Thursday, March 09, 2006

Highway to the Danger Zone

In a new article in Slate, William Saletan chronicles his attendance at a gathering of pro-choice groups designed to discuss the future of the pro-choice movement.

He notes how only 2 of 50 people in the room raised their hands when asked if they thought that 1.295 million abortions a year was a number that was too high.
"This is the predicament facing the abortion-rights movement. It's led by three kinds of people: Those who see no problem, those who are afraid to speak up, and those who think it's futile."

Saletan also notes that some conference attendees argued that "abortion is fundamental to how today's women construct their lives."

Some other excerpts:
"So, I listened with dismay as some speakers dismissed the abortion debate as a byproduct of racism and misogyny. Pro-lifers don't really care about morality, said one participant: They just "want white women to have more white babies." She went on to assert that leaders of protest groups such as Operation Rescue do what they do because they have no other way to make a living—possibly the most amazing statement I've ever heard....

But it was clear at Friday's meeting that many pro-choice activists go further. They're absolutists about relativism. They argue that abortion is good because it's what a woman wants, and that the goodness or badness of abortion depends entirely on her choice. They insist all choices must be "respected" and "free from stigma." I don't get it. If everything has to be respected, what's the value of respect?....

Another veteran warned her colleagues that fetal life has become "the elephant on the kitchen table": If you can't acknowledge it, people will tune you out."

I think Saletan realizes the pro-choice movement is heading towards real big trouble if its leaders continue to hold unto their hardline position (no problem with millions of abortions, the unborn aren't alive, post-abortion problems are non-existent or extremely rare, etc.) which doesn't meld with the majority of Americans who know different.

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