The Abortion Battle Shows the Way

How America is turning away from abortion.

Scragged has from its inception been mostly an opinion magazine.  The occasional opportunity arises to do some actual journalism and independent reporting on news, but in the main, as one of our slogans has it, "They Report, We Decide."

This sort of writing carries with it the burden of needing to evaluate the credibility of the original source, which is not at all as easy as it might appear.  The National Enquirer, for example, not noted as a leading factual publication, turned out to be spot-on about John Edwards' extramarital escapades; whereas the New York Times, long known as "America's Newspaper of Record," routinely gets stories exactly backwards these days.

Once you get used to the obvious and well-documented bias of the mainstream media, it is fairly easy to adjust for.  We're finding, however, that the underlying feelings and experiences of the editors, writers, and interviewees that are not said out loud, but which can be discerned in other ways, are far more interesting than what they present as "facts."

A profoundly moving example of this phenomenon appeared on the cover of a recent edition of the Washington Post Magazine.  The cover photo showed a (very) young lady dressed as a doctor; the caption was:

An aspiring doctor believes deeply in a woman's right to choose.  But is she willing to back that up by providing abortions?

This headline, all by itself, encapsulates the ultimate doom of the pro-abortion movement.  By its very presence in that most stalwartly liberal member of the mainstream media, the Washington Post, this headline recognizes that abortion is not just about a scrap of tissue, that a fetus is in fact a human being, and that abortion is indeed murder - though of course, they cannot say so.  Most probably the writer dares not even think it, at least not consciously.

But what else could the Post mean?  Consider this alternate title: "An aspiring doctor believes deeply that cancerous tumors should be removed.  But is she willing to back that up by performing the surgery?"  That headline would be nonsense.

Of course a doctor is going to perform surgery to remove cancer - it's just a piece of tissue that's at at best inconvenient, at worst deadly.  Maybe a particular doctor isn't going to do the surgery personally - jittery hands, not trained in that discipline, etc. - but there are no moral issues involved, and nothing to write an article about.  Tumor present - surgery needed - do the surgery, or refer the patient to the appropriate specialist.  End of story.  Zzzzz.

Abortion is completely different.

The Clintons were perhaps the first to reveal this truth, with their mantra that abortions should be "Safe, Legal, and Rare."

What in the world is that getting at?  Do we say that biting off your hangnails should be safe, legal, and rare?  Of course it's legal - it's your own darn hangnail, how could it not be?  Of course it should be safe - don't bite your finger off by mistake.  And who cares if it's rare or not?  If you bite off your hangnails every day, or never in your entire life, it makes absolutely no difference to anyone or anything at all, except possibly to yourself, and even then only in the smallest and most trivial of ways.

"But," you say, "Abortion is NOT trivial!"  No, it most certainly is not.  And the reason it is not trivial is precisely because a fetus is not just a scrap of tissue like a hangnail or a tumor.

It is, in point of scientific fact, a genetically distinct person, its own entity - temporarily dependent on the mother for survival, it's true, but an entity which is on a course for an independent existence and destiny if allowed to pursue it.  Everyone knows this, the most fervently pro-choice most of all.

The article details how very rare abortion training is; how most medical schools shy away from discussing it as "too controversial," and most medical students strive to ignore it.  Medical students, who are precisely those young people who are most thoroughly steeped in science and genetics, strive to ignore abortion!

In the story, the budding doctor, Lesley Wojcik, arranged for a private practice-abortion exercise involving fruit, which turned out to be quite difficult reading for one who believes abortion to involve the murder of a human being.

"This is the most important thing and the hardest to learn," the doctor said as she pulled out lots of seeds and juice, what in a real abortion she called the "products of conception", or POC.  "You put the POC into a bowl, repeat if necessary, and examine them under a microscope to make sure you got everything."

