Oh, that the life and death decisions about every individual on the human life continuum — the embryos being considered for use in stem cell research, and the Terry Schiavos of the world, and the clients of Dr. Kevorkian — could be so straightforward! But they’re not, there it is. It’s hard to imagine what common ground between the abortion-pro and abortion-foe camps would even look like. That uncharted territory is nowhere near Washington DC, and until somebody discovers it, it isn’t a cop-out to remember that the Constitution gives States the right to make decisions about matters like these on their own. A poor woman living in South Dakota may have to get bus fare if she feels she needs an abortion, and a Catholic family living in upstate New York State may have to subsidize through taxes the abortions of welfare-recipients in New York City.
And in every state, there will be an Auntie Minty thumbing her nose at the Hippocratic Oath, her competitors in the abortion industry, and legislators of every stripe. She knows what she’s doing, her methods are safe (for the mother, I mean) and reasonably priced, if not legal; they’ve been used effectively for centuries by people who understand and can manage their deadly potency. Better to spend money on Pampers and baby clothes you find on sale to give to Birthright or a Crisis Pregnancy Center, than to spend it paying a soldier in the war on drugs to perform the Sisyphean task of scouring the land for pennyroyal.
Middle Eastern Wars: Of course, most of the above discussion on abortion was completely moot. Repeal Roe v. Wade? Just as if! Some of us (them?) have spent the last thirty-five years reaching for the same old tarnished brass ring of a campaign promise, as the calliope goes ‘round, and ‘round, and ‘round. Pro-lifers, in good faith, have helped to elect people they thought were going to finally, this time maybe, once and for all, save babies in America. Meanwhile, the neoconservatives they’ve ensconced in office have few qualms about sacrificing babies (in or out of the womb) from Iraq, and Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan on the altar of Empire. The Democrats, willing to make the same sacrifice have other brass rings with which to lure the electorate. Madeleine Albright (President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State) when asked on CBS’s 60 Minutes in 1996 to justify US sanctions in Iraq, directly responsible for the deaths of half a million children, described that sacrifice as “worth it.”