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No Middle Ground [NYT Review of Ramesh Ponnuru' "Party of Death"]
NYTimes ^ | 9/3/06 | JONATHAN RAUCH

Posted on 09/03/2006 12:24:20 PM PDT by madprof98

My friends Jenny and Greg were still digesting the news that Jenny was pregnant with triplets when, only moments later, their fertility doctor sat them down. After recounting the many things that might go wrong in a triple pregnancy, he said, “You really should consider reducing.”

Overwhelmed by the prospect of triplets, they were now horrified by the doctor’s casual attitude toward abortion. “Honestly,” Greg says, “I felt like there was no regard for human life.” He and Jenny did not “reduce,” and today their triplets are healthy toddlers. Asked how she feels now about the thought of aborting one of her children, Jenny gasps, “Oh, my God,” then chokes up before mustering the composure to say, “I guess that’s my answer.”

As it happens, Jenny and Greg both think abortion should be legal. They think people have a right to control their own bodies. But they also find the abortion issue distressing and difficult, and believe abortion should be reserved for special circumstances (theirs didn’t qualify). Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor at National Review, is out to tell them their position is nonsense. In “The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life,” he seeks to debunk what he views as an incoherent centrism while, as Marxists used to say, “heightening the contradictions” of abortion-rights advocates.

Ponnuru is at his best doing the latter. Gleefully and persuasively, he skewers the excesses and “tactical pirouettes” of abortion-rights absolutists: . . . They reject common-sense regulations requiring parents to be notified if minors seek abortions. They insist that abortion must be not just legal but subsidized. They deny that what Jenny and Greg’s doctor called “reducing” is more complicated morally than an appendectomy.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bookreview; partyofdeath; ponnuru
Starts out as a positive review but ends up claiming that "Party of Death" has nothing to say to middle-of-the-roaders on abortion like himself and his friends with the triplets. I'm surprised the NYTimes would allow even this much of a criticism of its rabid abortion stridency - and not surprised that they would backtrack almost at once.
1 posted on 09/03/2006 12:24:21 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: madprof98

It's the same old hypocrisy:

"I wouldn't do it ... but lets keep it legal for others to do it".

2 posted on 09/03/2006 12:27:13 PM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God) .)
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To: madprof98
Though I disagree with his conclusion, Rauch does make one good point: if we really do believe abortion is murder, we should treat abortionists and their accomplices as murderers.

I suppose that Ponnuru doesn't say that for political feasibility reasons, which I think are reasonable.

3 posted on 09/03/2006 12:31:01 PM PDT by curiosity
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To: nmh
Or... “I couldn't commit murder... but who the hell am I to deny anybody from committing it?!”
4 posted on 09/03/2006 12:49:43 PM PDT by johnny7 (“And what's Fonzie like? Come on Yolanda... what's Fonzie like?!”)
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To: madprof98

While abortion is an issue that people can disagree on, the real question is who decides what abortion law is.

The SC has held that thhat question was settled in 1868 when the 14th amendment was ratified, by a number of stztes who were being extorted at the time. In 1868, the abortion question was permanently settled, according to the SCOTUS that is.

That was clearly a wrong decision by the SCOTUS.

Personally, it's really not that important to me and has never been a top issue for me. I do think that if it is to be penalized, the woman should be held liable a well. The doctor only argument always struck me as a cop-out

That said, if South Dakota wants to ban abortions or California wants to legalize them, there's nothing in the Constitution that should prevent either step from being taken. If abortion is really that important, to women as well as men, then no tough law would ever be passed.

But the idea that in 1868, the Congress and the States forever guaranteed the right to abortion is simply ludicrous

5 posted on 09/03/2006 12:56:06 PM PDT by jeltz25
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To: All

Good Lord! I just realized that the reviewer here is the author of a book called "Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America." I imagine the NYTimes expected a whole lot worse review of the abortion book than he gave them.

6 posted on 09/03/2006 1:38:19 PM PDT by madprof98
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To: jeltz25
The doctor only argument always struck me as a cop-out

Doctors know better because of their training.

Many of the women do not.


7 posted on 09/03/2006 2:02:31 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
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