It's stomach-churning in much the way that watching a horror movie can be - even though you know that the movie is not real, that the actors are covered in ketchup and went home unharmed at the end of the filming day, the horror it represents is nevertheless a real and palpable thing.  This horror builds until Lesley attends at an abortion, depicted in all the gruesomeness any pro-life activist could hope for.  In the end, as the article concludes,

Lesley still believed passionately in abortion rights and was proud at what she'd accomplished at Maryland with her activism.  She didn't want to let people down.  Even so, she had to follow her heart.  Somebody else - maybe Laura Merkel, the new chapter president of Medical Students for Choice - would become an abortion provider.  But it wouldn't be her. [emphasis added]

Goodness!  Why ever not, for an aspiring doctor who believes in abortion "passionately"?

Because it's wrong, and even though she won't admit it to herself, she realizes it somewhere down deep in her conscience.  Even though the writer and the editors would never say so either, the way the article was written reveals that they, too, must have realized that abortion is wrong.

And here we see the path back for conservatism.  Abortion represents the one, single, solitary policy on which conservatives have succeeded in truly changing hearts and minds and achieving conviction.

American support for abortion rights grows weaker every day and public desire for restrictions grows stronger.  With every ultrasound, with every medical advance, normal people living normal lives realize more fully that a person is a person no matter how small - and, though the culture and opinion-makers pound the drum of abortion for all, which makes it difficult to come right out and say "No", in their heart of hearts a growing majority of voters are convinced that, regardless of what others might think, abortion is simply wrong.

Once upon a time, all the leading opinion-makers had eloquent, widely accepted justifications for slavery - and yet a small group of dedicated people were fervently convinced that it was evil.  They went about convincing others, until ultimately everyone today agrees that slavery is not, was not, and never could be anything but an appalling crime.

Why is the pro-life movement being successful where so many other conservative goals fall flat on their face?  Because from its inception, the primary element has not been the lost causes of legal action, winning elections, or even legislation: it's been winning hearts and minds by instilling convictions.  This is much harder and much slower, but it's also the only way to long-term success.

In the midst of liberal victories on every other side, 2008 also saw not one but several successful movies released - from Hollywood, the enemy of all that's right and good -  celebrating bearing a baby to term when an abortion would have been the more "rational" choice.

All those years of signs saying "Abortion stops a beating heart" have paid off.  Americans, most of them, are now convinced that abortion does stop a beating heart.  The pro-choice screaming on the left is fading away; Roe vs Wade will someday fall by popular disgust, in fact if not necessarily in law.  The closer people come to the facts, the more the truth becomes apparent.

It's easy to be "pro-choice" when it's just words, just as "sharing the wealth" sounds nice and "Make love, not war" is appealing.  But when the "choice" is revealed as a helpless infant left to die in a hospital storage room; the "wealth" being shared is not Bill Gates', but Joe the Plumber's; and war comes unexpectedly on a cloudless September morning, the false choice stands revealed in all its squalor.

Conservatives have of late been terrible at communicating these truths, ever since the loss of the Great Communicator - but that's a fixable problem.

The left is crowing that the youngest voters are overwhelmingly liberal, and thus that they own the future.  This is true, or could be true - but only insofar as these new leftists can continue to be insulated from reality, as the tireless efforts of the teachers unions, the overwhelmingly leftist universities, and the nakedly partisan mainstream media work so hard to ensure.

But with each passing day in the real world, their lifelong assumptions will be challenged.  And we'll see the same thing happen as happened to the New Deal babies that now vote overwhelmingly Republican, and as happened last year to the famous playwright David Mamet: as he put it,

I recognized that I held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations, the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other - the world in which I actually functioned day to day - was made up of people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.

David Mamet thought he was a liberal - but the way in which he lived his life each day revealed him to truly be a conservative all along.  He just hadn't put two and two together - until one day, he did, thanks to conservative writers making their arguments and having them ring true, while the arguments of liberals, when exposed to the harsh light of day in the real world, ring transparently false.

Lesley Wojcik doesn't seem to have quite realized this yet, as far as we can tell from the article, but she's on the same road: her life choices flatly contradict one of her fundamental "fervent" beliefs, and she has a cover article, no doubt framed on her dorm-room wall, to remind her of that fact each and every day.  As a successful medical student, she is obviously a very smart young woman; she'll figure it out sooner or later.

