Sept. 11 change your opinion about abortion rights?
didn't think so.
needed to check, however, because Karen Hughes
thinks it may have. And what she thinks often
manifests itself in what George Bush does.
commenting on the then-pending the March for Women's
Lives in Washington, the presidential adviser
said attitudes have swung against abortion rights
since Sept. 11.
defending that claim, she made a clumsy and indirect
comparison between the Sept. 11 attackers and
those who don't want government banning abortion.
It ended with, "our enemies in the terror network
. . . don't value any life, not even the innocent
and not even their own."
was some response to a question from CNN's Wolf
Blitzer about people marching to keep government
out of women's personal medical decisions.
To say the least, it is stunning for someone speaking
for the president to link two such matters. One
expects it from a Jerry Falwell or Randall Terry.
They would throw in "holocaust" for good measure.
are in a period, unfortunately, when deeply held
differences cannot be argued on their own merits.
one questions the revolving-pretext invasion of
Iraq, as half of Americans now do, one is (1)
soft on terrorism; (2) indifferent to freedom;
(3) not "supporting our troops."
the propaganda wheel keeps spinning. One who opposes
government-mandated gestation for pregnant women
is anti-life, by Hughes' parsing.
course, the citizens on the mall were not just
marching for abortion rights. They also were marching
for holistic policies about helping women control
their reproductive destinies without ever having
to face unwanted pregnancies. Except for preaching
abstinence, these are policies the Bush administration
one who ran as a uniter from Texas, a presumed
centrist, Bush has trended like a political snowplow
at just about every turn.
of what he might say in his defense as a unifying
force, those who speak for him consistently strive
to make every American political issue an "us
vs. them" matter. Is there any "us" left?
Vice President Dick Cheney sought a venue for
what he called a major foreign policy speech at
Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. It turned out
to be blatantly political ‹ "Kerry-bashing," in
the words of Westminster College President Fletcher
was so disappointed that Cheney chose to use his
campus as a campaign prop (that, of course, and
the American flag), that he then invited Kerry
to speak at Westminster.
John Ashcroft's assertions that critics of the
Patriot Act are soft on terrorism to the claim
that proponents of embryonic stem-cell research
‹ which could save millions of lives ‹ somehow
are anti-life, this administration's rhetorical
gall seems boundless.
brings us back to the subject that caused Karen
Hughes to juxtapose abortion rights and terrorism.
probably would be flummoxed to meet with members
of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Its president, Rev. Carlton Veazey, asked, "Why
can't you be religious and prayerfully pro-choice?"
when interviewed on PBS's "Now With Bill Moyers."
Of course you can be prayerful and pro-choice.
To assert otherwise is demagoguery to the extreme.
Millions of Americans, including God-fearing types,
fear what would happen if government took away
women's reproductive rights. They remember the
way things were when such freedoms were denied.
president who is a uniter would acknowledge that
vast sea of Americans. He would denounce someone
who compared their values to those of people who
fly jetliners into skyscrapers.
Posted: May 14, 2004