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Yes, and maybe after outlawing abortion they will decide to do away with a woman's right to vote... and for that matter, why do black men need the right to vote? Maybe we can do without separation of church and state and can go back to one person telling us what God tells him to. Frankly, I am tired of men who will NEVER become pregnant telling everybody how it should be. They will never have to make a choice. They will never be told that they will die if they carry a child to term since they will never have to carry a child period. I apologize to any male who has actually supported a woman who needed to make a choice. You know, I am pro-choice, but I am also pro-life. They don't need to be mutually exclusive. How about we focus a little more on the rights of the living and breathing adults and children??? Don't the people in New Orleans deserve the same support from their government as a fetus? I find it hard to believe it is 2005, we live in the United States of America and we are discussing this.

Red Tory

As a devout agnostic, I really cannot understand the furious passion surrounding the issue of abortion. As a man, I am of course working at a deficit here to begin with, but have encountered the moral dilemma on a first hand basis, when as a very young couple, my wife and I struggled with the issue when my wife became pregnant. She was attending nursing school at the time and I was just getting my footing in the business world. Needless to say, this event came as a hugely disruptive blow to us. After some soul-searching discussions we eventually decided that abortion was not an acceptable option for us. (And then promptly went on to have three more kids in fairly rapid succession afterwards!) That said, I could never imagine seeking to impose my own moral compass on another person in this regard. Perhaps that’s the libertarian coming out in me.

Like your previous commenter, I too am pro-choice and pro-life and agree that these two concepts don’t need to be mutually exclusive. No one is “pro-abortion” per se, but there are definitely a whole range of circumstances where it’s an appropriate procedure (far too many to go into detail). I also believe that a woman has ultimate control over her own body. Not only her body, but the direction that her life will take as a result of that crucial decision – self-determinism in its most raw form, one could say. When you think about it from that perspective, it’s a wonder more so-called “conservatives” don’t back the concept of legalized abortion.

But I digress. Your argument that the elimination of Roe v. Wade will not only serve to perpetuate, but even exacerbate the controversy over abortion is spot on. This issue will never go away. It’s central to defining “us” from “them” when it comes to the mindset and agenda of the Religious Right. Even if this supposedly “settled law” is overturned, the tribal drums of the fundies will still beat in the blue states and it will always be a contentious factor come election time. And, as you correctly point out there are other issues waiting in the wings such as euthanasia and gay marriage that are almost equally divisive and promising when it comes to waging a “perpetual war” with the secular community.


As a blue-state gal, I can vouch that those Democratic pundits who are toying with "Roe vs. Wade" are wrong to assume that everything will stay the same in the blue states. In California's upcoming special election, one of the propositions involves parental consent. And we were the same state that voted to define marriage as union between a man and a woman. I certainly didn't vote for it, but a disturbingly large number of people did.

It was Katha Pollitt, I think, who published recently on how overturning Roe v. Wade might galvanize the feminist movement. But I'd rather not take the risk. This involves the quality of women's lives, and it's not a chess game.



The Feminist Movement might get galvinized, as Pollitt hopes, but it will just help increase the perception that all Feminists care about is abortion and that's money and recruiting for the Right. So the fight just spreads to all 50 states and gets angrier and more intense. Like you said, in the meantime the risk to women increases too.


It's really Scott Lemieux's argument. I cribbed. I hope everybody followed the link to his post.

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