Monday, November 14, 2016

Cathy Ruse finds wisdom in Donald Trump's anti-choice position

Cathy Ruse
Monday, Cathy Ruse has a new polemic at Family Research Council's blog titled: “ The Wisdom of Trump’s Abortion Answer” referring to Donald Trump's answer in the third presidential debate. It is a position that Trump reiterated Sunday night on 60 Minutes.
Upon reflection, I find real wisdom in what he [Trump] said and how he said it. First, Donald Trump coupled overturning Roe v. Wade with the point that the issue will go back to the states. This was very wise. He did it twice, in fact. “If they overturned it, it will go back to the states.” Then when pressed by Wallace, he said: “I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.” This is exactly how pro-lifers should handle the question of overturning Roe.
Ruse suggests that people who are pro-choice represent the left. That is incorrect. Politicians magically become anti-choice when they run for office as Republicans. On the whole, they are not Republicans because they are anti-choice. They assume an anti-choice stance because they choose to seek office as Republicans. She goes on to write:
The Left wants people to believe that something drastic and immediate will happen if Roe is overturned, to scare them. The truth is that nothing drastic or immediate will happen; rather, the work of abortion policy-making will be returned to the people in each state. There is no benefit from allowing the Left to frighten ill-informed people. There is great benefit from telling them the truth.
Really. Personally, I find it rather drastic if a woman can no longer have a safe, local abortion. Immediacy? It took North Carolina a mere 32 days to enact HB2 in response to Charlotte's passage of an inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Open season on abortion would cause legislation to be signed into law within weeks, if not days. That seems pretty immediate to me.

17 states think that a woman cannot make an informed decision on her own about her own body. In order to dissuade her from having an abortion, they require counseling to include one or a combination of the following, which are based on pseudo-science:
  • Five states require pre-abortion counseling which must include informing the woman that abortions cause breast cancer. There is no link between abortion and breast cancer.
  • 12 states require pre-abortion counseling which must include informing the woman that abortion is painful to the fetus. That is probably not true until after 28 weeks.
  • Nine states require pre-abortion counseling which must include informing the woman that abortions have mental health consequences. They do not.
27 states presuppose that a woman cannot make a sound decision about abortion without a waiting period. Combined with counseling this could require a woman to visit the clinic two, or even three, times.

The simple fact is that a number of states would be poised to make abortion illegal if it ceased to be a constitutional right. That seems pretty immediate and drastic to me. The truth, and that is the truth, might very well be reasonably frightening.
Moreover, telling people that abortion policy-making will be returned to their hands is a powerful and truthful way of challenging the Left’s narrative that Roe is a “right” for the people and that “right” will be taken away if Roe is overturned. The truth is, the Supreme Court disenfranchised the people when it took the abortion issue out of our hands in 1973.
This is a familiar narrative of religious conservatives (Ruse is an orthodox Catholic). “The will of the people.” By there very nature, constitutional prerogatives are not at the discretion of electoral whims. By that logic Brown v. Board of Education disenfranchised the white majorities in Southern states who wanted to keep schools segregated.
Second, Trump’s plainspoken response to the late-term abortion question was downright brilliant. Hillary Clinton had just finished giving a wall of words about “Roe v. Wade” and “regulations” and “health of the mother.” Hillary never mentioned the baby. She took pains to avoid mentioning the baby. And certainly she avoided anything that would suggest what an abortion does to a baby.
Trump's answer was well rehearsed demagoguery. I think that most people agree that we are dealing with a fetus rather than a baby. We Jews generally think that the health of the mother prevails over other considerations. She is presumably a wife and might be the mother of other children. Conservative Catholics seem to disagree and they can make those choices if they wish to do so. In Ms. Ruse's America, they make the choice for everyone — at least in some locales.

Be prepared for an increase in this kind of “thinking.” In effect it is the imposition of morality defined by others ⸻ often by their religion.

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