A few years ago I was having lunch with a law partner of mine who is ardently in favor of abortion rights. She knew I was opposed to abortion generally and to the Roe v. Wade decision specifically. I commented that regardless of what happened at the Supreme Court level, there seemed to be a "middle ground" emerging on the abortion issue.
Her sharp reply: "What middle ground can there be? You either believe that a woman has an absolute right to choose or you don't." I decided to change the subject.
It's now quite obvious, I think, that the extreme view my partner expressed is held only by a minority. Last Friday, the L.A. Times published an op-ed piece by an author named Anne Lamott, expressing that same minority view. You can read that here. Today a reader responded with this interesting letter:
It will be interesting to see if such voices can find expression in the Democratic Party, or if they will remain heretical.
February 13, 2006
Re "The rights of the born," Opinion, Feb. 10
Abortion must remain legal, safe and available to all women. But with people like Anne Lamott calling fetuses "teeny weenie so-called babies" and comparing
them to sea monkeys, our side cannot possibly prevail.
There seems to be no room in this discussion for a woman like me, who holds two passionate beliefs: that abortion must always be legal, and that I could never have one myself.
Although these are two separate issues, as they should be — the government has no business teaching me morals — Lamott's tirade makes abortion-rights proponents look like spoiled, selfish women who consider having an abortion something that everyone does and who get through tough times by pigging out on M&Ms.
No wonder we are losing this battle.