NRL News

Enough of this equivocating and defensiveness: “We like abortion”

by | Oct 6, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

abortionisgreatIt is getting progressively more difficult to take various progressive pro-abortion feminists seriously. It’s as if they what they publish is either an unpolished first draft or so burdened with vitriol that the product is close to unreadable when not literally unintelligible.

Probably starts with the absence of vigorous copy editors—or maybe it’s publishing one’s own self-indulgent blog invites an almost stream-of-consciousness masquerading as argument.

Which brings us to “Abortion Isn’t a Necessary Evil. It’s Great.

Progressives should admit it: We like abortion,” by Sady Doyle. Her book review appeared in the Socialist publication, “In These Times.”

Doyle is lauding Katha Pollitt’s “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.” Pollitt is the very epitome of the out-to-lunch, say-anything but pretend otherwise pro-abortion feminist.

To fully understand the review, let’s begin with who Doyle is. She describes “The Wonderful World of Sady Doyle” thusly:

“Sady Doyle started Tiger Beatdown in September 2008, because she was bored, and also for some reason no-one wanted to publish her various long-winded ramblings on gender. Since then, she has conned various sectors of the Internet into publishing all sorts of various long-winded ramblings on gender, and has also gotten them into newspapers and/or magazines [including In These Times].”

“Long-winded” and “conned,” very apt descriptors for her review. [1]

Pollitt, you may remember, hammered Planned Parenthood when it kind of, sort of retired its “pro-choice” flag. In that same piece (that we talked about here.), we quoted from Pollitt who insisted there could be no ”extreme pro-choice” position.

That “would be the one pro-lifers falsely claim Roe protects: it would permit abortion on demand up until the day before birth. No pro-choice organization calls for that.”

Of course they don’t call for it (that would be at cross-purposes with their insistence that they are moderates on abortion), but it what they want operationally—no limits whatsoever and publicly funded. It’s up to the Sady Doyles and her many clones to make the case that abortion is an amazingly positive good, one much to be sought after. To pretend to believe otherwise is cowardly.

Back to the review. Here is a two sentence summary of Doyle’s take on Pollitt’s “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.” The book argues that abortion

“despite what any of its opponents might claim, is a palpable social good. Progressives, Pollitt says, can and must treat abortion as an unequivocal positive rather than a ‘necessary evil’; there is no ethical, humane way to limit abortion rights.”

The beast that Pollitt and Doyle and a growing wing of the hydra-headed Abortion Movement is determined to slay is the Paleolithic notion that there is the slightest moral component to slaying one’s kid. Or, to be more accurate, to fail to recognize that the moral action is to take the child’s life if she or he gets in the way.

Indeed, abortion can best be seen as a punch line (see “Obvious Child”), an action taken without pity or remorse that can and often is an essential step in the journey from self-indulgent adolescent to self-indulgent adult.

The slightest twist in Doyle’s review (I assume it’s in the book as well) is that progressive pro-abortion feminists’ lone failure is that “pro-choicers have long been a little too nice for our own good.” How so?

In lots of ways but most fundamentally by taking anything we say seriously! Remember, according to Doyle/Pollitt, every single syllable we say about abortion’s deadly aftermath is junk science, fabricated out of whole cloth by people (you and me) who are allergic to logic. Bible-thumpers one and all. Doyle writes

“In other words, trying to be compassionate, to give anti-choicers the benefit of the doubt, has only resulted in progressives failing to make their own case. We’re dealing, Pollitt says, with ‘40 years of apologetic rhetoric, 40 years of searching for arguments that will support legal abortion while never, ever implying that it is an easy decision or a good thing,’ and this has only gotten us stuck ‘making the same limited, defensive arguments again and again.’”

Abortion is easy, we’re told. The cardinal sin, so to speak, of “progressives” is to suggest even for a second that abortion is a kind of “necessary evil.” Not so. So not so!

Two quick concluding points. First, at the same time pro-abortionists insist that offing your child is the ethical equivalent of choosing Coke over Pepsi their default argument is always the hardest—hardest—cases.

If abortion is “great,” free of any moral calculus, why bring up the toughest of the tough cases such as babies born with anencephaly? Because while they believe their own rhetoric, the Doyles and the Pollitts know nobody else does.

Second, there is a slippery slope to this whole campaign of first sanitizing and then glorifying the slaughter of unborn children. It’s a long way from Bill Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare,” and essayist Roger Rosenblatt’s “permit but discourage” formulation to Doyle’s concluding paragraphs:

“Most profoundly, Pollitt’s book is a call for us all to reclaim and speak out about the truths we know. Personally, I like abortion. I’ve never needed one. I’m still glad to have the option. I’m glad for the people I’ve known who got pregnant at the wrong time, with the wrong people, and didn’t have their lives ruined by it.

“If Pollitt gets her way, more of us might feel free to admit that, hey: We like abortion.”

Not that the former language options were the least bit insincere. They were not.

But Clinton and Rosenblatt at least were conversant enough with the real price women pay for aborting their children and the truth that abortion ruptures the social fabric to pretend they would like to limit the number of dead babies—a perfect illustration of hypocrisy, the tribute vice pays to virtue.

[1] To be clear, I haven’t read “Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights” and am very unlikely ever to crack its cover. So I’m going on the assumption that Doyle’s paraphrases, summaries, and quotes are accurate and representative.

Categories: Abortion
Tags: abortion