The Corner

Ehrenreich

This is what drives me nuts:

It would be unfair, though, to pick on the women who are in denial about aborting “defective” fetuses. At least 30 million American women have had abortions since the procedure was legalized, mostly for the kind of reasons that anti-abortion people dismiss as “convenience” – a number that amounts to about 40 percent of American women. Yet in a 2003 survey conducted by a pro-choice group, only 30 percent of women were unambivalently pro-choice, suggesting that there may be an appalling number of women who are willing to deny others the right that they once freely exercised themselves.

As readers around here know, this is an old theme of mine. Still, what Ehrenreich is saying is that women who’ve had abortions have no right to regret their abortions. Or, rather, they have no right to translate that regret into public policy into “ambiguous” policy preferences. In other words, once you’ve had an abortion you must remain “consistent” or un-hypocritical by endorsing abortion for others even if you think it was a mistake on your part.

This is monumentally dishonest and more than a bit daft. Where else does Ehrenreich enforce this standard? Should racists stay racist? White people used to have the right to shout the n-word in the faces of black people. Does Ehrenreich — who I assume supports hate crimes laws — denounce former racists who would “deny others the right that they once freely exercised themselves”? Does a sexual harasser need to oppose sexual harassment laws lest he be counted as appalling in Ehrenreich’s eyes? Since OJ Simpson got away with two free murders, should he believe that everyone should?

Ehrenreich’s position is less of an argument than it is an attempt to bully women she deems disloyal.

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