Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Abortion Extremists

Andrew Roraback is a “fiscal conservative,” which is to say he is not a “social conservative,” which is to say he is pro-abortion but not sufficiently enthusiastic concerning abortion to merit the approval of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, a pro-abortion group that will admit no exceptions to abortion on demand.

The very term “social conservative” is highly misleading. There are no congressional bills or judicial decisions that have no social ramifications. Everything politicians say and do and think is said and done and thought with a view towards enforcing or changing the society affected by human action. Even budgets – the last real budget was passed by the U.S. Congress in1997  before Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008 -- profoundly affect the social sphere. The science of economics, dismal though it may be, is a science of human action.

Mr. Roraback, the Republican Party nominee for the U.S. House in Connecticut’s 5th District, and Elizabeth Esty, the Democratic nominee for the congressional seat soon to be vacated by U.S. Representative Chris Murphy, are both pro-abortion candidates. Any discussion of their differences on the matter of abortion is a nice matter, pretty much on the order of deciding how many angels might fit on the head of a pin. So close are the two on the abortion issue that their differences have been deemed a matter of “semantics” by a state-wide newspaper.

At some point during his campaign, Mr. Roraback, then running in a primary against more conservative Republicans, allowed that he found abortion “personally repugnant,” a view that only a few years ago easily could have been embraced – even here in true blue Connecticut -- without voter backlash by centrist Democrats and Republicans. As Republicans retreat from “social issues,” Democrats advance unopposed. The pro-abortion mania has come a long way baby since New York Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared that he found partial birth abortion repugnant because it too closely resembled infanticide. Considered a liberal Democrat in his day, Mr. Moynihan today would not have received the endorsement of NARAL or Planned Parenthood, the two pro-abortion on demand groups that have withdrawn their support from Mr. Roraback.

The country as a whole has not moved in tandem with abortion extremist groups. Most recent polling indicates that a majority of people in the United States today find some forms of abortion personally repugnant.  According to a May  2012 Gallup poll, a significant majority of Americans now tilt pro-life by a margin of 50% to 41%: “The 41% of Americans who now identify themselves as "pro-choice" is down from 47% last July and is one percentage point below the previous record low in Gallup trends, recorded in May 2009. Fifty percent now call themselves "pro-life," one point shy of the record high, also from May 2009.”

If the abortion issue throughout the nation and in Connecticut were merely a matter of verbiage, its sharp edges would wound neither Republicans nor Democrats. As a political issue, abortion cuts to the bone, much as slavery did from the founding of the Republic through the Civil War and beyond. Slavery, it will be recalled, pivoted on the question whether the slave was or was not a person for purposes of law.  The Supreme Court in the Dred Scott decision ruled that slaves were property. It was Abraham Lincoln – a very astute politician – and Generals Grant and Sherman who finally decided the issue, following a battle that remains today the bloodiest single military confrontation in U.S. history.  When the smoke had cleared over the fields of Antietam, one in four soldiers engaged on both sides were killed, wounded, missing or captured. In that baptism of blood, the Emancipation Proclamation was born.

Mr. Lincoln, well versed in the law, saw past the legal question of the personhood of the slave because he was a better moralist than many of his contemporaries. For him the question of personhood was largely a moral, ontological and epistemological one: There are only two kinds of laws, those affecting persons and those affecting property; and the slave could not be property – because he was a man. The ontological question – Is it a human now? – confronts the pro-abortionist at every stage of the developmental process from conception to birth. At some point in the birth process, it becomes impossible to deny the humanity of the child in the womb.

In Connecticut, we are not likely to see any serious epistemological debate on the nature of human life from birth to death. There are no Lincolns in the state among Connecticut’s congressional delegation -- just fierce, even extremist, pro-abortionists. And on the opposite side of the barricades, the “to be or not to be” question is pondered by Hamlet-like McClellans. There are no Grants or Shermans in the field.

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