The Corner

Re: Former Fetus Barack Obama

I didn’t suppose that folks on the Left would take kindly to my post yesterday, but the spasms of irrationality (not to mention obscenities) in blog posts and e-mails have surprised me.  Lots of folks out there can’t read very well or engage in reasoned argument, but that doesn’t stop them from expressing their ill-formed thoughts.  A representative sampling: 

This blogger (like many others) claims that I “pointed out that Senator Obama likely would’ve been aborted if the legal option existed.”  No.  I made the simple observation that, generally speaking, a pregnant college freshman living in a culture in which abortion is legal and accepted is more likely to abort than one living in a culture in which abortion is illegal.  

This one headlines her piece “National Review Insists, ‘No One Wants a Black Baby”.  What a vile invention.  She then imagines that I was stating that Obama was born in Kansas and thinks that Hawaii’s liberalization of its abortion laws in 1970—nine years after Obama’s birth—somehow refutes something I wrote. 

Also vile and baseless is this blogger’s claim that I am “lamenting the fact that Roe v. Wade didn’t come earlier, because if it had maybe Obama might have been aborted and McCain wouldn’t have to run against him.”  (The blogger then says that I didn’t “say it like that,” but alleges that those are my thoughts.) 

Some charge me with contending that the fact that Obama “may owe his very life to a pre-Roe legal regime” compels him to be pro-life.  I specifically rejected that illogic. 

Others maintain that whether or not abortion is legal has zero impact on a pregnant woman’s decision to abort.  I don’t doubt that many factors come into play, and, yes, fervent e-mailers, I know that women resorted to illegal abortions before Roe, but the claim that abortion laws have no impact at all strikes me as absurd (and contradicted by, among other things, the soaring rate of abortions after Roe).   

Still others fault me for daring to speculate, in the acknowledged absence of direct statistics, that “the percentage of pregnant college freshmen who abort their pregnancies … [is] very high.”  Does anyone seriously doubt this?  A hugely disproportionate number of abortions occurs among college-age students, and finishing college is routinely cited by the pro-abortion side as a compelling case for abortion. 

Yet others seem to think that sperm cells are tiny human beings. 

Striking a different note, lots of e-mailers complain that I have grossly violated decorum by raising the hypothetical question of what Obama’s mother might have done under different circumstances.  I confess that objections of decorum from folks who spew obscenities at me—“I really hope you rot in hell” is one of the nicer sentiments—are difficult to take seriously.  But let me try.  I aimed to use a concrete circumstance and a hypothetical to get people to (as I put it) “think more carefully about the valuable role that protective abortion laws play.”  I don’t see what is remotely objectionable about that, especially as I clearly refrained from opining that Obama’s mother would have chosen one path over another.  I suspect (though I concede I can’t prove, so don’t e-mail me asking for proof) that my angry correspondents dislike thinking concretely about the fact that abortion kills actual unborn children.  Far easier to hide behind gauzy abstractions about “choice”. 

P.S.:  I guess that these crazy e-mailers think that their rantings will intimidate me.  In fact, I find them literally ridiculous, and I haven’t laughed so much in many a day. 

P.P.S.:  Lots of e-mailers say that it’s disrespectful to the deceased mother of Obama even to raise the possibility that she, in a hypothetical world in which abortion was legal and accepted, might have aborted Obama.  Beyond the fact that I disclaim any insights into what she would have done, how can those who maintain that abortion is a morally permissible choice find objectionable the mention of the possibility that she might have exercised that morally permissible choice?  One possible answer is that they really know that abortion is a grave evil.


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