Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Abortion Frame, Revisited

Because I couldn't sleep with the last post resting at the top of my page (why do we feel such shame about our pop culture fetishes???) I wanted to provide some real news about how the right is reclaiming, and reframing, the abortion debate.

Today's NY Times featured a front page article (print edition) by Robin Toner on how Kennedy's recent decision is increasingly being used as a stepping stone for the right to reframe the debate in terms of not just "what's good for the fetus" (the classic argument against choice), but now, insanely enough, what's good for women.

Why are the right to lifers making the leap? Because Kennedy gave them exactly the ammunition they needed to do so, referring numerous times in the majority decision to the "regrets" and "emotional damage" reported by "some" women who have had abortions. Therefore, Kennedy found--in his great wisdom--that the state had a right to "protect" women from making a choice that could, maybe, in the future, someday, maybe, cause one or two of them, maybe, a touch of regret.

Now if I were a right to lifer, I'd be jumping for joy about now--because how much more handily could you ask to be proffered a platform for the future? Women cannot protect themselves--and we have the anecdotes here to prove it--so it's "our" job to protect them. Never mind all this pesky nonsense of when life begins, and privacy, and so on. This is about protecting the already born--and we're just the group of conservative white men to do it.

In any case, I natter on... but the point is, read the article. And then let's begin thinking long and hard about how we wrest back control of this twisted messaging--before they've claimed yet another victory and we're wondering (again) how it happened.

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