Thursday, August 11, 2005

NARAL Nastiness

Let me first say that the NARAL ad condemning John Roberts for arguing that the Ku Kux Klan act should not apply to violent acts at abortion clinics is wrong. It is patently false. The bombing they focus on took place in 1998 while the court case Roberts was arguing took place in 1991. calls the ad false and says it is misleading to link Roberts to abortion bombers when he was arguing a point of law. NARAL stands behind its ad. On this issue I side with other abortion rights supporters who believe the NARAL ad crossed the line. It is the same kind of mudslinging misrepresentation that the other side engages in so well. I suppose NARAL decided that the only way to win this was to fight fire with fire and to become their enemy. Shame on them!

But coverage in the case in the New York Times brought to light the crux of the matter. The quoted from Roberts’ brief, saying that he (Roberts) “told the court that even though only women could become pregnant or seek abortions, it was ‘wrong as a matter of law and logic’ to regard opposition to abortion as the equivalent of discrimination against women.”

I cannot describe to you the wave of anger that came over me as I read that statement. I actually screamed at my computer scream. I screamed three times. Not words but a guttural roar of disgust and revulsion and fury.


Not only is this classic Orwellian doublespeak, this is a more insidious statement then almost any other this man could have written. He simply could have argued that the law did not apply because the discrimination is limited to class and race. That is different then saying that opposition to abortion does not discriminate against women. Pregnancy has been used for thousands of years as both a means of and a justification for the subjugation of and discrimination against women. To say otherwise brands this man either an idiot or a liar. The whole core of the pro-choice debate is that women have the right to control their own bodies. This is the paradigm under which this side of the debate operates (and is the simple reason why my support of abortion rights is unequivocal and absolute). Laws against abortion deny them this right, and would return women to a state of subjugation to male dominated procreation. Killing them for attempting to exercise this right must therefore be discriminatory. For Roberts to stand up an say that opposition to abortion is not discriminatory is insidious because it undercuts the whole foundation of abortion rights—obviously his design in the first place.

It is also worth noting that Roberts’ side won this case, the Supreme court held that the law did not apply, and that Sandra Day O’Connor joined the dissent. The precedent established by the court was that, for some reason I cannot fathom, actions directed toward one class of people (in this case a gender based class) were not discriminatory. It relegated women once again to the second class status they had had for six-thousand years. And it was John Roberts’ doing. NARAL was right in going after this guy. I think their ad was wrong and their tactics ultimately hurt our cause, but they are right to call attention to this portion of Roberts’ record. He is the worst kind of extremist: a nice looking eloquent one.

Anybody read “The Handmaid’s Tale?”


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5:54 PM  

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