NRL News

A Foolish Comparison: Part Two

by | Oct 26, 2011

Congressman Henry Hyde, whose amendment has saved at least a million lives

By Dave Andrusko

Yesterday I wrote about a post from David Frum, and not favorably ( Frum returned to his topic today in response to a critical response posted on the blog of “First Things” magazine.

Frum likened our Movement to that which eventually produced the 18th Amendment and Prohibition. I labored to show why that was a foolish comparison on a number of grounds.

Today, while not backing off his comparison, Frum takes as his starting point what he calls punishability. To quote him

“It is the demand that abortion be punished that divides America so passionately. My column for CNN argued that we have lived this kind of divide before, during the heyday of prohibition agitation from the Civil War to the Great Depression.”

Having walked through this maze umpteen times before, as soon as I make clear that pro-lifers do not seek/want/desire to punish women, I am accused of not believing the death of the unborn child is really as serious as I “pretend,” otherwise I WOULD want to punish women. Heads they win, tails I [and you] lose.

Which also is why those who reason like Frum often insist our real hang-up is sexuality compounded by our “spirituality.” A few thoughts on this and related comments might help.

Frum’s subtext is that the number of abortions has gone down, not exactly a state secret, so why don’t let nature take its course, so to speak, rather than pushing for legislation, which, I believe, is synonymous for Frum with punishment?

Well, for starters the number of babies lost to abortion is down 25% from its high point in 1990 not because the stars happen to align properly. Some 400,000 fewer babies die annually because of legislation—specifically laws that offer women the possibility of making an informed choice, involve parents in the decision of their minor daughters, and/or cut off money to the Abortion Industry for which there can NEVER been enough abortions.

And, lest we forget, the passage of the Hyde Amendment alone has saved at least one million children. Guess what? Pro-abortionists hate the Hyde Amendment second only to the life-affirming actions of crisis pregnancy centers.

Frum alludes to the impact of sonograms, an example of what we might call “soft power,” as part of the new approach he says pro-lifers ought to adopt (as opposed to criminalizing abortion).

When mothers have a chance to see whom it is they may have tried to avoid recognizing, the impact is amazing. But Frum probably would adamantly oppose what an increasing number of states have done–pass laws requiring that women have the opportunity to see and/or learn about the development of their unborn child.

Also, he advises us, to say that “We will study why particular women have particular abortions and see if there are things we can collectively do to reduce the pressures that cause women to end their pregnancies.” (See Crisis Pregnancy Centers above.)

Final thought, this one about the aforementioned “spirituality,” which is code, I suspect, for many things and people and movements Frum disapproves of.

There are as many reasons to try to thwart the annual deaths of 1.2 million unborn babies as there are people. There are a host of “secular” reasons to oppose abortion, many of which derive ultimately from the notion that “we hang together or we hang separately.”

I see this more and more in the dogfight over assisted suicide. We have a whole new cadre of allies who have drawn a line in the sand here. Some of those will come our way on abortion. In the meanwhile we appreciate their vitally important support in combating assisted suicide.

But it is also clearly true that many of us are driven to do what we do by our faith. As it happens my faith also drives me to oppose a host of other atrocities which (I would guess) Frum also opposes and would welcome me as an ally in those battles.

Is it okay to be motivated by my faith in causes Frum approves of but not the ones he doesn’t?

Whatever the reason for our peaceful, law-abiding approach to changing both public opinion and the law, the objective is the same: to save unborn babies from a horrible death and their mothers from a decision many will be haunted by for the rest of their lives.

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