Monday, March 14, 2005

'Mildly Pro-Choice' Rice Won't Rule Out Presidential Bid (washingtonpost.com)

'Mildly Pro-Choice' Rice Won't Rule Out Presidential Bid

Mildly pro-choice. Huh. Care to elaborate?

"If you go back to 2000 when I helped the president in the campaign," she said, "I said that I was, in effect, kind of libertarian on this issue. And meaning by that, that I have been concerned about a government role in this issue. I am a strong proponent of parental choice -- of parental notification. I am a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that's where we should be. I've called myself at times mildly pro-choice."


So,by "libertarian on this issue," she means that she thinks the very personal and sensitive issue of abortion should be regulated by federal laws. And by "mildly pro-choice" she basically means that her views on abortion are like her views on everything else- completely dictated by whoever's lap she's dogging at the time.

Case in point:

Rice, a former Stanford provost, told the Times that she believes the president "has been in exactly the right place" on abortion, "which is we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible."


Sad thing is, her point of view pretty closely mirrors the point of view of the new, moderated Left, one that wrings its hands and says "nobody wants an abortion!" This is the same point of view that DLC types are using to try and win those single-issue abortion voters to their side. I don't like this point of view because it is completely noncomittal and offers no real solutions to a very real problem. "Mildly pro-choice" means that you don't approve of abortion but you don't want to make it illegal either and you certainly don't want to divert federal funding to make it more available to the people who need it. "Mildly pro-choice" is like being a vegan who eats the occasional McNugget.

The labels of pro-life and pro-choice need to become meaningless- and they are well on their way down that path. However, we need to institute a new ideology that says that there is a broader issue at hand. There is the issue that young women and single women and poor women are at a disadvantage when it comes to feeling empowered and having control of their bodies. There is the issue that these women are being roadblocked at every opportunity when they try to take control of their bodies and try to attain birth control options. There is the issue of health conditions that can lead to a need for late-term abortions.

If you are going to be "mildly pro-choice," you are already admitting to the fact that there is a gray area. Why not admit to the fact that the entire issue is far too complex for monolithic legislation such as out-and-out bans on late-term abortion and parental notification laws?

A little advice to the dems- leave the abortion issue alone. We can't win the evangelicals. Instead, how about this angle? Remember that angelic-looking blonde woman at the one presidential debate who asked John Kerry how she could be assured that her tax money would never go to funding abortion? How about this- answer her question with a question. Would she prefer that her tax money go toward a war? Toward funding the torture of detainees? Toward developing a faster, better nuclear weapon? There are many ways to be pro-life, I suggest we look at the bigger issues first.

4 comments:

  1. "mildly pro-choice" has about the same semantic value as "mostly pregnant" or "mostly anti-war."

    welcome back, btw.

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  2. This is the part where Ralph reminds everyone that there are more abortions under Bush than under Clinton. (And probably caused more as well.)

    Ralph is against abortions in cases where the mother isn't pregnant, I mean, let's not get ridiculous.

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  3. Abortion issue aside, Rice stated on Sunday she will not run for president in 2008. When pressed, she repeated and stressed, she will not run for president for president in 2008.

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  4. Abortion issue aside, Rice stated on Sunday she will not run for president in 2008.

    Well thank G-d for small mercies.

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