A ‘Stymier’

by Jay Nordlinger

In Impromptus today, I touch on an untouchable subject: abortion. Two abortion-clinic workers in Philadelphia have pleaded guilty to murder. Why? Well, because they did the job after the babies happened to slip out of the womb. That’s a very fine line, don’t you think? Too fine for moral reasoning.

While discussing this subject — and not politely — I quote Wesley Clark, who, when running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said, “Life begins with the mother’s decision.” There’s a towering moral thinker for you — and a very American one. (A modern American one, I should say. The guy is with it.)

A reader writes, “Given the kind of kid I was, I’m glad that my mother didn’t subscribe to ‘Life begins with the mother’s decision.’ She would have been sorely tempted . . .” More seriously, he says,

On those rare occasions when I discuss abortion with adherents of abortion on demand, I have learned to ask one question first: “It has been estimated that, over the last 30 years, 160 million fetuses in Asia have been aborted for the sole reason that they are female. Do you object to this? And if so, on what principle?”

A stymier, to coin a word. (Is that a word?)