Here’s today’s reminder that the Roe standard, in which viability is supposed to be an important moral and legal threshold when regulating abortion, is by no means the modern Democratic Party standard.
The modern Democratic Party standard is what we might call the, uh, Whoopi Goldberg standard: So long as a baby is still attached to its mother’s body, she has an absolute right to decide whether it lives or dies.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing this morning about the approaching end of the Roe era. “One of the most important hearings in my lifetime,” Sheila Jackson Lee called it, which might lead you to assume that only the most clever and compelling abortion-rights advocates would be invited to testify.
That assumption would be incorrect.
My friends, the abortionists aren’t sending their best.
Truly incredible clip
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 18, 2022
I thought for a second that she was going to pass when asked whether it’s appropriate for a mother to kill her 10-year-old child.
Thankfully, she gave the right answer. But there’s a distinct sense in that exchange that this is the first time that Arrambide, the executive director of an abortion-rights nonprofit, has had this elementary objection to terminating a pregnancy put to her.
The doctor on the panel was better prepared, unsurprisingly. Yet she also couldn’t bring herself to rule out abortions sought very late in a pregnancy, objecting instead that she’s never seen such a thing. Which, you would think, would make it that much easier to rule it out on principle.
EXTREME: The Democrats’ pro-abortion witness refuses to acknowledge ANY abortion restrictions on babies, even ones who are halfway delivered
“That’s why we have birthdays.” pic.twitter.com/5eR0mRLuOG
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 18, 2022
Gotta be born to qualify as a human being. That’s the Whoopi standard.
Some are grumbling this afternoon on social media that Mike Johnson’s question was unfair inasmuch as no woman would commit to carrying a child for the full nine months only to change her mind at literally the last second. But that’s not the point. Johnson was using extreme examples to see if he could get the witnesses to draw any line on when an unborn child might be said to attain a right to life notwithstanding its mother’s judgment to the contrary. He couldn’t.
Then there was this answer, which had little to do with abortion policy but a lot to do with establishing the broader ideological radicalism of the witnesses:
Q: "Do you believe that men can become pregnant and have abortions?" –@RepDanBishop
A: "Yes." -Democrat witness pic.twitter.com/TfxboajSJU
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 18, 2022
Democrats dropped the ball today by not going even further and inviting testimony from someone who was born before Roe, when most abortions were illegal, and who resents the fact that her mother had no choice but to give birth to her. Those people do exist, believe it or not:
I can only imagine what it must have been like to have been an unmarried woman who had two “illegitimate” (what they called us then) babies in the 1950s. The stigma and shame must have been tremendous.
I will never know how her life might have been different if she had not had me or my brother, or if she wanted to keep us. I am blessed to have been raised by good and loving parents. Still, I wish the woman who bore me had been able to make decisions about her own body, whatever those decisions might have been.
If you owe your life to an abortion ban and find yourself getting wistful about an alternate reality in which you were flushed down the toilet, the Democratic Party might be for you.
It’s important to highlight liberal absolutism on abortion, as Dems will spend the rest of the year insisting that all of the absolutism is on the other side. That’s laughably false, but there is some absolutism on the right, of course. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts flashed a little of it during an interview over the weekend:
Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska confirms that he thinks women and girls who are raped should be forced to carry that pregnancy to term pic.twitter.com/5Z2TgNVytO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 15, 2022
His logic is compelling: Whatever the horrendous circumstances of a child’s conception, there’s no moral reason that the child should pay with its life as a result. But Ricketts’s position is unpopular across the population, including with some Republicans.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who supports abortion restrictions but who has spoken out in the past about being a victim of rape, said that she had pushed for those exceptions in South Carolina’s law and urged other Republicans to do the same.
“When you realize what’s happened in your life, the trauma, the emotional, the mental, the physical trauma in a woman’s life, that decision — she should make that decision with her doctor and between her and her God,” Mace said.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has also expressed uneasiness about his state’s ban, which makes exceptions for women facing medical emergencies but not for rape or incest cases.
The strongest moral argument against legalized abortion is that there’s no excuse not to take precautions against pregnancy before choosing to have sex in an age where contraception is readily available and highly effective. In the case of rape, that logic falls apart. Sex is forced upon a woman without her consent and the “no exceptions” rule requires her to carry a violent criminal’s child to term. Contrary to the Whoopi standard in which choice is the only thing that matters, the “no exceptions” rule removes it from the equation entirely.
I suspect most purple states will arrive at a compromise in which abortion is banned after 15 weeks or so and exceptions for rape are allowed. But if you’re in a deep red state, the rules will be different.
I’ll leave you with this new poll data, which should alarm Democrats. Not only are they grossly out of step with most Americans’ priorities, but in the aftermath of an epic Supreme Court leak portending the imminent end of Roe the share of Dems who say abortion is their most important issue is … just 18 percent. Not exactly a midterm gamechanger.
— Nick Field (@nick_field90) May 18, 2022