Slate, I know you get off on publishing thoroughly moderate and traditional arguments couched as contrarianism instead of, say, anything actually groundbreaking or intellectually hefty, but the headline “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” is too far.
First: “Abortionist” is a word made up by right-wing fanatics. They use it to downplay the fact that abortion providers are doctors, often OB/GYNs. It would be like calling a dermitologist an “acne-ist.” It doesn’t really make sense, and there’s already an actual term for what those doctors do. “Abortionist” is a loaded and totally incorrect word, and it’s appalling to see it used over and over again in an article written by a supposedly pro-choice person.
Second: Tiller is not the pro-choice equivalent of Scott Roeder, and Saletan should be ashamed for suggesting as much.
Third: The headine “Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?” suggests that there’s actually some debate amongst reasonable people on that issue. There is not.
Fourth: Saletan is right that the reason pro-lifers are able to say that killing abortion providers is wrong is because they don’t actually equate fetuses or fertilized eggs with born human beings. Of course they don’t. But he fails to adress the issue of why these groups oppose abortion and birth control so strongly — he only offers the idea that there’s a “third way” of trying to decrease the abortion rate through prevention (which is actually the long-time pro-choice position and not exactly a new invention, but if it makes Saletan feel good to think he invented the Pill, then ok). In fact, anti-choice groups have a widespread social agenda that is about much more than just ending abortion. They’re against birth control. They’re against single parenthood. They’re against egalitarian parenting. They’re against planning the number and spacing of your children. They’re against women who work outside the home. They’re against any challenge to the nuclear, male-dominated family where Dad is in charge and Mom stays home and has as many babies as God gives. Think maybe that their real agenda in opposing abortion is about controlling women?
And on an unrelated note while I’m bitching, Jeffrey Feldman points out that the current Hardball panel on Dr. Tiller and abortion rights is composed entire of men. As he quips on Twitter, “All of America’s women must be busy.”
What the hell, Slate and Hardball?
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