Radical Pro-Lifers Just Feel Powerless.

*Trigger warning, this radio cut of pro-life Pastor Wiley Drake is a scary view into the mind of the wing-nut*
Well, if that was not scary enough for you check out the more “friendly” pro-life apologisms of Ross Douthat. According to him, religious right-wing fundamentalists that use scare tactics and kill abortion doctors do it because they feel disempowered and don’t have enough access to legal avenues to stop and “keep humane” abortion laws.

If anything, by enshrining a near-absolute right to abortion in the Constitution, the pro-choice side has ensured that the hard cases are more controversial than they otherwise would be. One reason there’s so much fierce argument about the latest of late-term abortions — Should there be a health exemption? A fetal deformity exemption? How broad should those exemptions be? — is that Americans aren’t permitted to debate anything else. Under current law, if you want to restrict abortion, post-viability procedures are the only kind you’re allowed to even regulate.
If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies already do – would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester medical exemptions.
The result would be laws with more respect for human life, a culture less inflamed by a small number of tragic cases — and a political debate, God willing, unmarred by crimes like George Tiller’s murder.

If you can stomach it read his entire “persuasive” argument about how to find a common ground with right-wing terrorists that harass, intimidate and kill doctors. He throws in some slut-shaming disguised in the form of making legible the difference between excusable and inexcusable forms of abortion (and highlights women that have *gasp* multiple abortions).
Jamelle at USJ breaks down two key things that are off about this column,

There are two big things that bother me about this column, and the first is common to almost every discussion of abortion on the nation’s op-ed pages – the presumption that there is something “controversial” about first or second trimester abortion. The fact is that American public opinion on abortion has been pretty stable for almost thirty years. According to Gallup, this is how it breaks down: roughly a quarter of Americans believe abortion should be legal in every circumstance, roughly half of Americans believe abortion should be legal in some circumstances, and roughly a quarter of Americans believe abortion should never be legal. What’s more, I’m sure that Americans would be fully in favor of the Roe v. Wade/Casey v. Planned Parenthood status quo if it were described to them free of propaganda. That is, a status quo where first trimester abortion is virtually unregulated, second trimester abortion is subject to restrictions of varying degree, determined by each state, and third trimester abortion is illegal except in extreme circumstances.
This actually gets to the other thing I don’t like about this column – Ross Douthat thinks we’re stupid. No, he doesn’t outright say it, but his argument only works if his readers are complete and total idiots. Under current law, there already is substantive debate over second and third trimester abortion. States already can regulate and restrict abortion in both periods, and in many states, there already is a “saner, stricter legal regime.” Douthat’s dream is already a reality in much of the country, the fact of which provides a nice insight into Douthat’s actual agenda. Underneath the smothering layers of faux-sensibility is someone who lies far outside the mainstream when it comes to abortion rights. Douthat doesn’t want a debate over second trimester abortion, he wants it – and third trimester abortion – outlawed. Arguments over the scope of second trimester abortion would be critical in Douthat’s world because it would be effectively criminalized, and women in need of said of reproductive services would be shit out of luck, as the saying goes.

Emphasis mine. The New York Times should be ashamed for running this piece.

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