Well, this one is likely to piss everybody off at some level. The women’s march this weekend, an Executive Order signed this week by President Donald Trump, the House voting today to make the Hyde Amendment permanent and the upcoming Pro-Life march this weekend have forced my hand and I’ll discuss a subject I try to avoid like the tax collector. I’ve re-written this several times because of the nuances of the issue, and because its simply so hard to explain sometimes. Here goes.
I’ve never been a big “abortion guy.” I know an emotional wedge issue when I see it. I also avoid touching hot irons and playing with hornets. All seem to be sound decisions.
Abortion may be the most emotionally-charged debate of our time. Both sides even have unassailable positioning statements. How can one say they’re against “choice” or “life?” But because it is an emotional issue it is nearly impossible to properly debate. As I’ve said a thousand times, we can debate facts—but not feelings. Your feelings are just as real and valid as mine.
Much like gay marriage opposition, abortion support makes conservatives seem like governmental control freaks–and that argument is not without merit. I *do* wish that people would stop equating Constitutional libertarians with those who champion abortion restrictions, but I digress.
Like in so many other contemporary debates, the extremes on both sides are setting the agenda…and that’s not healthy. Fortunately, the days of Abortion Clinics being bombed seem to be fading…and the most adamant abortion opponents (Westboro Baptist Church, et. al.) have been properly assigned to the loony bin. But I fear the same is not the case for those who reside at the other extreme.
I can understand someone arguing in favor of abortion from a privacy standpoint. I can understand someone arguing in favor of abortion from a legal standpoint. But until my dying day, I will NEVER understand the pride that the more virulent abortion supporters show for such a procedure. I realize it is not the majority of women who hold this viewpoint, but the feminist orthodoxy subscribes to the theory that abortions are sacrosanct…that women should be proud of them.
On the rare occasions I enter into such debates, I am struck by the binary thinking these abortion supporters employ. Their attitude one second before birth and one second after birth are so completely different as to be a parody. I call it the “magic millisecond.”
In the Magic Millisecond before a baby draws its first breath, the most gung-ho abortion supporters will tell you that it is NOT a baby. It is an nonviable mass of tissue…it has no soul…it is a parasite. Therefore it is perfectly OK to rip it out of the womb and harvest its body parts to sell to the highest bidder. They will go to great lengths to push this narrative. An article from an alleged scientist today in The Atlantic argues that the new ultrasounds allow you to listen to what he calls an “imaginary heartbeat.” Really. It got such a scathing review that the journal stealth-edited it several times before publishing an apology.
But once the baby draws first breath, the ardent abortion rights supporter will allow their attitude to flip-flop faster than George H.W. Bush on new taxes. They see the baby as we all see it…a beautiful gift that confirms our humanity. But one Magic Millisecond ago they saw it as a leech, eligible for extermination under most any pretense.
Folks, this is NOT normal thinking. You have to suppress every amount of common sense and human decency you possess to go from this extreme to another so quickly. Either that, or you consciously hold these views for the sole purpose of justifying your defense of this procedure.
The abortion issue is where we find out if conservatives are truly conservative…at least when it comes to government authority. As a libertarian, I cannot tell someone they cannot have an abortion—and I won’t. The same government that I so desperately want out of my wallet also has no right inside my bedroom or doctor’s office. But so long as the mainstream abortion-rights supporters insist on adopting extreme views as outlined above, I cannot actively support them. I realize that’s not exactly taking a hard-line stance one way or the other—but I think that underscores just how complex this issue is. More complex than being either Pro-Choice or Pro-Life.
For one of the few times in my life, I find myself (almost) on the same side of the fence as Bill Clinton. I will paraphrase him with my own interjection. Abortion should be safe, legal, and damned-near unheard of.