Sunday, February 04, 2018
Back in 2005, David Brooks wrote a very thoughtful article about Roe v Wade‘s poisonous impact in our judicial confirmations. Sadly, every judicial confirmation hearing is now about abortion.
This week, Brooks called on the Democrats to reconsider their support of late-term abortions. He did it by writing a consultant’s memo to the party leaders:
Roe v. Wade polarized American politics in ways that have been fundamentally bad for Democrats.If you don’t believe me, compare the size of the elected Democratic majorities in 1974 to the size of the Republican majorities in 2018.
Without Roe v. Wade the landscape would shift.We need to acknowledge our vulnerability here. Democrats support the right to choose throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy. But babies are now viable outside the womb at 22 weeks.As Emma Green wrote in the Atlantic, scientific advances “fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion.” Parents can see their babies’ faces earlier and earlier.We’re learning how cognitively active fetuses are. A researcher from Britain recently found that fetuses prefer to look at face-like images while in the womb.Early in the pregnancy they can recognize and distinguish between tastes. Late in the term they can recognize words, tunes, languages. They seem to begin crying, for example, by the 28th week. It could be that one of the current behaviors that future generations will regard as most barbaric is our treatment of fetuses.
As the father of three sons and a Catholic, I’ve always found abortion appalling and hard to understand.
Also, all of the word games, such as “choice” and “reproductive rights”, are just plain corruption of language. I love the one about “settled law” or a bit weird since no abortion law was ever passed!
Beyond morality, Brooks has a political point. On abortion, as well as illegal immigration, the Democrats have run to a corner away from where public opinion is.
My guess is that most Democrats find late term abortions as horrible as anyone. Unfortunately, no one in the Democratic party seems to have the courage to stand up to Planned Parenthood.
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