Kevin Drum of Mother Jones has a fun and exciting hypotheticalfor pro-choicers, one that, clearly, no one has thought of before:Basically, the deal is (a) abortions up to, say, 22 weeks or so, would be legal and easily available, (b) late-term abortions would be completely illegal unless the life of the mother were clearly and directly threatened, and (c) this put an end to the whole issue. Everyone agrees to accept this as the status quo going forward.Obviously this is pie in the sky. But I’m still curious. If it were on the table, how many of my [pro-choice] readers would agree to it?
Drum brings it up because, in an attempt to confuse them with pre-viability abortions,anti-choicers are raising a fussover post-viability abortions. That’s irritating, and we’re not fooled. However, I will still answer his hypothetical. If you toss “health of the mother” into his pile of acceptable reasons for post-viability abortions (which are more realistically assumed to be around 24 weeks instead of 22), you’ve just described the “compromise” position established inRoe v. Wadethat has been the law of the land for 40 years now. Presumably, pro-choicers are perfectly happy withRoe, which would be why we argued it in court and have defended it for decades.
Now onto why the hypothetical is destructive, as well as silly. Asking pro-choicers if we would accept what amounts to Roe plus funding and better availability than we have now—as if that wasn’t already our loud and proud and frequently stated preference—serves no other purpose than to distort the debate. Specifically, it implies that late term abortions are more common than they are.