Skip to comments.On Abortion, Moral Values, Murder, and Responsibility
Posted on 06/01/2009 9:20:06 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Ezra Klein has a superb piece at his Washington Post blog today about the very real dangers of not seeing the murder of Dr. George Tiller for what it is: a political act intended to shut down access to abortion. Klein believes its essential for Congress to respond to this atrocity with legislation that protects women who seek abortions and the doctors and other health care professionals who provide them:
There is an impulse to understand George Tillers murder as a horrific, but comfortingly aberrational, act of extremist violence. That is the wrong way to think about it. Tiller is not the first abortion provider to be shot to death. Hell, this wasnt even the first time an anti-abortion extremist tried to shoot George Tiller to death. In 1993, Shannon Shelley traveled to Tillers clinic and shot Tiller in both arms with a semiautomatic pistol. Scott Roeders contribution was managing to actually kill him.
This was, in other words, a political act. Tiller was murdered so that those in his line of work would be intimidated. In conversations with folks yesterday, I heard well-meaning variants on the idea that it would be unseemly to push legislation in the emotional aftermath of Tillers execution. I disagree. Roeder was acting in direct competition with the United States Congress. And its quite likely that he changed the status quo. Legislative language and judicial rulings had made abortive procedures legal and thus accessible. Yesterdays killing was meant to render abortive procedures unsafe for doctors to conduct and thus inaccessible.
If a woman cannot get an abortion because no nearby providers are willing to assume the risk of performing it, the actual outcome is precisely the same as if the procedure were illegal. Roeder has, in all likelihood, made abortion less accessible. It would be, in my view, a perfectly appropriate response for the Congress to decisively prove his action not only ineffectual, but, in a broad sense, counterproductive.
Thats not to suggest fast-tracking legislation that radically transforms the countys uneasy consensus. But there are plenty of remedies that speak to the question of access alone: Bills that make abortion centers safer and help poor women afford treatment, for instance. We cant stop Scott Roeder from killing George Tiller. But we can stop him from having his intended effect on a womans ability to choose. The sentence Ive bolded above is of particular importance. Dr. Tiller was one of only two doctors who provided late-term abortions in the United States. Theres a reason for that. Anti-abortion violence is a much more serious problem than many (if not most) people realize. And as this report at ReligiousTolerance.org indicates, the violence itself is only half of the problem:
Violent protests, in the form of arson, firebombing, and vandalism started in the early 1970s in the U.S. Then, as now, most of the violence appears to be the acts of religiously-motivated criminals acting alone. However, recent cases involving the assassination and attempted murder of abortion providers in both the U.S. and Canada have shown that perpetrators appear to be sheltered by a network of sympathizers......
New legislation is not needed. We have federal and state murder statutes.
The more important question is what occurred in Roe v. Wade when Texas’ murder statute and the homicide laws of 32 other states were swiped away and the right to kill the unborn baby was constitutionalized. Such has becomes the topsy-turvy legal landscape of our nation wrought by judges in black robes acting as legislators and philosopher kings.
Translation: The Left has to fast-track the generalizing of this one maniac into the political and bureaucratic oppression of fifty million people as fast as we can, because it's obvious the only collective hate going on here is Leftist efforts to turn this into a Reichstag fire and we have no consensus on our deranged determination to wield DHS power against our political enemies.
Why the drop after 1960? (in deaths of women from illegal abortions)
The reasons were new and better antibiotics, better surgery and the establishment of intensive care units in hospitals. This was in the face of a rising population. Between 1967 and 1970 sixteen states legalized abortion. In most it was limited, only for rape, incest and severe fetal handicap (life of mother was legal in all states). There were two big exceptions California in 1967, and New York in 1970 allowed abortion on demand. Now look at the chart carefully.
Abortion Statistics - Decision to Have an Abortion (U.S.)
· 25.5% of women deciding to have an abortion want to postpone childbearing
· 21.3% of women cannot afford a baby
· 14.1% of women have a relationship issue or their partner does not want a child
· 12.2% of women are too young (their parents or others object to the pregnancy)
· 10.8% of women feel a child will disrupt their education or career
· 7.9% of women want no (more) children
· 3.3% of women have an abortion due to a risk to fetal health
2.8% of women have an abortion due to a risk to maternal health
So how many womens lives have been saved by abortion?
Only about 3% of abortions since 1972 were reported to be due to a risk to maternal health. A reasonable person would recognize that not all of those cases represent a lethal risk. But lets say they did. That means that nearly 45 million fetuses were butchered to save the lives of about 1.3 million women. Or put another way; 35 babies are killed to save each woman.
Abortion was legal in all 50 states prior to Roe v. Wade in cases of danger to the life of the woman.
At the same time the Washington Post campaigned against former Senator George Allen's mother for being Jewish during WWII.
I fail to see where Ezra or his Oberkommander have an independent view in the matter, or that they have the standing to lecture others about "morality".
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