Sunday, November 26, 2017

Wishful Thinking

Assume a random selection of twenty (20) individuals believing that life begins at conception and thusabortion should be illegal in all or most cases. Then ask yourselves how many would reconsider- not necessarily change, but reconsider- their opinion if they were told, as Gregg Easterbrook wrote in 2001

What exists just after concption is called a zygote. Research now  suggests that only about half of all zygotes implant in the uterine wall and become embryos; the others fail to continue dividing and expire Of those embryos that do trigger pregnancy, only around 65 percent lead to live births, even with the best prenatal care. The rest are lost to natural miscarriage. All told, only about one-third of sperm-egg unions result in babies, even when abortion is not a factor.

How many anti-abortion rights individuals, informed that most of the time most zygotes do not naturally result in a live birth, will at least reconsider their position?

If you said very few, know that author Michael Wear disagrees with you.  Assessing the Senate race in Alabama, he asks

So, what can Jones do to ensure that Moore does not win in December? In a state where evangelical Protestants account for almost half the total population, it’s pretty clear he needs to win over some of his opponent’s evangelical supporters. But how?

Not through, God forbid, suggesting that he might not have supported Hodges v. Obergefell, in which the US Supreme Court mandated that states recognize same-sex marriage. He argues

In 2006, 81 percent of Alabama voters supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and less than 10 years later their vote was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. Jones should be able to affirm that decision, while also making clear that he does not think it mandates the government to exert pressure to change the teachings of Alabama’s churches or faithful.

Jones could state that he opposed the decision but that it is the law of the land, and time for the state to move on. That would win him few evangelical voters but would  not compromise policy because such marriages would continue to be performed in Alabama, as elsewhere. Instead, Wear contends that the solidly pro-choice Jones

could at the very least make solid commitments around supporting adoption and pursuing partnership with pro-life groups to find common ground ways to continue our national progress reducing the abortion rate...

None of this would require Jones to compromise his integrity, though national Democrats and some activists might get queasy if, say, he does promise to vote "present" on abortion.

Guest blogger Tom Hilton on No More Mister Nice Guy remarks

What a lovely notion. But of course, Democrats spent decades going down the rabbit hole of trying to find common ground on abortion, and their efforts were never met with good faith on the other side. There's zero evidence that it would buy us anything this time.

It hasn't convinced evangelical voters in the past and would convince few of them in Alabama. The promise would compromise his integrity and, if he were elected and followed through on this harebrained suggestion, it would enhance the Republican Party's efforts to curtail reproductive freedom.

The vast majority of pro-forced birth persons believe life begins at conception and that permitting abortion except in the most dire circumstances (and maybe not even then) is tantamount to "murder."

They believe there cannot be compromise. Were they a little less zealous (video below from 64/15), they would concede that abortion is- at its worst- killing and not murder, the latter being the illegal termination of human life.

But that's how it is with zealotry. And that's why the answer to the question posed in the third paragraph is "zero or close to it," while Michael Wear believes in magic wands, unicorns, and pro-lifers who will find common ground with those they consider their enemy.

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