When it comes to politics, I am an equal opportunity annoyer. I will be critical of the right when I think they are wrong, and I will offer the same to the left.
I have been critical of the National Rifle Association in recent weeks. It has become a caricature of itself. It recently opposed and helped to defeat common sense legislation that would have expanded the practice of background checks for would-be gun owners at gun shows and over the Internet. The NRA used various ridiculous arguments to oppose this legislation-- such as, it penalizes law-abiding citizens. Well so does having to produce an ID at the bank, I suppose. The polarization of politics et al in American society is a toxic poison in which no-brainer measures and reasonable positions on issues are perceived as irrational and somehow evil.
Well, the political right isn't the only group infected with such bizarre thinking. Kirsten Powers, a liberal Democrat suggests in an editorial that the abortion rights crowd has become the NRA of the left where common sense and logic no longer operate. She writes,
We live in a country where if a six-months-pregnant woman started downing shots of vodka in a bar or lit up a cigarette, people might want her arrested. But that same woman could walk into an abortion clinic, no questions asked, and be injected with a drug that would stop her baby's heart.
I'll put my cards on the table: I think life begins at conception and would love to live in a world where no women ever felt she needed to get an abortion. However, I know enough people who are pro-abortion rights—indeed, I was one of them for most of my life—to know that reasonable and sincere people can disagree about when meaningful life begins. They also can disagree about how to weigh that moral uncertainty against a woman's right to control her body—and her own life. I have only ever voted for Democrats, so overturning Roe v. Wade is not one of my priorities. I never want to return to the days of gruesome back-alley abortions.
But medical advances since Roe v. Wade have made it clear to me that late-term abortion is not a moral gray area, and we need to stop pretending it is. No six-months-pregnant woman is picking out names for her "fetus." It's a baby. Let's stop playing Orwellian word games. We are talking about human beings here.
How is this OK? Even liberal Europe gets this. In France, Germany, Italy, and Norway, abortion is illegal after 12 weeks. In addition to the life-of-mother exception, they provide narrow health exceptions that require approval from multiple doctors or in some cases going before a board. In the U.S., if you suggest such stringent regulation and oversight of later-term abortions, you are tarred within seconds by the abortion rights movement as a misogynist who doesn't "trust women."
Speaking as a liberal who endorses more government regulation of practically everything—banks, water, air, food, oil drilling, animal safety—I am eternally perplexed by the fury the abortion rights contingent displays at the suggestion that the government might have a serious role to play in the issue of abortion, especially later-term abortion. More and more, the abortion rights community has become the NRA of the left: unleashing their armies of supporters and lobbyists in opposition to regulations or restrictions that the majority of Americans support. In the same way the NRA believes background checks will lead to the government busting down your door to confiscate your guns, the abortion rights movement conjures a straight line from parental consent to a complete ban on abortion.
Such an attitude makes having an honest conversation about abortion almost impossible.
Powers' entire editorial is worth a read and can be found here.