Skip to comments.Abortion’s Shades of Gray
Posted on 10/25/2007 12:23:47 PM PDT by SJackson
Though activists attempt to corral presidential candidates, such as Rudy Giuliani, into a specific camp, beliefs today are much more nuanced. Its no longer a black-and-white debate.
The battle for the Republican presidential nomination might serve to clear away prevailing confusion and contradictions about public opinion on abortion. Rudy Giuliani seeks the White House by reaching out to that majority of Americans who say they are pro-choice and anti-abortion.
To most pro-lifers, this position represents an absurd contradiction. Along with their militant counterparts on the opposite side of the abortion issue, they've reduced the controversy to a simple, black-and-white choice: You're either "pro-life" or "pro-choice," with no room for compromise. On that basis, many religious conservatives denounce Giuliani as "pro-abortion" and threaten to withhold support if he heads the GOP ticket.
Unfortunately, anger toward the former mayor distorts his actual position on abortion. Like most Americans, Giuliani takes a mixed, nuanced approach that defies easy categorizations.
Consider, for instance, the key differences between Giuliani's platform and those of the leading Democratic candidates. Giuliani has committed to preserve the Hyde Amendment, banning taxpayer money for abortions; the top Democrats urge repeal and favor federal funding. Giuliani applauded the recent Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on partial-birth abortion; all leading Democrats condemned it in harsh terms. The former mayor supports tougher rules requiring parental notification (with a judicial bypass) for underage girls who seek abortions; Clinton and Barack Obama oppose such legislation. Most significant of all, Giuliani has specifically cited strict-constructionists Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and John Roberts as his models for future justices of the Supreme Court and all three of those jurists have signaled their support for allowing states more leeway in limiting abortions. The top Democrats regularly express contempt for the conservative jurists whom Giuliani admires, and worked against the Alito and Roberts nominations.
In other words, it's a major distortion to label Giuliani as "pro-abortion" and indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton or the other Democrats. There's considerable distance between all the Republican candidates very much including Giuliani and their Democratic rivals. It's true that the other leading GOP contenders (Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee) differ even more dramatically from the Democratic position than does Giuliani, and these distinctions signal the urgent need to move beyond the tired, simplistic "pro-life" vs. "pro-choice" classifications.
Candidates and voters should properly answer two questions about abortion:
* Are you pro-abortion or anti-abortion?
* Are you pro-choice or anti-choice?
On this matrix, all the Democrats would count as both pro-choice and pro-abortion: They consider "a woman's right to choose" a sacred guarantee in the Constitution, they work closely with strident "abortion rights" organizations, and at the last Democratic Convention hundreds of participants wore T-shirts declaring their pride in their own past abortions.
Most important, Clinton and her colleagues may decry abortions as a "tragedy," but they still favor the use of taxpayer money to pay for the procedure. In other words, they not only back government sanction for abortion, but also (unlike Giuliani) government sponsorship.
On the other hand, nearly all the Republican candidates are both anti-abortion and anti-choice: They not only characterize abortion as immoral, but they also want legal bans on the procedure except in special circumstances, such as threats to the life of the mother.
Among the major candidates, only Giuliani stands in the middle: identifying a position that is, in fact, simultaneously anti-abortion and pro-choice. He backs policies designed to discourage or even sharply limit abortion, and he opposes the use of public money for abortions, while leaving final decisions to women and their doctors in most circumstances.
Polling data show that strong majorities of Americans share Giuliani's mixed position. They want to restrict abortion, but they don't want to outlaw it. If you classify abortion (even in the first weeks of pregnancy) as the moral equivalent of murder, then this attitude looks shameful, but few Americans (even among impassioned pro-lifers) actually want government treating the termination of pregnancy as an act of homicide. If abortion really is murder, why not support the death penalty (or at least life in prison) for both mother and abortionist? At least 25% of all women have received abortions, but I've never heard sane advocates for human life suggesting we should execute or imprison these millions of females.
On the other hand, most Americans similarly reject the other extreme on the abortion issue: the idea that ending a baby's life is no more morally consequential than a tonsillectomy or that an unborn child in the womb deserves less protection than a puppy.
Most people avoid both extremes, viewing abortion as an immoral, deeply disturbing and socially destructive phenomenon that deserves strong discouragement by government, but ought to remain legal in some circumstances. Polling data show powerful support for partial-birth abortion bans, parental notification, even required waiting periods, but only small minorities want to block abortion in all situations.
