‘As Everyone Knows’

Ramesh’s post reminded me of the most striking statement I have ever read about abortion. It comes from a little book by Eugene Genovese, the late historian. The book is called Miss Betsey: A Memoir of a Marriage. “Betsey” refers to Genovese’s wife, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, who predeceased him. Fox-Genovese created the leading women’s-studies department in the country (at Emory).

Genovese writes, “She gagged on abortion for a simple reason: She knew, as everyone knows, that an abortion kills a baby.”

Everything is perfect about that passage — but I especially like “as everyone knows.” Doesn’t everyone know it, including the most fervent abortion advocate?

What is the purpose of an abortion? What is an abortion? There is a baby (or whatever you’d like to call it). Now there isn’t. That’s the deal.

Now, we might defend this, or say that it should be legal. But an abortion — as an act — is a lot less complicated than people often want it to be.

P.S. Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, spoke at the Democratic convention the other night. I was reminded of her mother, Ann, who addressed the 1988 Democratic convention. Knocking the Republican nominee, Vice President Bush, she said, “Poor George. He can’t help it: He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.”

I was thinking Cecile could answer the question, “How much does one of those go for?”

Most Popular