USA Today: Pro-abort misframes abortion debate

A July 23 article in USA Today entitled, "Abortion fight is 'enduring divide,'" began like this:

usa today arguing outside supreme court.jpg

During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-OK, asked whether she believed court rulings on abortion had ended the national controversy.

In a departure from the oblique answers that marked the hearings, Sotomayor paused, then answered bluntly: "No."

The incendiary debate over abortion rights endures and can be jarring, as when abortion opponents interrupted at several points the Senate Judiciary Committee session with Sotomayor. The controversy has boiled up in other ways in the days since then....

Thursday, a day after President Obama's prime-time pitch for an overhaul of the health care system, Americans United for Life and other abortion opponents accelerated their resistance to Democratic proposals. A day earlier, abortion rights supporters presented members of Congress with a report, tied to the killing of KS abortion doctor George Tiller in May, documenting harassment, threats and physical assaults on physicians who provide abortions.

Nearly 4 decades after the Supreme Court made abortion legal nationwide and nearly 2 decades after the justices reaffirmed the right, the political saliency of abortion persists.

"The enduring divide represents the reality that there are fundamental religious differences on the issue of abortion that do not exist on, say, campaign finance or even on health care," says Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which issued the report Wednesday about threats at clinics that provide abortions....

To relegate the debate over abortion as one of "religious differences" is to say it is esoteric and unsolvable.

But this is a legal debate, a constitutional debate, and a scientific debate, as Northup full knows unless she is totally ignorant, which I don't think she is.

harry blackmun 7.jpgSupreme Court Chief Justice Harry Blackmun, when writing for the majority in the Roe v. Wade decision, stated this:

The appellee... argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the 14th Amendment.... If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.

35 years ago one could not watch human fertilization under a microscope or view early preborn life with 3D and 4D ultrasound. Were personhood to be an issue before the US Supreme Court today, as Blackmun stated, the other side's argument would "collapse."

I'm quite certain Northrup knows all this and is just jive talking. I spotlight this so pro-lifers can stop pro-aborts in their tracks when they attempt this deflection.

[HT: proofreader Laura Loo; attribution for photo of pro-lifers and pro-aborts protesting outside the Sotomayor hearings: USA Today]


But this is a legal debate, a constitutional debate, and a scientific debate, as Northup full knows unless she is totally ignorant, which I don't think she is.

To my mind the abortion issue is a civil rights debate. It is a debate about whether unborn children are persons with the inalienable right to life, or are they the property of the woman who carries them? Today, at this moment, they are property. They can be killed, experimented on and created for any use we can possibly dream up.
We can frame the debate in legal and scientfic terms but ultimately it is a civil rights issue.

I think saying it is a religious debate that is unresolvable is merely done to blow away the prolife argument. If proaborts can make it a religious issue then abortion becomes morally relative, because that is the kind of society we currently live in. However, if it is a civil rights issue, then that is an entirely different matter.

Posted by: angel at July 24, 2009 11:59 AM

The American Founders established that The Right to Life is an unalienable right given to us by God. Government can only recognize our God-given rights...they can't grant them or take them away.

So you are right: the mis-characterization of USA Today, a liberal rag, that "there are fundamental religious differences on the issue of abortion" should be refuted.

There are no religious differences, nor are there any legitimate legal differences between those who want to protect life with law and those who want to protect the killing of innocents with law. Our country and our system of law are based on the founders Christian religion and on natural law and "Nature's God".

God commands: "You shall not kill" and those who are religious follow this command. Those who have rejected God and religion add the weasel-clause "unless the baby is in early stages of development, is totally dependent and defenseless and can't speak or vote...then it's OK to kill them."

So, those who reject God, Religion and the Founders intentions try to fight the truth...but there is no "religious difference" between people who believe in God. There IS a difference between those who believe in God and respect our founding legal documents and those who reject those two things.

Posted by: GodsImage at July 24, 2009 12:01 PM

"The enduring divide represents the reality that there are fundamental religious differences on the issue of abortion"

Nice straw man, Nancy. Well done. And to think, people like Mary, Doyle, X, Bee, PLA, and everyone here are REALLY religious but just lying to us.

Way to take their views and arguments seriously.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at July 24, 2009 12:04 PM

"dan", putting aside your inappropriate, immature, foul language for now, let's look at the core of your argument:

Government establishes laws all the time to "tell people what they can or cannot do", even though "not everyone thinks like we do"

For example, some people think it is OK to beat their wife, abuse their children or kill a cop. Others, like us, establish laws that tell them they cannot do that, it is wrong. We are "intruding in their lives" to stop them from doing it, or to punish them if they do these things.

It is the same with the killing of innocent unborn children. Just because someone uses clean surgical instruments to kill an innocent baby, that doesn't make it any more right than if they used a rusty pipe.

So, we will continue to tell people to stop killing and we will establish laws to prevent them from killing.

Thank you for allowing me to clarify.

