American Public Doesn’t Know Roe

We’ll be out of town trying to raise money for the League early this week. Say a prayer for us.

It’s tough to run a national organization when your enemies have so much of your money tied up and a federal injunction against you, even though the highest court in the land ordered them to give your money back and vacate the injunction.

But we manage, and have redoubled our efforts to make abortion illegal and keep women from having abortions even while they’re legal.

Hynes Proposes Stem Cell Referendum

The people of Illinois may get the chance Californians had to decide whether embryonic stem cells can be used in experiments. Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes wants a referendum on the 2006 ballot that would seek a six percent levy on certain elective surgeries, to fund a billion dollar grant and loan to fund embryonic stem cell research.

The plan is backed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago his wife belongs to. Yet not one experiment using embryonic stem cells has been successful, while the use of adult stem cells, which is legitimate, has an outstanding and long record of success.

Hynes admits that opponents of the use of embryonic stem cells include conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church, who point out that use of embryonic stem cells destroys human life. The article erroneously refers to embryonic stem cells as “potential human life.”

Conservatives have two years in which to inform Illinois voters that: (1) adult stem cells work and using them is not murder, and (2) embryonic stem cells don’t work and are using them is murder.

Facing a liberal media it is going to be a tough job. Hynes’ proposal comes in the wake of the recent defeat in the Illinois Senate seeking privately funded embryonic stem cell research. Only California and New Jersey presently endorse publicly funded stem-cell research.

Survey Shows Public Confused on Abortion

A story in Monday’s Chicago Sun-Times asks whether there should be age limits on Supreme Court Justices, and cites a survey showing that 59 percent of respondents did not know that William Rehnquist is Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.

In the same survey, 59 percent of respondents want to keep Roe v. Wade, while 31 percent want it overturned. We wonder if any of the 59 percent who want to keep Roe ever read the 1973 abortion ruling. More than 87 percent of Americans oppose late term abortions, but Roe allows abortions up to the day of birth. Try to figure that out.

The article does admit, however, that the main issue for all future court nominees will be their stand on Roe v. Wade.

Quindlen and the Mushy Middle

In the Nov. 29 issue of Newsweek, Anna Quindlen’s “Life Begins at Conversation” message is that the public debate on abortion has advanced the least of any controversy during the past 15 years. Her two main sources are Frances Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice, and the National Catholic Reporter, both of which say we need a good, reasonable discussion of abortion — that there is no black and white answer, but only “the messy gray zone of hard choices informed by individual circumstances and conscience.”

Quindlen says people of good faith need to talk about it that way and advance the dialogue even in the face of rigid opposition. She tries to make a reasonable argument for staying in the mushy middle.

While she admits that many abortion supporters are concerned about what they can see on the sonogram, and wonder how a 14-year-old needs parental permission for a tattoo but not for an abortion, and they even notice that you call it a fetus when you don’t want it, and a baby when you do, she says the decision must be left up to the woman.

What, she asks, about the woman who is “suicidal in the face of pregnancy?” We wonder if Quindlen has checked the statistics on suicides following abortion.

While Quindlen holds to the mushy middle and probably makes sense to many of her readers, the fact remains that this really is a black and white issue. But when you don’t accept absolutes, you have to stay in the gray zone, and try to make your own dilemma appear reasonable. It doesn’t work.

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