Friday, July 31, 2009

Life Links 7/31/09

The AP reports on attempts to exclude abortion from health care reform.
The amendment said health care legislation moving through Congress may not impose requirements for coverage of abortion, except in limited cases. It was approved in the Energy and Commerce Committee after conservative Democrats joined Republicans to support it.

But committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., invoked House rules that allowed him to bring up the amendment for a second vote, despite Republican objections.

This time, one conservative Democrat — Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee — changed his vote from "yes" to "no." And a second conservative Democrat who hadn't voted the first time — Rep. Zack Space of Ohio — voted "no."
Those votes were enough to revoke the first vote and prevent the amendment from passing. Space has a 0% prolife voting record while Gordon has voted in favor of a couple of pieces of prolife legislation in 2005-2006 (such as the Child Interstate Notification Act and the Unborn Pain Awareness Act) and did vote for the passage of three pieces of prolife legislation (PBA Ban Act, Unborn Victims of Violence and human cloning ban) in 2003-2004 after voting in favor of hostile amendments.

Lynn Paltrow has an exceptionally poor piece in the RH Reality Check blog which basically argues prolifers shouldn't claim abortion is a form of violence, an attack on innocent life, killing, murder, etc. because a good portion of women who have abortions have already given birth. You see, whether or not this kind of rhetoric accurately describes abortion doesn't really matter because using this kind of rhetoric "reveals a frightening degree of anger, disrespect for and hostility" towards abortionists and women who have abortions.

This logic is a little like saying we can't use the term "mutilation" when talking about female genital mutilation because it shows hostility towards fathers and mothers who choose to have their daughters genitals mutiliated.

Richard Stith writes about how attempts to stealthly include abortion in health care reform is a "struggle for the moral validation of abortion."
Inclusion of abortion in an official national healthcare plan is a communal imprimatur, similar to the imprimatur received for gay sex when gay marriage is approved. It does more than increase liberty; it says that nothing is significantly wrong with the act in question....

The great political problem for pluralism is that toleration alone may not satisfy the human heart. John Noonan (in A Private Choice) has reflected upon how slavery and abortion became polity-shattering to the degree that advocates for each cause escalated their demands from simple toleration to universal legal approval. Yet he also recognizes their difficulty in moderating those demands: “[I]n a moral question of this kind, turning on basic concepts of humanity,…you cannot be content with the practical toleration of your activities. You want, in a sense you need, actual acceptance, open approval,…the moral surrender of [your] critics.”

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