The Corner

Unfazed by Inhumanity

The front page of today’s New York Times carries a story about the late-term-abortion ban being considered in the House. The headline in the print edition is “Unfazed by 2012, G.O.P. Is Seeking Abortion Limits.” As if the people struggling to save the lives of innocent children whose only crime is that they are unwanted by their mothers or would disrupt somebody’s plans should be “fazed” into inaction by the 2012 election.

The article itself offers no sense at all that the pro-life cause has any moral component, no notion that perhaps this isn’t just about this or that election. Just a perfect confusion about why anyone would want to spend time worrying about this issue.

“The re-emergence of abortion as a driving issue among the conservative base has left some moderate Republicans baffled,” the article notes. Has it really? Baffled?

The Times sometimes changes the headlines of its stories when they go online, and I wondered if maybe the online editors saw that this particular headline was ridiculous. So does the story have a different one online? Yup: The online headline is “G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits to Appease Vocal Base.”

Even better.

I only hope that this blindness to the barbarous reality of abortion in America is a function of some sense of horror — a recoiling from the facts — rather than a genuine callousness. Either way, it should not faze us.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.

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