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Jun 1, 2009
Many folks have been trying to follow President Obama’s lead when he talks about finding "common ground" between the two sides on abortion.
Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte obliterates this notion that we need to lose our moral high ground to accomodate people whose end goal is (1) a policy that puts women in prison for what they do with their own body and (2) a sex education system without anything resembling actual sex education. Those who advocate for reproductive choice have the moral high-ground, and we must never forget that.
But what I don’t appreciate is the notion that both sides can agree that abortion is a tragedy. No, we don’t actually agree. We have one side that sees abortion as a threat to civilization itself, and another that sees it as a right that must be maintained for the equality and dignity of women. If we buy into the frame that abortion is a tragedy, we’ve conceded the argument to the other side, who gets to have the moral high ground. Which is baffling, because, as this assassination and the response from anti-choicers (essentially: c’mon guys, remember that it’s illegal, and let’s get back to talking about how abortion providers deserve to go to hell) shows, they are nasty people who wouldn’t know morality and compassion if it bit them on the ass. The moral high ground belongs to the pro-choice side, and the life of Dr. Tiller should be a reminder of this. While anti-choicers scream about how 30-40% of American women are murderers, Dr. Tiller saw those women for what they are—good, decent people struggling to do the right thing. While the anti-choice protesters enjoy how their anger scares women seeking abortion services, Dr. Tiller braved the ongoing threat of violence to save lives. We really shouldn’t even concede the ground of calling anti-choicers “pro-life”. They aren’t pro-life. Pro-choicers are the ones who are pro-life. We believe in the value of women’s lives, and we fight for this against a sexist society that treats women’s lives as lesser.
Go read the whole thing…. it’s cathartic and effing righteous.