Gosnell and ‘Pro-Choice’: Fleeing From Reason?
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania hosted Gloria Steinem on April 16 as the keynote speaker for their annual Spring Gathering; she commented generally on abortion with a statement indicative of the pro-choice movement’s suddenly prominent reasoning problems. Said Steinem:
If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.
Though not an immediately apparent similarity, this branch of Planned Parenthood begins their mission statement on their “Who We Are” page with the same approach. Note the following is not included as a secondary position, but is the first sentence, the initial message they chose to define the organization’s reason for existence:
PPSP believes that every child should be a wanted child.
Of course, both arguments share the distinction of not actually meaning anything. The Steinem quote I find repulsive for reasons clearly not apparent to her: to broach the obvious, that statement sure sounds like the thoughts of someone invested in gender superiority, the belief that us “XYs” are life less worthy of life due to our genetics rather than our individual behavior. The quote is anti-male; in logical terms, Steinem is anti-Y chromosome. This lady precisely harbors disgust for those 58 million or so base pairs.
Again though, her statement doesn’t mean anything, and neither does my disgust with her. She and I could feel and express our emotions all over the Earth regarding abortion, and neither of us would actually be saying anything cogent. Just like Obama, when he said the following regarding gun crime:
If there’s even one thing we can do, if there’s just one life we can save, we've got an obligation to try.
Again, and of course, that statement means nothing regarding his proposed gun-control bill. The statement is true or false independent of the primary issue, which is the effectiveness or legality of his proposed legislation. Similarly, Obama claimed that 90% of the public supports his bill. True or false, the statement means nothing for the task presented to the Senate, which was to decide if a) the bill was legal, and if so, b) if the bill will work.
Returning to Planned Parenthood’s mission statement, you should make the following paramount observation. I hope not to understate its importance:
On abortion and gun control, the advocates are not simply buffering their campaigns with statements bereft of logic, but defining their campaigns as such.
PPSP wants “every child to be a wanted child.” So?
What does that have to do with the only question in this debate, namely: “Is abortion murder, or not?”
Fine: perhaps PPSP addresses this uniquely important question elsewhere, and simply chose an emotionally based stand for the Mission Statement. But no: nowhere on the PPSP website does the organization that provides abortions address why the organization believes abortion is not murder. Meaning the centerpiece of PPSP’s stated reason for existence has precisely nothing to do with the question of abortion.
Same with Obama’s push for gun control: the front-and-center statement chosen to represent the bill has nothing to do with the bill. “Save just one life, therefore expand background checks”? Well, then: “Save just one life, therefore arm all teachers.” Or: “Save just one life, therefore eat fiber-rich breakfast foods.” All three are equally irrelevant statements for addressing the questions of legality and effectiveness.
Objectively: on abortion and gun control, the left has chosen to be prominently illogical. They have been fleeing from reason with these two campaigns. And now we have Kermit Gosnell, whose crimes bring the lack of reason front-and-center.
PPSP and the pro-choice movement in general now have the following struggle on their hands: can they offer the impartial observer -- who now has read the transcript of the Gosnell trial -- a reasoned argument claiming that abortion is not murder?
This is precisely the struggle they have always had on their hands dating back to their founder, the monstrous Nazi-phile Margaret Sanger, and they certainly managed to avoid an “address it or face extinction” situation before. Now, as the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto describes, there doesn’t appear to be any means of going back. Gosnell is now part of the discussion. Specifically, he is part of the discussion as follows: Gosnell killed live babies, but what he did to them inside the womb was indistinguishable to what he did to them outside the womb. New challenges to the pro-choice movement will involve this fact, one which leads inevitably, and immediately, to issues of reason.
And those issues appear insurmountable. Here's why.