While America's right regroups to determine a new strategy, the article from the Washington Post Magazine should be required reading.  Learn from success.  Learn from failure. The more we learn from both, the less of the latter we'll have.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other articles by Petrarch or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments
Abortion is probably THE best issue conservatives have NOT ONLY to merely win the debate on. It can also be used as an EXAMPLE of HOW a debate is won. "Hearts and minds" as the author said. Great article.
December 1, 2008 8:50 AM
While I certainly share your beliefs that abortion is murder, I think you might be reading a little bit into the article. The student in question opted not only to not become an abortionist, but she chose to eschew ob/gyn all together - that includes delivering those precious preborn bundles of joy! She said ob/gyn was boring and predictable, while anesthesiology is not. Anesthesiologists also make way more than ob/gyn docs and their hours are more regular and predictable.

While it's tempting to use this article to prove our point, it's dishonest to do so in this way. Winning hearts and minds starts with the truth, not lies.
December 1, 2008 9:55 AM
The aim of this article is not at the doctor but rather the writer and producers of the story.
December 1, 2008 10:03 AM
Watching republiacns reminisce over abortion is funny. Give it up, losers! You lost and it aint coming back!!
December 1, 2008 10:37 AM

Dear Bill,

This may be difficult for you to swallow, but from a spiritual, not religious, perspective, abortion is just another learning lesson. Allow me to explain: Although many religions do not believe in karma and reincarnation, there is no escaping either. The Golden Rule is: What you cause a person, an animal, or the earth to experience, both positive and negative, you must also experience; and if not in this lifetime, then in a subsequent one.

As energy beings, we are accountable for how we use every bit of our energy - how we think, remember, feel, act, see, say, do and even eat determines the quality of our life here and now, and in subsequent ones as well. For example, in a past life, I was a careless man who caused women to become pregnant. These women choose to have an abortion. I created the cause and then had to experience the effect, so in this lifetime, I chose to be a woman so that I could experience what I caused another to endure. In my case, there was not a spirit involved and according to the Ascended Masters and Mother Mary, the spirit does not enter the body until the birthing process.

However, if a woman uses abortion as a means of birth control, she is creating karma.

Before we incarnate, we choose our life lessons, as well as our parents, gender, nationality, region of birth, eye color, hair color, body type - nothing is left to chance. I chose to expiate quite a bit of karma in this lifetime, so yes, I had an abortion. I was meant to go through the process of being treated like a sex object and then being abandoned because that is what I did to someone in one of my past lives. I learned my lesson well - I will never treat anyone in such a manner again. I have a great respect for peoples' feelings and for life, which is one of the reasons I am a vegetarian. I don't believe in hurting any of God's Creatures, two or four-legged. So, that particular lesson is over - now, on to another one......

No body has the same karma - we may be involved in similar situations, but the specifics are different, but then most of us don't have the consciousness to know that. Instead, we judge, condemn and criticize each other. If you see a beggar on the street, know that he or she has chosen that lesson. Perhaps, in a past life, he/she caused a person to lose his/her home and that person died on the street. The beggar must experience, according to Cosmic Law, what he/she caused another to experience. Or, perhaps, the beggar was an arrogant king or queen in a past life, and through being a beggar, has chosen to learn humility.

Know that if a woman is raped, she raped someone in a past life. The same principle applies to someone who has been murdered. There are no accidents - everything has been planned for us on an inner level. If you are interested in learning more, please read the book: Saved by the Light by Dannion Brinkley. I would be happy to send you more information that has been channeled by Mother Mary.

In Light,


December 4, 2008 10:08 PM
It is I again with a PS.....

Oh, the hypocrisy....what about stopping the beating hearts of chickens, ducks, turkeys, sheep, pigs and cows? What about the beating heart of a cow whose legs are chopped off while she is still conscious? And what about the beating heart of a pig or cow who is skinned while still conscious?

