(March 15)  Please, people, can we show even the slightest forbearance toward each other, the slightest understanding of each other, and even the slightest nod toward moderation when it comes to abortion ? Please?

Two items in recent news serve as the latest examples whereby too many people lose all sense of proportion and decency, and perhaps even lose their minds, when abortion is involved. On one side, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) is cutting all state ties with Walgreens — at what cost financially and at what possible loss of service in some areas of the state, nobody seems to know — because the pharmacy giant won’t dispense an abortion drug in certain states. On the other side, 16 — repeat, not just one numbskull, but 16! — members of the South Carolina state legislature are sponsoring a bill that could subject women to the death penalty for procuring abortions.

On the second proposal, words fail. The bill is a monstrosity, wrapped in grotesqueness, inside an atrocity. It amounts to formal logic taken to extremes without regard to real-world considerations or human decency. Yes, pro-lifers, myself included, believe that a child in the womb is a human being who merits significant legal protections. That belief does not, however, excuse willful blindness to the fact that the child is fully dependent on the mother and that the mother, herself being human, may hold different beliefs, may be scared and confused, may be emotionally vulnerable, and may be feeling all sorts of conflicting pressures.

For decades, the basic and unalterable position of the vast bulk of the pro-life movement has been that those factors excuse the mother from the formal logic equating the procurer of an abortion with the person who hires a hit man. Essential sympathy for the human condition demands that in terms of legal consequences for abortions, the mother herself gets a pass. For 16 elected officials to insist otherwise is a massive and entirely discreditable failure of human compassion. And for them to leave open at least nominally the possibility of putting the woman to death … well, that’s not just inhumane, it’s inhuman. Indeed, it’s demented….. [The rest of this column is here.]


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