The Corner

Ruth Marcus on Sarah Palin

Chris Orr does a fine job of explaining what’s wrong with Ruth Marcus’s argument about abortion. There is nothing even slightly inconsistent in wanting abortion to be illegal and praising people for making the choice not to have an abortion. As Orr points out, even if abortion were illegal, pro-lifers would still have some reason to praise women who resisted the temptation to procure illegal abortions. Given that procuring an abortion is not illegal now, we have reason to praise those who resist that temptation today. But the Marcus column is even weaker than Orr suggests. Marcus makes a big deal out of the notion that Gov. Palin considered having an abortion during her recent pregnancy–when her own lengthy quotations from Palin demonstrate nothing of the sort. All Palin says in those passages is that the circumstances of her pregnancy made her understand better why many women consider abortion; she does not say that she considered it herself, even for a millisecond. Marcus at one point says that Palin “seems deliberately obtuse” about the point Marcus considers so profound. Actually, it’s the point itself that’s obtuse.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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