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Kathleen Parker, Abortion, and Rhetoric


Ramesh makes an excellent point here on Kathleen Parker’s latest column, in which she advises pro-lifers and such to couch their arguments in secular language. I don’t see why pro-lifers should be at all on the defensive on this issue.

Contra the best efforts to depict pro-lifers as anti-rational religious zealots, the pro-lifers actually have the cold-eyed science on their side. By any reasonable definition, the entity that is destroyed in a routine abortion is a human organism, alive, genetically distinct from the mother and the surrounding tissue, in exactly the form, shape, and vector of development expected of human organisms at that stage of life. It is the pro-choicers who are forced to take refuge in metaphysics, with their fuzzy speculation about “personhood,” a magical state that is conferred upon a human organism by nine wizards in black robes through means obscure. (Shouldn’t there be a ceremony, at least? And pointy hats?) The oogedy-boogedy is mainly on the pro-abortion side, which must obscure the scientific fact of human identity in order to accommodate political requisites. So much for those Doric columns of icy rationalism on the “secular right.”


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