Posted by: GodsImage at July 24, 2009 12:10 PM

The entire issue is about human rights - specifically whether the Right to Life is paramount or expedient.

Somehow people don't understand life trumps any other human right, including the "right" to abortion.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at July 24, 2009 12:11 PM

thanks for the interesting link Bobby.

yes of course, only religious right-wing nut cases can be against abortion. :P (how I didn't figure that out I'll never know)

Posted by: angel at July 24, 2009 12:44 PM

Exactly right, Bobby.

I just love it when the proaborts try to put the abortion debate in a "religious straightjacket". I get a kick out of their reactions when I declare my agnostic propensities.

Some of them are so taken aback that they accuse me of being a "stealth Christian", proving once again that there is no one as ignorant as a proabort. Anyone with an ounce of brains and a casual knowledge of Christianity knows that phrase to be the ultimate oxymoron, and that proabort accusation to be the ultimate moronic "accusation".

Posted by: Doyle Chadwick at July 24, 2009 12:58 PM

Guess what? I am pro life too. I am also pro choice. Nobody I know is pro abortion.

Posted by: Chris R at July 24, 2009 3:15 PM

Posted by: angel at July 24, 2009 11:59 AM

I also consider the abortion debate to be a civil rights issue. This is off topic a bit, but mentioning civil rights reminded me: I get quite frustrated when dealing with people who claim that gay marriage is a civil rights issue yet reduce unborn humans to nothing more than a choice. I've encountered the argument that one cannot be genuinely interested in human or civil rights, such as rights of the unborn, without also being against the supposed human rights violation of homosexuals who cannot legally marry. I'm not trying to minimize the genuine passion and sincerity behind the push for gay marriage (regardless of if I personally support it or not), but I simply don't accept the belief that expanding the legal recognition of marriage to accomodate sexual preferences falls into the category of civil rights. I acknowledge the frustration that those who desire their partnership to be considered a legal marriage may experience. But wanting to be included in a particular institution that, by definition, is exclusive is not the same as a human rights violation. Human beings being denied their personhood and having the status of disposable property - there's a civil rights issue.

I'm not attempting to open a can of worms here or pit the gay marriage issue against the abortion issue. That's precisely what I'm saying I don't like - putting those two in the same camp as equivalent issues.

Posted by: Janette at July 25, 2009 12:30 PM

Guess what? I am pro life too. I am also pro choice. Nobody I know is pro abortion.
Posted by: Chris R at July 24, 2009 3:15 PM

We are anti-abortion. That means we do not want the legality of abortion to continue.

The antithesis of being anti-abortion would naturally be pro-abortion, and holding the opposite viewpoint-supporting the continuing legality of abortion-would therefore make the moniker "pro-abortion" apply.

Sorry that you people don't seem to like facts and truthful language.

Posted by: xalisae at July 28, 2009 11:38 AM


I'm against legal abortion too. Anti-abortion.
I am pro-choice when it comes to buying peanut butter. :)

Posted by: Janet at July 28, 2009 1:47 PM

Planned Parenthood of SD defies court ruling and inserts their own inaccurate and non-compliant wording to the Informed Consent given women about the unique human life the abortion will end.

They also add, "The State of South Dakota has enacted a law that requires Planned Parenthood also to provide the following information to you. Planned Parenthood believes this information is, in some instances, wrong and/or misleading. Planned Parenthood objects to having to provide this information."


Posted by: klynn73 at July 31, 2009 11:18 AM

How can anyone expect ethical behavior from people who profit from shedding innocent blood?

"By telling women that the disclosures are made only because Planned Parenthood is required to make them, but that they are false, violates the law." from wnd article (11:18 post)

What baffles me is why the South Dakota Dept of Health is allowing PP to draft their own forms, why don't they just provide them with one that DOES comply? This happens all the time in terms of release of records and such. Then the DOH can inspect for THEIR form with properly obtained informed consent.

This whole debacle just proves that PP is dedicated to keeping the truth from women. If it's all about "choice", the more (accurate) information, the better, right?

Posted by: klynn73 at July 31, 2009 2:46 PM

What irks me is their proposed alternative language:

"The form then states that "as a matter of biology, the abortion will terminate a developing, living organism,""

And please, tell me, precisely WHAT SPECIES OF ORGANISM COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE?! Hmmm...I wonder. These people are disgusting. Robbing their own and other peoples' children of basic human dignity...that's just too much.

Posted by: xalisae at August 1, 2009 8:49 PM

The alternative language is deliberately convoluted and imprecise. If it weren't a matter of life and death, it would be laughable how immature this tactic is. Anyone ever care for a child who was given a task or chore and they deliberately do it half-heartedly and wrong to "prove" they couldn't do it (completely/correctly)? That's exactly what this reminds me of.

BTW, is anyone else having trouble w/the Latest Comments working?

Posted by: klynn73 at August 1, 2009 9:26 PM