I am not a single-issue voter, but I am not one to dismiss single-issue voters. Singe-issue voters are helpful in holding a political party’s feet to the fire and represent a core constituency. My issue with Lindy West’s column in the New York Times is not that she is a single-issue voter as much as the complete lack of intellectual curiosity about the anti-abortion position as well as her utterly deranged rhetoric.
It is absurd to argue that banning abortions results in women “stripped of ownership of their own bodies and lives.” There are methods to prevent conception in the first place, and there are alternatives to murdering a child in the womb. A woman who has a baby certainly has more responsibilities, as does the father of that baby. It is an absurd overreaction, though, to argue women are completely stripped of their bodily autonomy because one procedure is illegal. That does not convince anyone other than your own cheering partisans.
West is completely ignorant of the pro-life movement. People who oppose abortion are “indifferent to the disenfranchisement, suffering and possibly even the death of women?” Then why is it that a large number of anti-abortion activists are themselves women? Why is it that a large percentage of women say they want more restrictions on abortion in poll after poll? Are they indifferent to their own disenfranchisement, suffering and death? Does West really believe that men who oppose abortion are indifferent to the disenfranchisement, suffering and death of their wives, mothers, daughters and sisters?
Come on, now.
West argues that opposition to abortion is indefensible – that there are no valid arguments for that position. Has West ever seen the pictures of aborted babies shown by organizations like Created Equal and the Center for BioEthical reform? Even if one believes abortion must be legal, how can anyone look at those pictures and not at least understand why many people oppose abortion? Does West, as a so-called “journalist,” have any intellectual curiosity to understand why people think abortion must be restricted?
West goes even further, saying that the debate over abortion “puts people’s fundamental humanity up for debate.” Yes, because the men who oppose abortion do not believe their wives, daughters, sisters, nieces and mothers are not human. Women who oppose abortion do not believe they themselves are human. Right. I know when I walked into a Students for Life meeting filled with 95% women I was astonished that they all thought of themselves as less than human. Does West realize how utterly silly she sounds when she uses such extreme rhetoric?
In the past, Democratic politicians (even the staunchly pro-choice ones) recognized that abortion is a troubling issue and why so many people are opposed to it. There is a reason Bill Clinton said he wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” Even if he did not believe in the third part, Clinton at least understood why he needed to use that word. He understood the reasoning for opposing abortion, though he did not agree. West has no time for that, because she is far too lazy and far too bigoted to actually understand why people disagree with her. Is this what the nation’s newspaper of record sees as a serious argument?