June 17, 1996 |
The press tried to make a big deal out of a remark by Bob Dole about abortion. In an interview, Dole restated his support for a constitutional amendment to ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest or health threat to the woman's life. He also said he wanted to include in the platform language a declaration of tolerance for those with different views so they would feel welcome in the Republican Party. Dole's expression of tolerance is probably a compromise pro-lifers can make, if it is enough for the pro-choicers.
April 30, 1993 |
Dear Gov. Casey: Earlier this month I exhorted you to nail down a permanent legacy for yourself by leading the final push for merit selection of the state's judges. Your prestige, I said, could elevate the debate from just another political wrangle to a moral issue. Your reply in The Inquirer correctly chastised me for neglecting to give you the full credit you deserve for your past efforts to reform Pennsylvania's courts. But the rest of your letter suggests that you know even less about me than I know about you. You say that I "would never think to speak out against the violence of abortion," but in fact I've done so on several occasions, and in language very similar to yours.
June 19, 1989 |
As time ticks toward the close of the Supreme Court's term, 7,461 politicians are on tenterhooks. They are America's state legislators. Any day now, they may have handed to them something most of them dread: abortion as a legislative issue. The ink probably is already drying on the justices' opinions about the Missouri law that has been the focus of contention. The case could, but probably will not, produce a substantial revision of the status of abortion as a fundamental privacy right.
March 12, 1993
The murder of a 47-year-old Florida doctor by an anti-abortion fanatic who said he was doing God's work would seem - on its face - an act of illogic so self-defeating as to require no comment. How, in the name of defending the sacredness of life, does one pump bullet after bullet into a defenseless man? Yet somehow, this killing has seemed a long time coming. It is not difficult, hearing the overheated rhetoric - the references to mass murder and butchery and to the Holocaust - to comprehend how fatal obsession can take root in the mind of a true believer.
November 9, 1990 |
However you stand on abortion rights or racism, turn to page 231 of the just published book, "Unreliable Sources: a Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media. " A deliciously irreverent cartoon depicts five male television talk-show guests in a semi-circle with the host explaining: "In the next half-hour, my wealthy white conservative male friends and I will discuss the annoyingly persistent black underclass and why women get so emotional about abortion. " Take your pick.
March 22, 1992
If the new TV ads being put on the air by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation are an indication of the direction in which the abortion debate is turning, it looks like a turn for the better. Even people who don't like the ads admit that they are beautifully done, particularly the one depicting the joy of a couple adopting a child. There is, to be sure, an implicit message that giving a child up for adoption may be a more satisfactory alternative than abortion, and the ads have stirred concern, even outrage, among proponents of a woman's right to have an abortion.
May 27, 1992 |
As it now stands, the abortion controversy is hopelessly stuck in a quagmire of deception, hypocrisy, and supreme stupidity. The so-called pro- lifers and so-called pro-choicers can picket and demonstrate from now until doomsday. They can hasten or delay a reversal of Roe vs Wade; they can commandeer legislative bodies across the nation, and they can pray or curse until they're blue in the face, but they will never prevent abortions from taking place. Tragically, most of them know that to be true, but it doesn't dissuade them from engaging in a psychologically bloody war of futility.
July 10, 1992
As we enter the third decade of our civil war over abortion, hope for a "middle ground" grows. Trouble is, too many politicians and judges have defined that middle ground as keeping abortion legal, but making it hard to get. Not only is that unfair, it doesn't work. Women who can't get safe abortions get unsafe abortions. Still, there is an issue that both pro- and anti-abortion activists ought to agree on - preventing unintended pregnancies, and therefore, the need for abortions.
March 8, 1992 |
Once again, Martyn Turner's front-page editorial cartoon in the Irish Times captured the moment. Last month, when a lower-court judge barred a 14-year-old rape victim from going to England for an abortion, Turner drew a picture of a forlorn little girl, teddy bear in hand, trapped inside an Ireland surrounded by barbed wire. On Friday, after the Irish Supreme Court explained why it had let her go ahead and terminate the pregnancy, the cartoonist drew a judge, dressed in wig and robe, gingerly depositing the entire abortion controversy - depicted as a newborn baby in a basket - on the doorstep of the Irish parliament.
January 27, 1992 |
Democrats, so often mistaken about so much in presidential politics, believe they can pluck the flower of opportunity from the nettle of the abortion controversy. But they may be misreading the significance of the Supreme Court's decision to rule by July on Pennsylvania's abortion law. A divided court may give dusty answers about the constitutionality of that law's various provisions. Besides, for most Americans abortion is a troubling but peripheral issue, especially during the ravages of a recession.