I wonder how many folks debate about the abortion issue at McDonalds or Burger King without giving a thought to what they are consuming - dead animal flesh!

Do these same folks who condemn abortions condemn war? Methinks not.

War is murder - no doubt about it. What about stopping the beating hearts of those innocents killed in war?

Those of you who have children would not want your children killing each other. We are all children of the same God. Do you think that God wants His/Her children killing each other? Methinks not.

Getting back to one has the right to tell another how he/she should live. Before we incarnated, we agreed - on an inner conscious level - to go through certain life experiences to learn from them; to learn to be more tolerant, compassionate and unconditionally loving. If someone chose to learn a specific lesson by having an abortion, I would be the last one to judge them.

Truly, I think that all the controversy about the abortion issue was used to divert us from the real issue - war.

Anyway folks, the bigger picture is about living in harmony with all living's about feeling the God Energy that connects me to you and you to me and us to the animals and to this beautiful earth we call our home.


December 4, 2008 10:33 PM
Wow... just, wow. Really? If a woman is raped, it's because she raped someone in a past life? So it's her fault? I guess we shouldn't have rape counseling services or anything- we should just tell them to suck it up and get over it, because they deserved it. "Oops- I guess you'll learn better in a next life!" That's following your logic to its end, right? Wow. There are no words.

I don't even know why I'm responding to this, because it's clear that you come from a different universe- but abortion and war are not even close to the same issue. Yes, war is ugly- yes, the fact that innocent civilians are killed is horrible. However, war has a purpose. Wars are fought (from the US's standpoint) to defend our country and our way of life. What purpose is there to ending an innocent child's life? For convenience on the part of the mother, because she accidentally got pregnant and "isn't ready"? Yes, I know there are other situations, but the majority of cases fall under that umbrella.

To even compare abortion to eating meat is utter ridiculousness, and shows that you really have no idea what you're talking about. Animals are not intelligent beings in the same way that humans are. Animals don't pass knowledge down to the next generation, animals don't build communities and families, and they definitely don't band together to try and support another animal who is starving in the forest. I agree that they shouldn't be treated cruelly, but to me, it's pretty clear cut that their purpose is for human sustenance. I'll take my "dead cow flesh" over your tofurkey any day.

December 5, 2008 5:59 AM
Kathe, who is Bill in "Dear Bill"?

Perhaps you landed on the wrong forum?
December 5, 2008 6:57 AM
Dear Melissa,

Thank you for this opportunity to share with you, and others, some "out-of-the-box ideas, thoughts, and values".

Firstly, let me clarify something: I did not say that if a woman is raped, it is her fault. What I did say that if a woman is raped, undoubtedly, she raped someone IN A PAST LIFE, and must reap what she sowed.

There are Cosmic Laws that govern life in this universe. One of these Laws is the Law of Karma, which is also known as the Law of Cause and Effect, or what you sow, you shall reap. This Law is also known as the Law of the Circle and the Law of Magnetic Attraction, or like attracts like. And quite frankly, it doesn't matter if you believe in these Laws, or not, they do exist and govern our lives.

Whatever we experience in this lifetime, both postive and negative, is the direct result of how we used our energy in past lives. In this way,Cosmic Law is very impersonal.

Secondly, I lumped animals in with humans because we are all sentient beings - animals, just like humans, can think, feel, reason and love. In fact, some animals are more in-tune with God's Laws than we are. Animals do have communities and they do help each other - I had a 225-acre wildlife sanctuary and experienced this firsthand. Animals can warn us when danger approaches - what about the elephants who warned the village about the tsunami? What about the pig who saved his family from a gas leak in their house? What about seeing eye dogs? Animals are intelligent - they can, and do, reason, and their love, unlike ours, is unconditional.

Animals were not put on this earth for us to use at our disposal. Furthermore,it is a gross misuse of energy to do so.

It boggles my mind that folks think that war has a purpose....when I feel that I need defending, I automatically turn to God...

War is not the way to peace - never was and never will be.

And Bill is the chap who sent me this article. I responded to him and he asked me to post it.

