The Corner

Doublespeak and Life & Death

That first trimester question hit me again when I was rereading the 25th anniversary Roe editorial we ran in NR, which is reprinted on NRO today. Here’s an excerpt:

The abortion regime was born in lies. In Britain (and in California, pre-Roe), the abortion lobby deceptively promoted legal revisions to allow “therapeutic” abortions and then defined every abortion as “therapeutic.” The abortion lobby lied about Jane Roe, claiming her pregnancy resulted from a gang rape. It lied about the number of back-alley abortions. Justice Blackmun relied on fictitious history to argue, in Roe, that abortion had never been a common law crime.

The abortion regime is also sustained by lies. Its supporters constantly lie about the radicalism of Roe: even now, most Americans who “agree with Roe v. Wade” in polls think that it left third-term abortions illegal and restricted second-term abortions. They have lied about the frequency and “medical necessity” of partial-birth abortion. Then there are the euphemisms: “terminating a pregnancy,” abortion “providers,” “products of conception.” “The fetus is only a potential human being”–as if it might as easily become an elk. “It should be between a woman and her doctor”–the latter an abortionist who has never met the woman before and who has a financial interest in her decision. This movement cannot speak the truth.

(There’s more, read it.)

That in so many ways reminds me about the public discourse on cloning (and stem cells). Lies, euphemisms. Even the “therapy” mask. The similarities of the two evils are somewhat fitting—but a warning, frankly, as we sit 32 years since abortions were made legal and cloning is one of the hottest next-step topics for politicized science and for public policy.

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