Abortion Foes Are Winning

Being pro-abortion, I do not want to see the right of a woman to obtain an abortion disappear. It is clear, however, that this is what is slowly happening and the road map is clear — conservatives are finally embracing the paternalistic, Big Brother solutions of their liberal counterparts. A case in point is the nomination of Tommy Thompson to head Health and Human Services.

Thompson is anti-abortion and was asked what, if anything, he would do about RU-486, the so-called abortion pill. RU-486 suppresses a hormone required to continue a pregnancy in the early stages.

Rather than wax on about unborn children and abortion as potentially being a murderous act, Thompson had a ready made answer. He would review the drug to make sure it was “safe.” According to Thompson,

I do not intend to roll back anything unless they are proven to be unsafe. It’s a new drug. It’s contentious. It’s controversial. And the safety concerns, as I understand it, are something that’s in question. And I think it’s my role to review the safety concerns for women in the United States on that drug (and) all drugs.

This is a clever repackaging of traditional anti-abortion views. Having lost the debate over whether or not it is moral to ever abort a pregnancy, anti-abortion activists will emphasize safety and health concerns and gradually chip away at support for legalized abortion. The beauty is that liberals, who otherwise support abortion, have laid the groundwork for this assault on abortion rights.

Liberals have established a very amorphous standard of “safety,” for example, and proclaimed that the state has a moral duty to intervene to afford citizens such safety, even when they don’t want such protection. Conservatives are preparing to deftly turn the regulatory state against abortion rights, and when the dust is cleared they will probably succeed in establishing a good deal of onerous restrictions on the procedure.


Bush Cabinet Nominee Says to Review Abortion Pill. Adam Entous, Reuters, January 19, 2001

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