Democrats rage over whether abortion is a litmus test

Since Roe v. Wade, Democrats have used abortion as a wedge issue against Republicans. Liberals demonized pro-life conservatives for the grave crime of preventing a woman’s “right to choose” what to do with their bodies. Apparently, such liberties are far more than important than killing a human being that has no way to defend him- or herself.

However, it now appears that abortion has become a wedge issue within the party.

Breitbart recently reported that California Governor Jerry Brown made the sensible comment that Democrats should be open to pro-life candidates, for no other than practical reasons.

California Governor Jerry Brown says the Democratic Party should be open to pro-life candidates as it seeks to regain control of the House in 2018.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Brown, a Democrat, rejected the notion that his party needs to embrace “ideological purity,” and said the Democratic base is “shifting.”

“I’d say, look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn’t very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion,” Brown said. “So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion.”

“In America, we’re not ideological, we’re not like a Marxist party in 1910,” Brown added. “We are a big tent by the very definition.”

As one who has repeatedly criticized Brown on this blog for several reasons, it is encouraging to see him defend Democrats who hold traditional, and dare I say, logical positions.

It is also encouraging to see both Democratic leaders and up-and-comers with the same position. While Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or Kamala Harris can not be categorized as pro-life in any way, at the very least they reject the notion that there should be a litmus test relating to abortion.

However, the same can’t be said about the feminists and abortion advocates within the Democratic party.

Twitter has been flooded by threats by liberals threatening to hurt the Democratic party in some way if it supports pro-life candidates.

For example, “comedian” Rosie O’Donnell had some … interesting reactions to a lack of an abortion litmus test.

That party ought to do well in the electoral college. Then there’s this one.

I have three reactions to this. First, no thank you. Second, if you become pregnant, then what? Isn’t this what this is all about? Lastly, since when is it men who are the only ones concerned about the welfare of an unborn child? The premise behind the supposed patriarchy preventing women from doing something to their bodies is simply astounding.

Then there’s former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who says he’ll refuse supporting Democratic Congressional campaigns if pro-life candidates are allowed to run.

Then there’s New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand, who keeps her head high on the principle that unborn children can be killed so that women somehow stay healthy.

In short, it appears that the riff abortion has caused within the Democratic party won’t be healed anytime soon.

With respect to my own position, while Murray Rothbard famously believed that abortion was acceptable, primarily on the grounds that women have to do whatever with their bodies as they wish, Father Jim Sadowsky, a friend of Rothbard’s, disagreed strongly:

But is the infant a trespasser the moment his presence in the womb is no longer desired? Does he have no right to be there? Murray [Rothbard] and Walter [Block] simply assume that the infant has no right to be in the womb. Yet it is by no means evident that their answer is the correct one. To say that x is trespassing is to say that he is somewhere where he ought not to be. But where should a foetus be if not in its mother’s womb? This is its natural habitat. Surely people have a right to the means of life that nature gives them? If the home in which the infant grew were outside the mother’s body, we should all see that to expel him from that home would be to deprive him of the nature-given means of life. Why should the fact that his nature-given home lies within a woman’s body change the situation? What is a woman’s womb for except to house the infant’s body? It is nature that gives the child this home, this means of life. When we cast him out, we are depriving him of that which nature gave him. To do this is to violate his rights.

However many problems the Democrats may have, if pro-life candidates have an opportunity to get elected into office, at the very least the most vulnerable human beings may have a better chance of their injustices being addressed in Congress.

Sean Davis demolishes an abortion proponent’s ravings about ultrasound machines

Sean Davis of The Federalist demolishes a shocking article in The Atlantic written by Moira Weigel, in which she attempts to politicize the ultrasound machine.

Politicize the ultrasound machine. Yes, my dear reader, you read that correctly.

Now why would someone want to do that, and is that what Weigel attempting to do?

Davis answers both questions convincingly. Answering my second question first, he writes:

The article’s headline is bad enough—”How the Ultrasound Pushed the Idea That a Fetus Is a Person”—but its subhed [sic] is the real work of art: “The technology has been used to create an ‘imaginary’ heartbeat and sped-up videos that falsely depict a response to stimulus.”

There are numerous other gems throughout the piece, such as her implication that only male doctors are allowed to use ultrasounds.

