Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well, it's about time.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself: a Washington Post column at long last taking the sophistry of "personally opposed" pro-choice politicians to the woodshed. Naturally, it had to be a Republican politician embracing the farce before they would print one, but the MSM did finally get around to it:

There is, however, a question that comes before politics: Does Giuliani's position on abortion actually make sense?

In early debates and statements, he has set out his views on this topic with all the order and symmetry of a freeway pileup. His argument comes down to this: "I hate abortion," which is "morally wrong." But "people ultimately have to make that choice. If a woman chooses that, that's her choice, not mine. That's her morality, not mine."

This is a variant of the position developed by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1985. In this view, the Catholic Church's belief in the immorality of abortion is correct, in the same sense that its belief in the Immaculate Conception is correct. Both beliefs are religious, private and should not be enforced by government.

But the question naturally arises: Why does Giuliani "hate" abortion? No one feels moral outrage about an appendectomy. Clearly he is implying his support for the Catholic belief that an innocent life is being taken. And here the problems begin.

How can the violation of a fundamental human right be viewed as a private matter? Not everything that is viewed as immoral should be illegal; there are no compelling public reasons to restrict adultery, for example, or to outlaw sodomy. But when morality demands respect for the rights of a human being, those protections become a matter of social justice, not just personal or religious preference.

The whole column's worth reading, but to this, let me attach the words of John Walker, of the group Libertarians for Life:

Regardless of whether you're pro-life or abortion-choice, let's assume you're going to have abortion-choice government officials. Which kind would you rather have: ones who think that the preborn are not persons with rights, or ones who think they are?

Even abortion choicers should find the latter kind scary. If an abortion-choice Governor thinks the preborn are persons with rights yet it's OK to kill them, a question comes to mind: Who's next?

An excellent summation of why I believe that any pro-choice politician who claims to be "personally opposed" to abortion--including Giuliani--is fundamentally unfit for public office.


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