Let's dance on the third rail

There is nothing so nakedly disingenuous as the current din from the left attempting to frame republican budgetary reform measures as an effort to defeat women’s and children’s healthcare.

In many newspapers and much broadcast media, alarmists and political bigots are now feverishly spraying spittle declaring a “Republican attack on the poor, women and children!” One such hysteric has even consulted “Google” to imply Jesus’s endorsement for abortion. No. I’m not making this up. I’m a fiction writer, but not even I could invent that one. It’s only a matter of time before one of these sages has Republicans dining on puppies.

Perpetrators of such goggle-eyed hysteria are bush-league propagandists who apparently think their readership are fools, to wit:

Last November, record percentages of American women (and blacks, Latinos and gays incidentally) voted Republican and were elected as Republicans. How then may spinners expect anyone to take seriously the notion that Republicans wish to threaten women’s health? It must come as a shock to some of the spinners, but many Republicans also have children and love all children as much as anyone, so why would anyone sign their name to a claim that Republicans somehow ‘want’ to endanger children?

As to the poor, what good to them are government social programs that are not sustainable? Who cares more for the disadvantaged, he who bribes votes from the poor with the reckless spending of borrowed government money now running out, or he who seeks to keep social programs affordable and thus reliably serving the poor?

I hold too many contrary views (agnosticism, gay rights, a non-socialist Obama, and others) to be labeled a Republican, but nothing is served for Democrats, Republicans, women, the poor, children or anyone else by all the ludicrous misrepresentation of Republican budgetary efforts now being flung about like a runaway manure spreader.

It will stun no one to say that most of this dreck-storm is largely driven by that old third rail, abortion. If Planned Parenthood discontinued abortion, it’s a safe bet that most Republicans would take no issue with the affordable funding of other services to its clients. Likewise, most Republicans have no objection to ‘a woman’s reproductive rights; it’s the assumed right to end a life already reproduced that many of them dispute. For most anti-abortion proponents, including Republicans in this group, it is certainly not a woman’s dominion over her own body at issue, but rather the extermination of the second, otherwise defenseless body inevitably in the equation.

Speaking strictly for myself, abortion reduces in the end to two diamond hard questions: (1) Is that post-conception, intrauterine thing alive (and if not, then exactly what is it), and (2) is the thing human (and if not, then exactly what is it)? If one is comfortable that the answers to these two questions are no, then abortion rings morally acceptable. One has neatly divested themselves of a toxic moral dilemma. No problem.

But … (ah, don’t we all hate those ‘but’s?) if one feels those two answers are yes, then two more frightening questions are umbilically attached. (3) Doesn’t, by extension, that live human self-evidently have human rights? And if it does, (4) how is it permissible to kill that live human absent conviction for a capitol crime?

As a moral issue, here, the cyclical rulings of various courts are secondary, for the courts have a long record of un-ruling key questions they used to feel differently about (slavery, suffrage, civil rights, gay rights, etc.).

So for they who rule nay on questions one and two, abortion is a “procedure” exclusive to a woman and her doctor. But for they who feel the answers to all four questions are yea, abortion is tantamount to nothing less than murder. Even the courts seem to be drifting this latter way, returning convictions of manslaughter for the killing of fetal infants. How is it possible to manslaughter mere procedural med waste? For one group of Americans, abortion is a woman’s right to choose. For others it is by an enormous margin the greatest human rights atrocity in the history of modern society.

I’m not qualified to sell abortion morality either way. I’m saying that a sincere effort to defund what many American taxpayers regard as fetal infant murder cannot intelligently be damned as an assault on women’s health or rights, nor an attack upon children. It is in fact an effort to preserve the lives of hundreds of thousands of in-utero children a year now lost to abortion, about 53 percent of whom are nascent women.

Bill Slusher is a writer in Riverside. (www.williamslusher.com)