“Ultrasound made it possible for the male doctor to evaluate the fetus without female interference,” Weigel declares. Are female doctors banned from or incapable of doing an ultrasound on a pregnant mother? What about X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans? Are those marvels of modern technology that have helped to diagnose and cure countless diseases and physical maladies since their inception? Or are they evil technologies that merely enable peeping mandoctors to cast their eyes into the inner recesses of a woman’s body?

Davis goes on to address my first question:

Weigel’s war on science, common sense, and life-saving medical technology is not aimless, though. Her real enemy is legislation that would criminalize abortion once an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected. Her logic is straightforward. If it’s illegal to kill a healthy, unborn baby after her heartbeat is detected, simply deny that she has a heartbeat:

Opponents of the heartbeat bills have pointed out that they would eliminate abortion rights almost entirely—making the procedure illegal around four weeks after fertilization, before many women realize that they are pregnant. These measures raise even more elementary questions: What is a fetal heartbeat? And why does it matter?

The idea would have been unthinkable before the advent of a technology developed in 1976: real-time ultrasound. At six weeks, the “heartbeat” is not audible; it is visible, a flickering that takes place between 120 and 160 times per minute on a black-and-white playback screen. As cardiac cells develop, they begin to send electrical pulses that cause their neighbors to contract. Scientists can observe the same effect if they culture cells in a petri dish.

Doctors do not even call this rapidly dividing cell mass a “fetus” until nine weeks into pregnancy. Yet, the current debate shows how effectively politicians have used visual technology to redefine what counts as “life.”

“What is a fetal heartbeat?” is a simple question with an even simpler answer for those who are not desperately trying to rationalize the killing of a healthy unborn baby. But for abortion activists desperate to rationalize killing, it becomes a tortured exercise in metaphysics. Which is of course why the author then scare-quotes “life” after struggling mightily to understand what a heartbeat is and then—I’m not joking—asking why the presence of a heartbeat should even matter. Why does the existence of a heartbeat matter? It’s a real puzzle, I tell you.

Davis then goes in for the kill…metaphorically speaking, of course:

The fact of the matter is that abortion activists know what they’re doing: they are voluntarily choosing to end a precious and distinct human life. After all, if that unborn baby girl weren’t alive, the abortionist wouldn’t be so hell-bent on killing her. And if her heart weren’t beating, the abortionist wouldn’t have to try so hard to make it stop.

As someone who once warped his mind to rationalize otherwise abhorrent arguments, I actually feel sympathy for Ms. Weigel, and the position in which she finds herself. Like Henry VIII, who tortured common sense to justify the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Ms. Weigel splices together facts and reasoning into a logically-induced Frankenstein so she can argue that a heartbeat is not a heartbeat when it occurs in the womb.

Unfortunately, fairy tales created by the wishful mind do not make the death of an innocent child disappear. With this in mind, Davis closes his article by articulating the cold, hard truth:

No amount of euphemisms can obscure the truth that unborn babies are alive, that their hearts beat just as ours do, and that the abortion industry is dead set on killing as many of them as possible.

St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us!

Memebuster no. 14: Abortion rage

The following meme was shared in the liberal Facebookesphere:



The meme was published by The Reprimand Project. Its Facebook page describes it as posting:

Common sense messages to level the playing field as the GOP wages its legislative wars on Constitutional rights and law-abiding citizens.

Apparently killing innocent humans is a Constitutional right.

Astonishingly, the meme does not deny that abortion actually “kills innocent humans”. Rather, the charge is that those sanctimonious Republicans who oppose abortion are hypocrites, because of all of the reasons cited.

Notwithstanding the meme’s righteous indignation, I have just a few questions.

Can one be against the killing of innocent humans while believing that environmental regulations hurt property rights and the economy more than help the environment?

Can one be against the killing of innocent humans while believing that gun control laws will prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves against criminals with guns?

Can one be against the killing of innocent humans while believing that minimum wage and living wage laws hurt the very people those laws are designed to help?

Can one be against the killing of innocent humans while believing that laws requiring the purchase of health insurance do nothing but raise the cost of health insurance and medical care, thereby preventing poor people from obtaining both?

According to this meme, apparently not.

The meme is yet another example of liberals who confuse good intentions with good policy. Like all good people, liberals want good outcomes for everyone. Unfortunately, they do not understand how economics works. They do not see that their policies hurt the very people they want to help. Meanwhile, they ironically demonize their opponents as “arrogant and ignorant” for opposing bad policies and not wanting innocent people to be killed.

So much for common sense messages.