NRL News

Studied ambiguity–wimping out yet again

by | Sep 3, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Ruben Navarrette, Jr

Ruben Navarrette, Jr

On August 10, I posted a story which I headlined “PPFA videos compel ‘pro-choice’ man to admit that his position represents ‘wimping out’”

In it, I described in some detail the journey of Ruben Navarrette, a self-described pro-choicer since college, whose conscience had been pricked by the first five of the very disturbing undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress.

He admitted he had uncritically (unthinkingly?) accepted the pro-abortion feminist gospel. But now…

Responding to the argument that “Anyone who watches these videos knows that Planned Parenthood is engaged in barbaric practices and human rights abuses that must end,” Navarrette wrote

I agree with that assessment, and I’m pro-choice. At least I thought I was until recently. These days, each time, I express concern, outrage, disgust, or horror over another video—which should come with warnings that they may produce nightmares—some supporter of the organization responds by attacking me and insisting that I was never really pro-choice to begin with.

And while the videos may have been the precipitating factor, there was a long-term component: His unabashedly pro-life wife who read him the riot act about not standing on the sideline, certainly not now that he had seen the videos.

Navarrette says she told him

“That’s B.S.! These are babies that are being killed. Millions of them. And you need to use your voice to protect them. That’s what a man does. He protects children—his own children, and other children. That’s what it means to be a man.”

You couldn’t help but anticipate–or at least hope–that Navarette was on the road to spiritual recovery. How could he not, after listening to what assorted Planned Parenthood officials said, which mixed used car salesman-like bartering with laughter as they fished through the remains of late-term aborted babies for intact lungs and livers and hearts and kidneys.

Imagine my surprise this week when I read a kind of follow-up column, headlined, “Pro-choice, but with open eyes, heavy heart.” He’d now seen eight CMP videos and “I’m still pro-choice.”

So…what had happened to stop his transformation? Nothing, at least nothing I can discern in his piece.

Indeed, all that was new was to learn that the other most important woman in his life–his mother–is also “unflinchingly pro-life.”

Actually, there was something else new, the remarks of someone who said she’d worked at one of “organ procurement” businesses. What she said was exceedingly unsettling.

Nonetheless, near the end, Navarrette tells us

These videos are just evil enough to raise doubts and change minds. I find myself envying those who are free of doubt and whose minds are made up.

What explains his inability to take what would seem to be the irresistible next step? Could be any of many reasons.

Navarrette no doubt heard from his “pro-choice” friends who could either grill him or treat his apostasy with words of encouragement to redouble his commitment.

And, it’s hard to change course. He had long established his location by his own true North which included that “as a man, I couldn’t tell a woman what to do with her body.” And even though his mother and wife point out what a cop-out that “defense” was and is, one suspects that is the compass by which Navarrette still navigates.

He ends his op-ed with studied ambiguity, the kind he prefers to a clear-cut embrace of the pro-life position. His mother

doesn’t mince words when discussing abortion. For her, there’s a life. Someone ends it. That’s murder. Of course, murder is illegal. Abortion isn’t. But my mother isn’t interested in sanitizing the debate with word play that lets folks wipe their hands clean.

It’s just as well. As the Planned Parenthood videos illustrate, some hands never come clean.

In his first op-ed, Narvarrette tells us he felt “concern, outrage, disgust, or horror” when he viewed the videos. Now all he can do is dither.

I wonder if Narvarrette has ever looked at his own hands?

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Categories: Abortion