And lastly, Tofurkey is processed and I don't eat processed foods. But, because you have been given the gift of free will, can choose to eat dead animals; and because of your choice, you are perpetuating the cruelty they face.

Furthermore,colon cancer is on the rise because we can not digest animal flesh - it rots in our intestines and causes the build-up of bad bacteria.

Abortion, rape, murder, poverty, greed, doesn't really matter what the subject or circumstance....we are here to learn to come into balance and use our energy in positive ways.



December 5, 2008 1:23 PM
People like Kathe are so irrational about reality that their answers are fantastically self-contradicting.

She says that she cares about God and that animals - part of God's Law - are as important as humans, thus not to be eaten.

In the book of Acts in the Bible, God SPECIFICALLY told Peter to "Rise... kill, and eat" the fowl and beasts that Peter saw. After Peter said the meat was unclean, God AGAIN told him to eat it because He had provided it.

We won't BEGIN to go into the dozens of wars that God COMMANDED the children of Israel to invoke in his name.

Maybe a different "God", Kathe?

Throughout history the ONLY way to lasting peace has been war of one kind or another. That is so self-evident as to need no discussion.

Really, it's unfortunate that Americans are so uneducated that they have to invent babble like this to fill their day.

Fiction is stranger than truth?
December 5, 2008 1:41 PM
"Firstly, let me clarify something: I did not say that if a woman is raped, it is her fault. What I did say that if a woman is raped, undoubtedly, she raped someone IN A PAST LIFE, and must reap what she sowed"

Huh?? You say she "must reap what she sowed" but you also say it's not her fault. Which is it?

December 5, 2008 1:45 PM
Somehow I doubt a woman who has been raped would be comforted by "Well, you reap what you sow".

Look, I like animals just as much as the next person. However, do you really think the elephants before the tsunami were thinking "We can sense that something is going to happen- we'd better go warn the humans"??? I would bet my life savings on NO. It's way more likely that the animals were acting on instinct... this is what animals do. Again, they don't build a knowledge base to carry on to the next generation- if you had a colony of prairie dogs that were left completely alone, out in the wilderness somewhere and you came back to check on them in 50 or even 100 years, would they have invented anything new? Would they have little prairie dog hospitals or little prairie dog charities to help the other poor prairie dogs around the world? Again, I would bet that the answer is NO. That is part of what separates us (humans) from them (animals).

As far as the "eating meat causes bad bacteria to build up in your colon" thing?? I don't claim to be an expert, but the amount of biology I have taken in my life leads me to suggest that if cancer was caused by bacteria, we would have known that a long time ago. We've got lots and lots of medicines that can kill bacteria.

Oh well, I must stop now- I could keep going for quite awhile. I'll just say that if these are the ideas that come "out of the box", I think I would like to stuff them back in the box and return said box to wherever it came from.
December 5, 2008 1:58 PM
Researchers say that unborn babies learn in the womb.
July 17, 2009 5:01 PM
You were right - the tide is drifting.

Abortion's New Battle Lines
Legislative changes in several states - combined with less fervent support for abortion rights - could prove to be a new challenge for Roe v. Wade.
May 1, 2010 3:22 PM
Drug-based abortion is essentially invisible. Things may shift back.

Abortion Drugs Given in Iowa via Video Link
A telemedicine abortion procedure in Iowa in which a doctor dispenses the two drugs through a distant clinic has won acceptance from patients but is being challenged.
June 9, 2010 8:36 PM

I never expected to see the Times be so forthright about the down-side of abortion:

The Unborn Paradox
In America, there's been tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility.

The American entertainment industry has never been comfortable with the act of abortion. Film or television characters might consider the procedure, but even on the most libertine programs (a “Mad Men,” a “Sex and the City”), they’re more likely to have a change of heart than actually go through with it. Reality TV thrives on shocking scenes and subjects — extreme pregnancies and surgeries, suburban polygamists and the gay housewives of New York — but abortion remains a little too controversial, and a little bit too real.

