Monday, November 28, 2005

More of Achieving Peace - Chapter 6

We've started to read and discuss Rachel McNair's Achieving Peace in the Abortion War. So far we've read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Now let's start on Chapter 6, Making Them Fit, No Matter What.

Dr. McNair examines the way the South, with its pushing of the slavery issue past its own borders, forced Northerners queasy about slavery out of ignoring the issue and into action. She quotes John Noonan,"Why did the slaveholders act as if driven by the Furies to their own destruction? . . . Why did they take such risks, why did they persist beyond prudent calculation? The answer must be that in a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity, you cannot be content that your critics are feeble and ineffective, you cannot be content with their practical tolerance of your activities. You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval. If you cannot convert your critics by argument, at least by law you can make them recognize that your course is the course of the country."

McNair points out that the abortion lobby is doing the same thing now: "The sweeping nature of Roe v. Wade has been likened to the Dred Scott case before. A gradual approach of opening up abortion was working, and may have continued to work. Roe brought a backlash which is still going strong over two and a half decades later."

We're seeing this anew in the abortion lobby's unwillingness to tolerate bans on "Partial-Birth Abortion." Much of the public support of abortion rode on the perception that abortion was done only early in pregnancy. By vociferously defending late-term abortions, the abortion lobby undermined its own power base. And the abortion lobby has one problem the slavery-apologists never had: they've lied to their own support base. People who identified with the "pro-choice" movement because they thought it was permitting "hard-case" abortions in early pregnancy are being forced to confront the fact that they have, in fact, been supporting on-demand abortion for the first two trimesters and "hard-case" abortions right through the third trimester. There is bound to be a backlash, politically, for the abortion lobby. Yet they defend late abortions, parental involvement, and informed consent as if pursued by the Furies.

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