Sunday, May 02, 2004


I watched quite a bit of the pro-choice march on C-SPAN last weekend. I found it weird and sad. I was struck by how old the legendary pro-choice heroes looked - Sarah Weddington, Eleanor Smeal, Kate Michelman, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi - they all looked like foolish old ladies way too wrinkled and gray-haired to be seriously screaming "Keep your hands off my body!" I think they were aware of it too, because nearly every one of them made a point of dragging on stage a daughter, grand-daughter, neice -- any female who wasn't alive when Kennedy beat Nixon, and whose presence might indicate that time will not tell in this fight. My Mother always used to say that pro-lifers are bound to win because our side has babies who invariably grow up to be voters.

I was actually shocked by how little progress there has been in the pro-choice movement's arguments. It's still about waving around hangers and anti-rightwing hatred, and fury about being told what to do with their bodies. Nothing at all about any kind of identity for the fetus. This kind of argumentation has been rendered almost null against all the technological developments of the last forty years. The polls show that Americans poring over ultrasound photos for twenty-five years are coming to different conclusions about the existence of another party in the abortion transaction. It's funny that the pro-choice people would use the powerful forum of the march to reiterate essentially failing arguments....But then, as my Mother said, "What else can they say?" Indeed.

The most striking comment from the unoriginal and generally painfully stupid screaching came from a very staid Gloria Steinem. I admit I have always had some weird sympathy for Steinem. Anyway, she stood at the podium looking calmly over the assembled hoard and noted, "More than any other issue, abortion reveals a person's entire worldview. Support of abortion, or opposition to it indicates where a person will stand on a whole gamut of positions: healthcare, education, environmentalism."

I was talking with Janet Smith about it today over breakfast and we marveled together at how telling this statement is. Janet said, "She really gets it." Yup.

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