This omission is often cited as a victory for the pro-life movement, and in some cases that’s plainly true. (Recent unplanned-pregnancy movies like “Juno” and “Knocked Up” made abortion seem not only unnecessary but repellent.) But it can also be a form of cultural denial: a way of reassuring the public that abortion in America is — in Bill Clinton’s famous phrase — safe and legal, but also rare.

Rare it isn’t: not when one in five pregnancies ends at the abortion clinic. So it was a victory for realism, at least, when MTV decided to supplement its hit reality shows “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” with last week’s special, “No Easy Decision,” which followed Markai Durham, a teen mother who got pregnant a second time and chose abortion.

MTV being MTV, the special’s attitude was resolutely pro-choice. But it was a heartbreaking spectacle, whatever your perspective. Durham and her boyfriend are the kind of young people our culture sets adrift — working-class and undereducated, with weak support networks, few authority figures, and no script for sexual maturity beyond the easily neglected admonition to always use a condom. Their televised agony was a case study in how abortion can simultaneously seem like a moral wrong and the only possible solution — because it promised to keep them out of poverty, and to let them give their first daughter opportunities they never had.

The show was particularly wrenching, though, when juxtaposed with two recent dispatches from the world of midlife, upper-middle-class infertility. Last month there was Vanessa Grigoriadis’s provocative New York Magazine story “Waking Up From the Pill,” which suggested that a lifetime on chemical birth control has encouraged women “to forget about the biological realities of being female ... inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect.” Then on Sunday, The Times Magazine provided a more intimate look at the same issue, in which a midlife parent, the journalist Melanie Thernstrom, chronicled what it took to bring her children into the world: six failed in vitro cycles, an egg donor and two surrogate mothers, and an untold fortune in expenses.

In every era, there’s been a tragic contrast between the burden of unwanted pregnancies and the burden of infertility. But this gap used to be bridged by adoption far more frequently than it is today. Prior to 1973, 20 percent of births to white, unmarried women (and 9 percent of unwed births over all) led to an adoption. Today, just 1 percent of babies born to unwed mothers are adopted, and would-be adoptive parents face a waiting list that has lengthened beyond reason.

Some of this shift reflects the growing acceptance of single parenting. But some of it reflects the impact of Roe v. Wade. Since 1973, countless lives that might have been welcomed into families like Thernstrom’s — which looked into adoption, and gave it up as hopeless — have been cut short in utero instead.

And lives are what they are. On the MTV special, the people around Durham swaddle abortion in euphemism. The being inside her is just “pregnancy tissue.”

January 3, 2011 6:53 PM

NY Times has a much more balanced view of abortion than usual:

AMID the sound and fury of the latest culture-war battles — first over breast cancer dollars and Planned Parenthood, and then over the White House’s attempt to require that religious employers cover contraception and potential abortifacients — it’s easy to forget that there is at least some common ground in American politics on sex, pregnancy, marriage and abortion.

Even the most pro-choice politicians, for instance, usually emphasize that they want to reduce the need for abortion, and make the practice rare as well as safe and legal. Even the fiercest conservative critics of the White House’s contraception mandate — yes, Rick Santorum included — agree that artificial birth control should be legal and available. And both Democrats and Republicans generally agree that the country would be better off with fewer pregnant teenagers, fewer unwanted children, fewer absent fathers, fewer out-of-wedlock births.

Where cultural liberals and social conservatives differ is on the means that will achieve these ends. The liberal vision tends to emphasize access to contraception as the surest path to stable families, wanted children and low abortion rates.

The conservative narrative, by contrast, argues that it’s more important to promote chastity, monogamy and fidelity than to worry about whether there’s a prophylactic in every bedroom drawer or bathroom cabinet.


Liberals love to cite these numbers as proof that social conservatism is a flop. But the liberal narrative has glaring problems as well. To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.

At the same time, if liberal social policies really led inexorably to fewer unplanned pregnancies and thus fewer abortions, you would expect “blue” regions of the country to have lower teen pregnancy rates and fewer abortions per capita than demographically similar “red” regions.

