Re: Jeff

by John O'Sullivan

May I add another point to the responses to Jeff Hart? Like Jonah and Ramesh I find a great deal of shrewdness and wisdom in the article but also points to contest (or maybe just quibble with.) Jeff’s description of the Right’s attitude to Roe as “utopian” because it simply is not going to be repealed, for instance, seems to me questionable on two grounds. First, it is surely wrong to use “utopian” as a synonym for politically unrealistic or difficult. The point about utopia is that it doesn’t work even when it works–utopias produce perverse results even when they are successfully imposed. Would overturning Roe produce more abortions? I don’t think so. Second, opposing Roe might not succeed in the sense that it will be repealed entirely but it might well result in more restrictions being placed on the abortion right. Indeed, that seems to be happening, albeit with agonizing slowness. And if that trend continues, the actual number of abortions might not be very different than if Roe were repealed since, as others have noted, prohibiting something rarely eliminates it entirely.

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