the left is not making the connection on:
1) Roe v. Wade was decided about supposed privacy from the government. It is about how your medical decisions shouldn’t be investigated by the government.
2) Socialized health care is where the government provides health care. Under socialized health care, you have ZERO privacy from the government because they’re the ones providing it. If the government decides you don’t need a procedure, they don’t give it to you.
This isn’t the only place they have that same gap in logic. Just look at gun control. The left believes two things:
1) Cops are racist, evil pigs who want to beat up, maim and kill. They especially want to beat up, maim and kill minorities.
2) Only cops should have guns.
My longtime Usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton, often made this point.
Reason has been dominated by left-libertarian viewpoints recently. They were corrupted by the Trump presidency, and are cognitive dissonance seems to have made them more antagonistic to the right generally.
Overall, it’s still one of my go to sources, I just see some obvious blind spots in their current authors.
I tecall this puff piece about Garrett Foster posted on Reason.com.
That’s pretty much where I am as well.
The National Review went down the very same road.
I forgot the argument that removing the right to abortion would destroy “hook-up culture.” I think my brain refused to store it as a matter of self-defense.
Hook-up “culture.” How’s that for an oxymoron? What a mess.
It wonder about the motivations of men an organizations ally themselves with the pro abortion side.
Levi Strauss has an economic incentive the reduce pregnancies among its workforce. A child carried to term will cost its insurance carrier upwards of fifteen grand for obstetrical care in addition to being required to give as much as 15 weeks of paid family leave. Then sick children increase the number of sick days taken by the employee.
As for men, abortion provides them an easy avenue to avoid responsibility. Perhaps we may find that in states where abortion is more restrictive men begin to act like real responsible men instead of teenage boys.
Men who ally themselves with abortion and/or abortionists are probably just looking for some poontang, since groups like that are overwhelmingly composed of liberated and loose women.
Our parish priest had contingency plans all set up (and communicated to parishoners via Flocknote), in case “Ruth Sent Me” attempted to stage a protest at our church. Their Google Maps must not have worked, though (or the nearest “handmaids” thought our small parish wasn’t worth the effort to protest at), because none of them showed up. My husband was disappointed, though; he would have been very happy to forcibly escort any red-caped brawlers out of the church!
My church is set well back from the road and has a large demesne, all of which is private property. They’d have never gotten close.
Our local church is at the intersection of the 2 main streets in town (one of which is a state highway, and only a mile or so from I-55), so it wouldn’t have been difficult for protestors to find our church — if they had wanted to spend their energy protesting in such a small town as ours.
Our church was prepared for protests as well. The “Gate Keepers” were fully staffed this morning and had received some additional training this week in dealing with potential conflict. Fortunately, the Lord answered our prayers and thwarted any good chance for protests with a series of downpours right around the starting time of services.
People evidently need fair weather to stand up for the slaughter of the unborn. I will add the lightning was especially wicked this morning. Coincidence…?
Columbus Day 2017 was also aided by rain in NYC, which kept the troublemakers away.
The network broadcast and print media are the ethics villains in this.
Those who oppose federal assistance to the homeless can not credibly oppose murdering the homeless, right?
Don’t think I saw this mentioned, but the comment lists umpteen different medical groups who all agree: “abortion is healthcare.”
Even if that is true, so what? The healthcare profession is typically regulated by the States.
The, there is the whole perjury complaint.
And the Clarence Thomas recusal complaint.
I am simply overwhelmed by the plethora of poor reasoning in response to this leak. They are throwing in the kitchen sink; I just did not realize how big the kitchen was (it’s not my place, after all).
Seriously, though, the real arguments are: 1) what did Roe say; 2) what did Casey do; 3) was Alito’s critique of them persuasive?
I have not read Roe in a long time—and Casey even longer. Alito’s recap of Roe seemed to jive with my recollection; I can’t speak to his characterization of Casey (would have been nice to see any concurrence and dissents, but you don’t get those is leaks).
His critiques seemed persuasive. His historical analysis seemed more persuasive than the one presented by Roe. It has been a long time since I reviewed stare decisis and his factors were not what I remembered, but I presume he did his research. It seemed thorough.
It would really be nice to see the sort of analysis of his opinion that is similar to his critiques of Roe and Casey.
I have not run across THAT.
“Abortion can be good for the aborted child”
I call this argument “better dead than poor” and I find it one of the ugliest in the debate.
Tell that to all the people living in poverty. Go ahead, walk into a ghetto and tell all the people there that their lives are such abject misery that they should have been killed before they could have experienced it. Tell them that they shouldn’t have had that choice.
Because that *is* in fact a choice that people living in poverty make every day. In fact, that’s a choice that almost everyone makes every day: We choose to go on living. Hell, we fight for it. The fact is that every single day almost every single person in poverty makes the decision, cognitively aware or not, that in fact life in poverty is better than death. In fact, the math is so obvious and easy that the mortal alternative of suicide doesn’t even occur to them.
And it’s a HELL of a slope. I’ve never done this before, but this is the kind of thing that’s ripe for quote sniping…. Disclaimer: I am explicitly not actually making the arguments that I’m about to describe. I do not ascribe to this way of thinking. This is meant as a juxtaposition and a thinking exercise:
If you’re going to say that abortion should be used as a proactive tool to prevent human misery, then perhaps you should look at the demographic that does disproportionately commit suicide: trans people?
Could you imagine the hue and cry from the left if you made the argument that because trans people’s experience is actually so rough that they do disproportionately think that death is preferable to their existence that if we could identify trans people in the womb we should abort them? And that’s the extreme example.
Even stand alone: For Marxists, they seem really eager to abandon class theory the moment it becomes even the least bit inconvenient to hold it…. If the experience of poor people is so awful that we should abort them to prevent their misery…. Why not just kill all the poors? It’d be great for global warming!
This argument always remind me of an argument I had with the parents of a friend. They had a wonderful,big, brutish, healthy, friendly dog (a little like Spuds, now that I think of it) and they were going to a retirement home that didn’t allow pets. They said they were h=going to “put Roxy down” because she wouldn’t be happy living with anyone else. And I said, “Oh yeah? You know, I’m pretty sure if you gave Roxy a choice, she’d say, “You know, I like you guys and I’ll miss you, but thanks for your input, but I’d rather go on living, thanks. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some good owners. Good luck at the home!”
They were annoyed.And they killed her.
I’ve often said that the abortion debate is so shrill because both sides know that if they rocked back and listened, they’d have to admit that the best argument from their opponents is actually a pretty good argument.
“Better dead than poor” (or “better dead than with a different family”) is not that argument. It is, quite possibly, the worst one they can muster. And yet… I see so much of it. I think they even believe it.
Because they know their best argument isn’t good enough.
I mean…. It probably is. The best argument, bodily autonomy, has been part of the message that carried the day the world over.
We can have all kinds of discussions on conflicting rights interests, realistic limitations, and the ethics involved, but by and large they’ve won. Most of the world at least bans abortions after 20 weeks, but most of the developed world allows abortions at least in the first 13. That’s still a win from them because something like 95% of abortions occur in the first trimester.