40 years after Roe v. Wade, abortion foes are winning — and losing

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march for life

Tens of thousands of anti-abortion protesters filled the streets of downtown Washington for the 32nd annual March for Life on Jan. 24, 2008. Photo by Andrea James.

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(RNS) Four decades after the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, little has changed, and what’s really going on is a case study in the psychology of movement politics. By David Gibson.

  • Younger people are recognizing the moral question of abortion for what it in fact is: an animal rights issue. Crudely, embryos have no more rights than earthworms; late term fetuses have a moral status comparable to dogs and cats, or new born humans.

    Of course to justify a late term abortion you have to have a very, very good reason–just as you should have a very, very good reason to euthanize a dog or cat. And, of course, there is virtually no problem with aborting early embryos any more than there is with killing earthworms.

    This sounds terrible–not the sort of thing that people dare say in the ongoing political debate, but one suspects that this is the very reasonable intuition that the people with more nuanced views you describe have. And I don’t see any compelling reason to believe that imposing restrictions on late term abortions send us down the slippery slope to a ban, or more restrictions, down the line–any more than restrictions on euthanizing dogs and cats, or on experiments done on apes, will lead to bans on squishing earthworms or exterminating cockroaches.

  • Sam

    What Savita Halappanavar in Ireland happens daily in the US because of draconian laws designed to make abortion impossible. Yes, women die because of “pro-life” actions. I pray nightly for Savita and her family. I pray that women no longer will have to die as Savita did. Sometimes I hear new or re-born Christians explain that they are “trying” to accept the teachings of their church or that they used to be pro-choice but now realize that they must submit to church authority. What such comments tell me is that these individuals have turned to religion for personal comfort and security. Their “pro-life” stance is not based on ethical decision-making but on a desire for spiritual tranquility. Unfortunately, they seem to have no care or concern for the women they are harming in blindly accepting the teaching of certain churches.

  • Girl4Life

    “The Irish Independent story that reveals the rapidly collapsing media narrative around Savita’s death, quotes Praveen’s lawyer stating that Praveen never claimed in any interview that a termination would have saved Savita’s life.”

  • Matt

    Well H. E. Barber, if in your mind humans are comparable to dogs and cats… you won’t mind if we put you down when you get sick like we would a sick dog or cat…

  • Source? I thought not.

  • C Donovan

    “THE inquest into the death of Savita Halappanavar opens today just as the first official records emerged proving she asked for a termination of her unviable pregnancy.

    The request is noted in documents which have been handed in to Coroner Dr Ciaran McLaughlin for the young woman’s inquest. It is understood that the request was included in the statements by the consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who treated her before her death.”

    Irish Independent Jan 18 2013

  • I’m not a newborn or late term fetus

    Suppose though there were a newborn or late term fetus destined to live in misery and die in agony within months. Wouldn’t you then consider the moral issue of euthanizing such an infant comparable to the issue of euthanizing an equally sick dog or cat?

  • kentender

    Very well said Matt. I give a hearty Amen.

  • kentender

    H.E. Barber, your argument is rooted in the same spirit that Hitler used. You equate humans to animals. Others call the human embryo a parasite. And on it goes. Just as Hitler said, “The Jews are definitely a race, but they are not human.”

    So, too, the killers say of the humans in the womb.

    They are only “animals” says H.E. Baber. The spirit of Eugenics is alive and well I see. Margaret Sanger would be proud.

  • Vannesa Przybyszewski

    For some women, breast health tops the list of women’s health concerns. What’s the best way to do a breast self-exam? What should you do if you find a breast lump? What’s the best way to treat breast pain? :`;”

    Have a good week