Among the strangest things to skulk The New York Times editorial page this past week was a column by Thomas Friedman called “Why I Am Pro-Life.” It’s a galling piece that tries to assert that liberals are the true defenders of the sanctity of life.
Apparently, “Ignore My Support for Partial Birth Abortion, Anti-Poor Policies, & Dangerous Global Warming Fanaticism– I’m Pro-Life!” was too long a title.
Friedman starts by framing the issue of abortion in a way that almost sounds reasonable. It’s Republicans who wish to turn the national consensus on its head. “That consensus,” Friedman says, “[is] that those who choose to oppose abortion in their own lives… should be respected, but those women who want to make a different personal choice over what happens with their own bodies should be respected, and have the legal protection to do so, as well.”
What that “different personal choice” is, I assume, is the constitutional right to murder your child. Of course, murder isn’t conducive to a reputable image, so abortion activists hide behind the guise of women’s rights or yell “vagina” when “racist” would simply be inappropriate.
There’s also the problem of saying that those who oppose abortion shouldn’t push that view on others. The issue is presented like a discussion of taste: You have the right to think that geraniums look best in a front yard, but please don’t push your values on me.
This is absurd. No one should have the right to do away with someone’s life and liberty out of convenience. The restraint of destructive behavior is the backbone of civilization. And so long as we’re using this as an excuse to play Dr. Tiller, we should revisit some of our murder laws– you know, to stay consistent.
This is the crux of the argument for abortion, and if you’re like many Americans, you probably find it an inadequate justification to end the life of a child. I mean, we conservatives lose patience with our kids and sometimes say we’re going to kill them, but we don’t actually do it.
But the reason Friedman’s column is a cut above the rest is that it seeks to add to the storied history of liberal intellectual missteps. As it turns out, not only is it wrong to oppose a “woman’s right to choose” to end the life of her child, but you also have to support gun control, taxpayer-funded preschool, and policies designed to fight something called climate change if you want the title of being pro-life.
“In my world, you don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and be against common-sense gun control,” he states. Trying to achieve common sense gun control is like searching for the perfect amount of socialism– the amount just before it becomes deadly. As has already been shown on this site and many others, gun control kills. It is especially harmful to those most vulnerable in society– law-abiding citizens.
“You don’t get to call yourself ‘pro-life’ and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health, and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children.” Friedman speaks quite literally with the word “basic.” Head Start equips children with an education so basic that it disappears when the kid leaves the program. The health and nutrition factors of government-run childcare are huge red herrings. We don’t look to preschool programs to feed our kids. Head Start is just another expensive rug to sweep failed liberal policies under while ignoring any real solution to poverty in America.
This final point really tickles me: “I have no respect for someone who relies on voodoo science to declare that a woman’s body can distinguish a ‘legitimate’ rape, but then declares —when 99 percent of all climate scientists conclude that climate change poses a danger to the sanctity of all life on the planet— that global warming is just a hoax.”
If you aren’t alarmed at the fact that the temperature is either going up or down at any given moment, you aren’t pro-life. My first challenge to Mr. Friedman is to provide me with a list of 100-percent all climate scientists. This should be no problem since he’s already attained a list of 99-percent of them.
Second, I’d like to hear him address the statements made by MIT atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, and the plethora of other scientists that think climate change is nothing to worry about.
And it’s not like policies meant to combat the change in temperature are at all helpful to the poor. Gas emission regulations make it more expensive for the poor to afford a vehicle. Moratoriums on offshore drilling raise the price of food for the hungry. Rich environmental activists regularly stand in the way of progress of the developing world’s poorest citizens in the name of being a “friend to the earth.” (For a truly heartbreaking documentation of this, see Phelim McAleer’s Mine Your Own Business.)
It must be a bummer to have to fabricate moral justifications for bad policies. And until support for those policies changes, contrary to what Friedman says, the pro-life club will remain exclusive to the right.