Posted by: bridget | 21 May 2007

How is this a Moderate Position?

The San Diego Union-Tribune, which is usually a good paper, has an editorial that called Giuliani’s position on abortion “moderate.”

Then, during a speech to a largely conservative audience at Houston Baptist University, Giuliani took the offensive and tried to clarify his position. He told the audience that he believes abortion is “morally wrong,” and he would advise anyone considering an abortion not to follow through with it. But, he insisted, notwithstanding his personal opposition to abortion, he would not impose his views on those who believe otherwise, and he prefers to leave the ultimate decision to those who are most directly affected by the choice – the women who have to make it.

On its face, such a position is reasonable, moderate, warm and fuzzy. It condemns abortion but allows it to remain safe, legal, and, hopefully, rare. It gives deference to the decision-making capacity of women, who are ultimately affected by such a decision.

Yet, such a position is really about as extreme as it gets, unless one actually happens to like abortion. Giuliani does not advocate for any substantial restrictions on abortion: he has not advocated for parental notification laws (even though teenagers who abort are ten times as likely to commit suicide); he does not advocate for an end to late-term abortions that are done for any reason aside from saving the life of the mother; nor does he even advocate for pre-abortion counseling. His language about the “those most affected by the choice” seems to ignore the fact that abortion implicates two people, only one of whom has the capacity and the physical prowess to make such a decision.

Such a position is inherently extreme, as it retains the status quo of abortion on demand. The only thing that Giuliani did not suggest is for government funded infanticide (he supports forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions) granting titles of nobility to abortionists.

The centrist position on abortion relies upon the myth that abortion can be safe, legal, and rare. That which is absolutely safe, absolutely legal, readily accessible, and potentially beneficial will never be rare. Thus, the centrist position is, in all practical effect, indistinguishable from the extreme pro-abortion position, save for some moral hand-wringing.

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Responses

  1. I think that assassinating politicians is morally wrong too. But maybe we should change the law to leave that up to the people most directly affected, their constitutuents.

  2. I love it! :) As always, you’re right on.

    I’ve occasionally said that we shouldn’t be the ones to judge whether or not rape is right or wrong, that we should trust men to decide when and how to fulfill their sexual desires. Somehow, that doesn’t go over well with pro-choice feminists….

  3. Totally agree on this. why cover it up and call him a moderate. He is flat out pro-choice, no way around it. I feel like many conservatives are afraid to call it what it is because they don’t want to discount him when he may be our “winnable choice”. I think that is lame though.

  4. That, and we have no concept of what it means to be “moderate” on abortion. People think that it can be safe, legal, and rare, although that’s just illogical (as if it would be inexpensive, safe, legal, and accessible and people just wouldn’t do it!). Either that, or we’ve become so accustomed to what is extreme – i.e. abortion on demand – that we see it as moderate.

    If Giuliani is our pick, we already have a Democrat. Why can’t we at least have Republican run against Hillary or Obama?

  5. And I thought the centrist position was abortion illegal in all instances except rape, incest, and life of the mother.

  6. “He told the audience that he believes abortion is “morally wrong,” and he would advise anyone considering an abortion not to follow through with it. But, he insisted, notwithstanding his personal opposition to abortion, he would not impose his views on those who believe otherwise”

    I might tell an audience that I believe murder is “morally wrong,” and that I would advise anyone considering murder not to follow through with it. But, what if I said “notwhithstanding my personal opposition to murder (Rape, Robbery, Mugging, etc) I would not impose my views on those who believe otherwise (such as al Capone, etc.)

    But in the end we are very likely going to have one of these “personally opposed pro choicers.” So we might have to pick from them and maybe live with one that promises not to screw with SCOTUS, which is of course the only thing that matters about a Presidents “stance” on abortion.

    . . . . . Next Stop Lauderdale

  7. MZ,

    I don’t agree that if we have Giuliani we have a Democrat. We would at least have a “pro growth” and “strong national defense” President (Republican) and maybe 2 out of 3 is the best we can get this trip, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    . . . . . Next Stop Lauderdale

  8. Not only the above, but he is in favor of our tax dollars going to subsidize these abortions. Ugh.
    This is why I hate election years.

  9. Kelly,

    I was wondering if he wanted our tax dollars to pay for abortions (which is right up there with government-funded comfort women in terms of adding insult to injury)… yuck, he does. Safe, legal, cheap, and rare. What next, giving a big gold star to people who have abortions?

    Steve,

    You’re absolutely right. In no other area do we say that, “sorry, we’ll suspend moral judgment” when one person inflicts violence on another.

    What really bugs me (of course, I’m a raging (old-school) feminist) is that the rationale that you (sarcastically) put forth had actually been used against women. Domestic violence and marital rape were thought to be personal choices for the husband to make, and if you didn’t like it, don’t do it.

    Total Transformation,

    Some 51% of women are opposed to abortion except to save the life of the mother, or for life, health, rape, and incest. I would say that what you’re describing is a moderate position, allowing for us to demonstrate some compassion to women who are really suffering (like 11-year-olds or those who were raped). I don’t know why “moderate” suddenly became “tax-funded abortion on demand.”

  10. Success in the arena of public opinion is when one side is able to change the very definition of what it means to be “centrist” or “moderate”. For that reason, despite the appearance of an encouraging trend (slightly more people discontent with the legality of abortion this year than the previous year) the pro-Life side is not, in my opinion, gaining real ground. I guess the willful termination of even one million + unborn human lives each year can become routine to us.

    Coincidentally, a new Gallup poll (which I addressed recently at my own blog) ties in well with some of the comments made here. According to the poll:

    “Fewer than one in five Republicans (17%) say a candidate must share their views on abortion. This is only slightly greater than the percentage of Democrats who feel the same way (14%).”

    Rudy knows he doesn’t have to worry.

  11. The Gallup poll is interesting because of the way it asks the questions. Most people don’t realise that Roe encompasses the right to a third-trimester abortion, and they think that overturning Roe would result in all abortions being illegal. (In reality, it would be a state decision.)

    When you split people into four categories (abortion should always be illegal; should only be legal for rape, incest, health, life; should be legal with only a few restrictions; and should be entirely legal, no questions asked) you get a much more pro-life picture than when you have three categories (never legal; sometimes legal; always legal). The “vast middle ground” is really a very pro-life ground, but, the way that pro-choicers frame the arguments, people think they are for “choice” by allowing women to have abortions if raped.

    The pro-lifers get creamed on framing the issues, and they’ve done it to themselves. No one would mind overturning Roe if they knew what it really stood for, and polls have shown that Americans answer the question differently if they know what Roe actually does.

    As for “sharing views on abortion,” I wonder what that means. I don’t care if a candidate is a Duncan Hunter or Sam Brownback pro-lifer (abortion should never be legal), or a Mitt Romney pro-lifer (abortion should only rarely be legal), but I would be opposed to a Giuliani, who wants to use my tax dollars to pay for someone else’s abortion.

  12. hey dad, i didn’t say we juliani was a democrat :)
    MDBL did on my blog. And I may have agreed in some sense. But I think you are right, on defence he isn’t a democrat.

  13. That might have been me.

    In an election between Giuliani and, say, Hillary, I don’t think there would be much issue save for national defense.

  14. Hi Steve,

    I really don’t think Rudy would be strong on national security. Our second amendment is what makes us secure and Rudy thinks it’s only good for hunting.

  15. L and L is luring me away from the Ron Paul camp, but time will tell. I have become a single issue voter: TAX REFORM.

    Rudy was never even on my list. I will totally vote third party if he gets the GOP nomination.


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