KNOWLES: The Strongest Argument for Abortion

395471 03: Pro-life supporters gather along a two-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue October 7, 2001 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Approximately 2,000 abortions are performed in the United States each day. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

As a new abortion law is headed to the Supreme Court for judicial review, the hopeless optimists of the pro-life movement are once again holding their breath for an overturn of Roe, and prominent leftists have descended into hysterics at the remote prospect.

“I don’t think younger voters remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade,” fumed former Missouri senator Claire McCaskill. “I don’t think they realize these folks will not be happy until a rape victim is put in prison for taking the ‘morning after’ pill.” McCaskill neglected to cite an example of proposals to jail rape victims for ingesting abortifacients because none exists. She refused even to describe “what it was like before Roe v. Wade” because a review of the facts would undercut her fearmongering.

In 1972, the year before the Supreme Court invented a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade, 39 women died from illegal abortions, and 24 women died from legal abortions. When one considers how many fewer states at that time permitted abortion than outlawed it, one discovers that the rate of death from illegal and legal abortions was almost exactly the same. Despite abortion industry propaganda claiming that thousands of women died each year from “back-alley” abortions — a statistic that National Abortion Rights Action League co-founder Bernard Nathanson later admitted to having invented out of whole cloth — life was not any more dangerous for women before Roe v. Wade.

CNN’s Fredo Chris Cuomo took an even more frivolous tack to attack the law. He accused Republicans of “legislating to the far-right, white-fright vote.” But abortion kills relatively far more black babies each year than white babies. Only the most self-sabotaging white supremacist would attempt to curtail a practice that so effectively culls the black race.

After launching his limp racial attack, Cuomo next appealed to science. “You would think we would have impaneled experts by now to see what the science says, right?” he asked. “But we don’t seem to have the intellectual curiosity about this issue. Because it’s not really about science. It has become a culture war…to allow people to get up in their religion and their righteousness over any sense of what science suggests.” Ironically, Cuomo is right. The abortion debate is not in fact about “science,” which makes clear that babies are babies, and Cuomo does not appear to have much “intellectual curiosity about this issue.” If he did, he would acknowledge that the people through their elected representatives, rather than an ordained caste of “scientists,” decide political matters in a constitutional republic. The abortion debate revolves around a moral and political question: should mothers have the right to kill their children in the womb?

The feminist author Naomi Wolf acknowledged the hard heart of the debate in a 1995 article for The New Republic. She decried the “lexicon of dehumanization” that abortion advocates had developed to justify infanticide, and she confronted both the scientific and moral issues. “Abortion should be legal,” Wolf argued. “It is sometimes even necessary. Sometimes the mother must be able to decide that the fetus, in its full humanity, must die.”

In other words, men and women are different, men cannot become pregnant, and therefore, radical “gender equality” entails the right of women to kill their children. It is a ghastly argument, but at least it’s honest. Wolf understood that “the science” was not on the abortionists’ side, but more importantly, even if it were, a method of material inquiry would not suffice to resolve a moral and political question.

Abortion advocates rely on pseudo-science, fabricated history, and imaginary rights to advance their cause. But they could avoid all the lies by making the honest moral case. They do not, presumably because of the revulsion it would induce. That should tell us something too.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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