Personally, I disagree with Giuliani on abortion. I am unhesitatingly pro-life, and I yearn for the Supreme Court to overturn the monstrous abomination of Roe v. Wade. Even so, whatever our distance from Giuliani on specific policies, we ought to recognize that he's far closer to the GOP mainstream than Clinton, Obama or any other Democrat, and that his mixed position anti-abortion and pro-choice actually correlates with the American majority.
There is no middle ground on abortion, no "moderate" position. You are either pro-life or pro-
choiceabortion. It's that simple.
Rudy's nominated = 3rd party
That being said, conservative voters are extremely gun shy about Rinos making promises. We don;t like being played; resent it, in fact.
Where have I heard this before?
Now they're peddling their Rudy-crap with the same stupid rhetoric John Kerry almost fooled America with just a short while back. Will "conservatives" remember? Not the ones who peddle Rudy-crap.
When a man declares:
“There are no blacks and whites [in morality]”
he is making a psychological confession, and
what he means is:
“I am unwilling to be wholly goodand please
don’t regard me as wholly evil!”
Source: The Virtue of Selfishness
“The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum.
Whenever evil wins, it is only by default:
by the moral failure of those who evade the fact
that there can be no compromise on basic principles.”
(’Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’ 1966)
Giuliani’s rhetoric notwithstanding, the man gave money to the butchers at Planned Parenthood and spoke at NARAL rallies. He is probably in his heart to the left of some of the Democrats who talk the line but may not completely buy it in their hearts (Bill “Gay is a Choice” Richardson comes to mind, so does the formerly pro-life until he ran for president Kucinich).
I’m disappointed that Medved is willing to accept “poop-on-rye” rather than just plain ol’ poop.
Ah, you remembered. Not allowed in Rudy’s GOP.
I guess I need to take some I’veforgotten.
Maybe Michael Medved can explain how a dead baby can live a "nuanced" life.
Medved is a Rooty-Tooty supporting moron.
He is arguing that one can be anti-abortion, yet be pro-choice.
Contrary to the drivel that Medved is spewing here, abortion is a black and white issue.
And Rudy fails this litmus test.
If Medved was really pro-life, he wouldn't refer to pro-abortionists as pro-"choicers." That's mistake #1. Anyone who adopts the Left's language and uses it as their own is not sure about their own beliefs.
First Brownback, now Medved, and there'll be plenty of other so-called Republicans who are going to drink the cyanide and support Rudy. Memo to the GOP: If you support Rudy, you're going to lose to Hillary, because I for one will not vote for an avowed pro-abortionist.
Rudy's nominated = 3rd party
And trustworthiness aside, he has no perceptable advantages over the other Republican candidates on mainstream issues. Simply the advantage of being the only left leaning candidate in a split field.
If Rino Rudy gets the nomination I will have to go third party. I will not vote for a pro abortionist.
They're pretty indistinguishable to the people who never made it out of the womb alive.
the idea that ending a baby's life -- if this is one's opinion of abortion, there can be no gray.
I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
George Washington (1732 - 1799)
Character is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied,
men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted
The qualities which a man seeks in his beloved are those characteristics of his own soul, whether he knows it or not.
Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), Attributed to Socrates, in Plato’s “Phaedrus”
The true index of a man’s character is the health of his wife.
Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974), Unquiet Grave
Do you ever listen to Medved? He clearly & unabashedly supports Huckabee. And yes, there are problems with that.
Don’t equate a person who accepts the reality that Rudy DOES NOT EQUAL Hillary as someone who “supports” Rudy. If you can.
Giuliani was a fervent supporter of partial birth abortion, far more pro-abortion than many Democrats, and he has also recently said that there is a constitutional right to have abortions paid for.
What good is Rudy’s “strict constructionism” if he still says that the constitution guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion at any stage for any reason, and that taxpayers are constitutionally obliged to pay for it?
His idea of the constitution is more like Ruth Bader Ginsburgh’s than mine.
By the way, hillary has also offered to compromise on abortion, although she hasn’t explained how. I’ve always pictured it as something like King Solomon and the two women, except that in hillary’s case the baby is actually cut in half.
I usually like Medved. And I’m happy to hear he supports Huckabee.
And it’s true Rudy DOES NOT EQUAL Hillary, as you say.
That’s because - in many cases - he’s WORSE!
Back to Medved. For him to portray abortion in terms of grays areas is just stupid.
Murder is murder. And the murder of innocent unborns is America’s Holocaust.
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