When They Start Talking, Hold Onto Your Wallet
Every good liberal, at one time or another, is required to acknowledge that he/she must acknowledge the sincerity of pro-life advocates and try to find some common ground.
That is fine as far as it goes, as long as we recognize that for most in the anti-abortion rights movement, the position is one of life and death and therefore non-negotiable. So we can recognize that the supporters of the pro-life position are earnest while we follow the advice of one of their heroes: trust, but verify.
When Charlene Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, appeared on Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC on Saturday morning, she threw as much organic feces against the wall as possible, hoping something would stick. It was hard to keep up with her dissembling, but worth the effort, I think.
While Americans generally have supported the right to an abortion under some conditions, opposition to public financing of the procedure remains strong. Hence, it's critical for pro-life activists to implant the idea that taxpayers foot the bill for all manner of abortions. As the video below indicates, Yoest states "when you talk about your tax dollars going to the abortion industry" and "even these people, they don't want to see their tax dollars going for abortion." But by virtue of the Hyde Amendment, annually added to appropriations bills, federal funds can be used to pay for only those abortions in which pregnancy was caused by rape or incest, or in which the physical life of the woman is endangered.
"We have the most radical abortion policies in the world," Yoest maintains, "right up there with North Korea, China, and Canada." While the U.S.A. has more liberal abortion policies than most of the world, there are several nations- according to Wikipedia, 35- with similarly tolerant approaches. They do, as Yoest claims, include North Korea and China- but also (sarcasm ahead) nations with such brutal regimes as in Cape Verde, France, Mongolia, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and yes, that god-forsaken land, Canada.
Common wisdom has it that young people are turning against abortion rights, as reflected in Yoest's contention "young people today are more pro-life than their parents." Fortunately, she was corrected by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who noted that while "Generation X" is more pro-life," Generation Y" is more pro-choice.
Yoest claims also Plan B "has life-ending properties." But according to Mayo Clinic staff, side effects- which usually last only a few days- of the morning after pill may include nausea or vomiting; dizziness; fatigue; headache; breast tenderness; bleeding between periods of heavier menstrual bleeding; lower abdominal pain or cramps; and diarrhea.
Compare that to the side effects of aspirin, available for a few cents to anyone of any age at your local drugstore, supermarket, or convenience store, which (according to drugs.com) may include: upset stomach, heartburn; drowsiness; headache; black, bloody, or tarry stools; coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain; fever lasting longer than 3 days; swelling, or pain lasting loner than 10 days; or hearing problems, ringing in your ears.
But isn't that fairly characteristic of the pro-life movement? There are possible side effects from the Plan B contraceptive, but less than from most drugs. A woman who gets an abortion may suffer afterward from depression- but is less likely to do so than a woman who has delivered a baby. And a woman may die from a legal abortion, but is less likely to do so than a woman whose baby is delivered. And a pro-life activist may argue from facts and sound reason- but is at least as likely to shuffle from the bottom of the deck.