Friday, September 05, 2008

Defending a woman's right to choose...

Phyllis Chesler answers her own question. This is how she states her dilemma:

Do we vote to keep abortion legal and to stop the anti-Choice conservatives from taking over the Supreme Court–or do we vote to make sure that the American military is allowed to stop the Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in their tracks? Can we really achieve both goals by voting for one candidate? If not, then what is the more pressing priority? For ourselves, for our country, for the world at this moment in history?

If American women retain the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term–in my view, a prerequisite to female human freedom, what does this mean if the jihadists bomb the country back to the seventh century? If the jihadists triumph, American women will be forced to convert to Islam, to wear veils or burqas (body bags), and risk being stoned to death, hung, or honor murdered if they want to choose their own husbands, attend college, dress like modern American girls do, or convert to another non-Islamic religion.

First: No one is proposing to do anything in the near future to either restrict or promote abortion. Indeed, no president has the right to do so. He or she could propose either pro-abortion or pro-life bills, but there is little chance that anyone in Congress would want to pick up that hot potato. "The right to choose" represents left-wing lip service, and "the right to life" represents right-wing sermonizing.

Second: Supreme Court nominations: Supreme Court nominees are at best autonomous, at worst loose cannons. Once approved by the Senate and appointed to the Court, they are free to decide that the moon is made of green cheese and no-one can say them nay. The justices are absolutely free of any check on their power. They serve for life. A conservative appointee might want to discover his inner liberal, once he is appointed, and vice versa. So you never know what a nominee will do. You can guess, but chances are you will be wrong 50 percent of the time.

I'm sure Reagan wanted to appoint a conservative, but what did he get? Sandra Day O'Connor, for one, a woman who lurches from the right to the left like a drunken sailor aboard a ship in a storm.

For my part, I don't consider an abortion exactly a cause for jubilation. I reluctantly agree that it is up to the individual to decide for herself, but there is no denying it is an ugly business.

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