Noemie Emery writing at the Washington Examiner:
When it emerged, the concept of “choice” seemed a triumph of marketing, the way to appeal to the libertarian streak in the people, to neutralize the unpleasant fact of the issue with something that could be sold as a good.
“Choice” was what you exercised when you voted, when you picked a career, or your human associates. “Choice” was essential to freedom and self-definition. “Choice” was a value, more so than abortion: Abortion wasn’t the issue; “choice” was the issue, and abortion was one of a large set of issues over which choices were made.
The language deployed reflected the terms of the framing: Abortion opponents were “anti-choice,” not pro-life, or anti-abortion. Many people were happy and proud to be labeled anti-abortion. Anti-choice, though, was a whole other story. No one would want to be that.
Of course not. I still find that people argue in favor of abortion as a “personal choice.” But where is the choice of the infant involved? It involves his person.
But the embrace of “choice” presented a quandary, which was not all that clear at the time. “Choice” as a value meant that all choices were equal in terms of morality: not only the choice to give life or take it, but all the reasons for which the choice of abortion were made.
Reasons of hardship or health or convenience were accepted as equal, and all were defended. All women’s choices were regarded as wise, since women had made them. Objecting to this was out of the question, as it gave an opening to all of those evil and retrograde social conservatives. It was also, of course, “insulting to women” — than which no more damaging charge can be made.
Live by the sword, die by the sword. Funny, isn’t it, that “choice” means an absolution of morality?
Then came the news that women were using this wisdom in order to end female lives. Scientists believe that, world-over, around 160 million women are “missing,” dispatched (that is, aborted) by their parents, who prefer male children and don’t want superfluous females to clutter their lives.
In the course of events, every second abortion produces a dead female fetus (which the sisters accept as collateral damage) but this new statistic means something different: the culling of females, because they are female, for no other discernible cause.
Liberals belong to the party of “hate crime” and think people count less than the groups they belong to. Murder is one thing, but an attack on a group is beyond human decency. Is this a crime against which they will rally? Well, no.
Why not? It’s a “choice” — and choices, of course, must never be questioned, no matter to what ends they lead. Late-term abortion? Terrific. Infant dismemberment? Hardly a problem. Sequential abortion? No problem there.
Abortion as a tool to dispose of unwanted girl children? Now, this is a problem, but liberals have surrendered the right and the standing to make moral judgments. They have found now a choice they despise, and they can’t rail against it
I’m still waiting for the genetic test that can suggest the possibility homosexuality in utero. Suddenly liberal proponents of choice will find themselves in a Gordian Knot: will it be a crime to abort some babies but not others? 90% of babies with Down’s Syndrome are never born. Oh, the angst and anguish if that were true of infants with a proclivity toward homosexuality. But as Emery suggests, liberals have surrendered the right and the standing to make moral judgements.
Filed under: Abortion |