Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dear @FDRLST, Please Stop With The Lazy Abortion Articles

I can't even remember when I saw an article at The Federalist on the topic of abortion that wasn't tendentious and stupid. Today's from Charles C. Camosy tries pulling the rabbit of suppressing abortion out of the hat of gay marriage:
In offering his opinion on same-sex marriage last week, not only did Justice Kennedy invoke human dignity as the central idea behind legalizing such marriages in all 50 states, it was celebrated all over the Internet as the most beautiful part of his argument.

But some pro-life analysis of his opinion has been hopeful—not only because Kennedy (also the swing vote on abortion cases) refused to tie his opinion about legal same-sex marriage to abortion law—but also because of his insistence that the Fourteenth Amendment covers injustices that were previously unseen and must be corrected by the court. Pro-lifers hope Kennedy will see U.S. abortion practices (which involve, among other things, frequent killing of a fetus simply because she has Down syndrome) as yet another example of precisely this kind of hidden injustice.
Leaving aside the notion that it's any of his damned business whether a woman who can't keep a child should be forced at gunpoint to bear it long before the fetus is capable of surviving outside the womb, this is a point that barely has traction; the words "human dignity" aren't a get-out-of-jail-free card for abortion opponents. His hope for change in some wise rests on political winds shifting:
Want to get in step with a fast-changing modern American when it comes to abortion? Then you had better get okay with increased legal protections for prenatal children. Literally hundreds of bills limiting abortion have been passed in dozens of states in just the past few years, with hundreds more on the way this year. (One of the few state laws attempting to expand abortion rights was defeated—in a movement lead by a pro-life Democrat—in the liberal state of New York.) In addition, the future of abortion policy in the United States belongs to Millennials and Hispanics, who are increasingly skeptical of abortion. More than half are intensely skeptical.
But here, Camosy fails to parse the fine print of his supposedly buttressing evidence. From the USA Today article he links to:
Hardly. The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a very interesting 2011 poll. It found, especially among young people, significant majorities saying "pro-choice" described them somewhat or very well, while simultaneously claiming that "pro-life" described them somewhat or very well. Our lazy choice/life binary — which assumes that a complex issue such as abortion has only two possible answers — simply doesn't apply to our demographic future.
It's puzzling that Camosy would try to claim that "skeptical of abortion" implies greater public disapproval; isn't it possible that "I wouldn't get one but wouldn't prevent someone who wants one from getting one" is a possibility, too?

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