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  • Charlie Savage has an interesting piece in the New York Times about the Sotomayor hearings, abortion, Gonzalez v. Carhart, settled law and precedent.
  • Jonah Goldberg notes the lack of news about or follow-up questions to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s rather noteworthy quote in her recent interview with the New York Times. He also discusses abortion’s eugenics roots.
  • In First Things, Hadley Arkes discusses empathy and apathy. After discussing Laci’s and Connor’s law and court cases involving partial-birth abortion, Arkes writes (emphasis added)…

    These moments of empathy in the law should make clear enough that a jurist on the left is not supplied with levels of empathy for the suffering of pain that exceed the levels of ordinary folk not elevated in their sensibilities by a liberal persuasion.
    But these cases contain as well a deeper point that is rarely remarked and almost never speaks its name: Before we can engage our empathy there must be a prior judgment on the persons or animals or even things whose pain or disfigurement count. We recoil from inflicting cruel pain on animals, and we may even be appalled by the disfigurement of fine furniture in acts of gratuitous destruction. But the annals of our species also reveal the most remarkable capacity to screen out, as unnoticed or unheard, the pains of those marked for liquidation or subordination.
    We do not ordinarily think that people lose their standing as human beings, and as bearers of rights, when they suddenly become weak and vulnerable and dependent on the care of others. But for many who have absorbed the idea of a right to abortion, the dependence of the fetus in the mother’s womb has been taken as a sign quite sufficient that the child has no standing as a separate being, with a claim to the protection of the law. The laws on abortion mark the child now as a living thing under the unchecked power of the pregnant woman. Whether it lives or dies must depend entirely on her will, not to be reviewed or judged by any other standard.
    It is this hopeless subordination of the child in the womb that works, in this inverted outlook, to extinguish its rights. When we strip away the fuzzy language of empathy, what stands revealed is a prettified version of the Rule of the Strong: The strong will rule the weak, and their power to rule confirms the rightness of that rule.

  • The Miami Herald has an article whose title describes Obama’s pick for surgeon general as “a Catholic who backs abortion rights”:

    Regina Benjamin’s Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic doesn’t perform abortions. A clinic employee who declined to be identified said by telephone that patients seeking information about abortions would be referred to providers in the state.
    But White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said Benjamin “supports the president’s position on reproductive health issues.”

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