But that isn’t what the data show. Instead, abortion rates are frequently higher in more liberal states, where access is often largely unrestricted, than in more conservative states, which are more likely to have parental consent laws, waiting periods, and so on. “Safe, legal and rare” is a nice slogan, but liberal policies don’t always seem to deliver the “rare” part.

What’s more, another Guttmacher Institute study suggests that liberal states don’t necessarily do better than conservative ones at preventing teenagers from getting pregnant in the first place. Instead, the lower teenage birth rates in many blue states are mostly just a consequence of (again) their higher abortion rates. Liberal California, for instance, has a higher teen pregnancy rate than socially conservative Alabama; the Californian teenage birth rate is only lower because the Californian abortion rate is more than twice as high.

These are realities liberals should keep in mind when tempted to rail against conservatives for rejecting the intuitive-seeming promise of “more condoms, fewer abortions.” What’s intuitive isn’t always true, and if social conservatives haven’t figured out how to make all good things go together in post-sexual-revolution America, neither have social liberals.

February 19, 2012 2:00 PM

This is an amazing video on human life from conception to birth using the
newest x-ray scanning technology that won its two inventors the Nobel Peace

This is a remarkable color video.
Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth -- visualized - YouTube

March 31, 2012 12:54 PM

The NYT argues that Roe v wade went too far too fast and started a cuture war

WASHINGTON — When the Supreme Court hears a pair of cases on same-sex marriage on Tuesday and Wednesday, the justices will be working in the shadow of a 40-year-old decision on another subject entirely: Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Judges, lawyers and scholars have drawn varying lessons from that decision, with some saying that it was needlessly rash and created a culture war.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal and a champion of women’s rights, has long harbored doubts about the ruling.

“It’s not that the judgment was wrong, but it moved too far, too fast,” she said last year at Columbia Law School.

Briefs from opponents of same-sex marriage, including one from 17 states, are studded with references to the aftermath of the abortion decision and to Justice Ginsburg’s critiques of it. They say the lesson from the Roe decision is that states should be allowed to work out delicate matters like abortion and same-sex marriage for themselves.

“They thought they were resolving a contentious issue by taking it out of the political process but ended up perpetuating it,” John C. Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and a law professor at Chapman University, said of the justices who decided the abortion case. “The lesson they should draw is that when you are moving beyond the clear command of the Constitution, you should be very hesitant about shutting down a political debate.”

Justice Ginsburg has suggested that the Supreme Court in 1973 should have struck down only the restrictive Texas abortion law before it and left broader questions for another day. The analogous approach four decades later would be to strike down California’s ban on same-sex marriage but leave in place prohibitions in about 40 other states.

But Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a lawyer for the two couples challenging California’s ban, said the Roe ruling was a different case on a different subject and arose in a different political and social context. The decision was “a bolt out of the blue,” he said, and it had not been “subject to exhaustive public discussion, debate and support, including by the president and other high-ranking government officials from both parties.”

“Roe was written in a way that allowed its critics to argue that the court was creating out of whole cloth a brand new constitutional right,” Mr. Boutrous said. “But recognition of the fundamental constitutional right to marry dates back over a century, and the Supreme Court has already paved the way for marriage equality by deciding two landmark decisions protecting gay citizens from discrimination.”

The author of the majority opinions in those two cases, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, seemed to address the new ones in wary terms in remarks this month in Sacramento.

“A democracy should not be dependent for its major decisions on what nine unelected people from a narrow legal background have to say,” he said.

In Justice Ginsburg’s account, set out in public remarks and law review articles, the broad ruling in the abortion case froze activity in state legislatures, created venomous polarization and damaged the authority of the court.

“The legislatures all over the United States were moving on this question,” Justice Ginsburg said at Princeton in 2008. “The law was in a state of flux.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision was a perfect rallying point for people who disagreed with the notion that it should be a woman’s choice,” she added. “They could, instead of fighting in the trenches legislature by legislature, go after this decision by unelected judges.”

March 24, 2013 1:02 PM
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