Chatological Humor*

I am an unreconstructed conservative and yet I like your chats, last week’s included. I am writing to try to get you to change something you do that is, in my mind, unintentionally dishonest. I am weirdly confident I will succeed because I think you are a good person. You are not "pro-choice." You are "pro-abortion." "Pro-choice" is a brilliantly shrewd political term, but that is what it is -- a political term, invented by pro-abortion advocates to make their advocacy seem more inclusive. Who ISN'T pro-choice? Who could possibly be "anti-choice"? Autocrats! Elitists! Screw them. And so I resent your calling me that, by implication, every time you label yourself pro-choice. It would be like those who favor capital punishment calling themselves "Pro Population Control." Technically defensible, maybe, but simplistic to the point of profound dishonesty. It is literally begging the question. Like most conservatives, I am pro-choice and also pro-life. I love life. I celebrate life. I am for the improved life of a woman in desperate straits, financial or otherwise. Since I strongly feel that a fetus is a human life and cannot think of a reasonable way to define the creation of human life other than at the point of conception, I am for the improved life of that fetus, regardless of its situation. I do not feel that any one human being has the right to choose to end the life of another human being except in self-defense or in the defense of the life of another. I recognize that many women (and couples) face difficult decisions during pregnancy and that there are cases when the continuation of a pregnancy can threaten the life of the mother. I think that termination of a pregnancy in these rare cases is justifiable self-defense. I recognize that there are other, equally difficult, cases in which the pregnancy or birth will cause great difficulties and challenges. I do not think that it is right to demonize those facing such a decision who choose as I would not, and I do not think that it is right nor productive to harass or attack them, either. I think it is incumbent upon society – and upon those on both sides of the abortion debate in particular – to focus on reducing the cases in which women and couples feel that they need to terminate a pregnancy. There can be debate about what policies are effective and moral, but the debate should center around which policies are most likely to improve the lives of the parents and children. I understand that you probably feel differently about these things, and I respect your opinion even if I disagree with it. See, but that's the thing: You don't respect my opinion at all. You are saying, by implication, that I am "anti-choice." And here we have reached the crux of the issue. I think the fundamental difference between pro-abortion and anti-abortion people is not about a political disagreement or even an intellectual disagreement. I think it is entirely visceral, almost primitive. I believe that aborting a first trimester fetus is ending a human life. You, presumably, do not. That's where this giant political issue incubates. You state that you are not in favor of "killing babies." I can respect your argument while still disagreeing with it. If I choose a label for my position that emphasizes its most important element – i.e., that abortion is the taking of human life – I think it is no different than you trying to trivialize the issue to a minor medical procedure and accusing me of somehow harming women. If I genuinely think that a 12-week fetus is not a "human life," I am not anti-choice, and I deeply resent your labeling me as such. And sure, if you DO NOT believe that aborting a first trimester fetus is "killing a baby," I do not detest you. How can I not? Because you and I both know this issue is complex. And, sure, the term "pro-life" denies that complexity. And the term “pro-choice” denies it in the same manner And you are better than that. See?

Source : https://live.washingtonpost.com/gene-weingarten-20180116.html

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