Friday, October 06, 2006

What Ms. Magazine Will NOT Publish

Kathleen Parker has a column here dealing with the move by Ms. Magazine and others to make abortion hip. I print below part of Parker's commentary. However, I also must point out the very disappointing (and very dangerous) conclusion of the article, one in which Parker severely compromises her argument and brands herself as terribly naive and inconsistent. Be sure and read that portion too.

First, the well founded part of Parker's column...

...On Wednesday, Smeal told MSNBC's Tucker Carlson that abortion is "a medical procedure, that's obvious."

Actually, it's not obvious. Abortion certainly involves medical personnel and equipment, but the result is something more than merely medical. It is also human — or more to the point — inhuman.

To put an accurate face on abortion would require something that strict pro-choicers refuse to acknowledge: That abortion really has three faces — that of the mother, the father, and that of the ... what do we call it? Fetus is so South Park these days. How about the quirky "products of conception from your termination"?

That's how hospital administrators a few years ago in Glasgow, Scotland, labeled the post-abortion remains from Nicola McManus, who had induced the miscarriage of her nineweek-old "baby," as I prefer to call it, upon taking the RU486 "abortion pill."

McManus was startled to discover the remains in a jar resting on a shelf in her hospital room. Her outrage at the careless hospital staff brought tears and the sort of statement Ms. & Co. prefer not to hear: "Women need more counseling before abortions, not less," said McManus. "I will never get over what happened to me."

A nine-week-old fetus, for the record, has a heartbeat, a closed circulatory system, a respiratory system, eyes, ears and brain function. She can't go shopping yet, but she can squint, swallow, move her tongue and make a fist. She is not, in other words, "just a clump of cells."

The problem with petitions and "I Had An Abortion" T-shirts, such as those hawked by Planned Parenthood, is that they trivialize the deeply emotional and spiritual consequences many women suffer. They also deny girls and young women access to the nobler feminist position that knowledge is power...

And now the sad and irrational concession...

...Now for the painful disclaimer I hinted at above. It begins with "Nevertheless," and ends with "I am reluctantly pro-choice." The very bottom line is that abortion ultimately is a personal decision. That said, I favor far stricter limits than most pro-choicers, beginning with "six weeks and time's up."

I figure 42 days is enough time for a gal to figure out whether she's up for motherhood. It's not a perfect solution, but it's a sane remedy to appalling recklessness.

As I differ with pro-choicers, I also differ with pro-lifers who insist that once abortion is outlawed, hearts and minds will follow. It is more likely that abortion will continue, but will become more dangerous and even more hideous...


How can the killing of a preborn boy or girl be "more hideous" depending merely on the time when he or she is destroyed? Why is an early murder better than a later one?

As she shows in the early part of this article, Parker sees through the silliness of feminist language designed to de-humanize the fetus. Why then does she herself fail so miserably to follow through with the scientific reality and moral relevancy regarding the humanity of the tiny child from conception on?

I fear that Kathleen Parker, one of the well-established conservative voices over at Town Hall, may be trying to sell what she believes to be a new compromise measure. But it is one that the pro-aborts would never accept anyway. And it is one that pro-lifers must not accept -- at the peril of surrendering their foundational ethos.