Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Opinion Journal Today

James taranto, editor of the Wall Street Journal's daily "Best of the Web" has this in today's edition:

Today is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the decision in which seven men imposed their views on abortion on the entire country. This ruling, which had no basis in the text of the Constitution and only a tenuous connection to then-existing precedents, was supposed to settle the matter once and for all. Instead, it turned the court into a de facto review board for state abortion policies and made abortion--and by extension the court itself--into the most divisive issue in presidential politics.


Both the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times have articles noting, with some surprise, that today's antiabortion movement includes lots of young people. The Post piece includes this delightful bit of Fox Butterfieldesque puzzlement:

Despite the steady drop in abortions across the United States in the three decades since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in 1973 in the case of Roe v. Wade, a new generation of activists is taking up the cause with conviction and sophistication. There are Students for Life chapters on more than 400 college campuses nationwide.

What is the logic of that "despite"? Abortion tends not to be carried down through the generations: If your mother had an abortion when she was pregnant with you, the likelihood of your ever having an abortion is close to zero. The L.A. Times describes a meeting of an anti-abortion group called Generation Life, which sheds some further light on the subject:

"I feel like we're all survivors of abortion," Claire said. She has five sisters and a brother; most of her classmates, she said, come from much smaller families. The way Claire sees it, they're missing out on much joy--and she blames abortion. "I look at my friends," she said, "and I wonder, 'Where are your siblings?' "

They're not out marching for legal abortion, that's for sure!


drewann said...

As a mom of one, I think this view is short sighted, at best. I certainly have not had an abortion and am pro-life. To think that abortion goes hand in hand with a small family is absurd.

Anonymous said...


Small family does not equal abortion, but abortion most certainly equals small family (or no family)