The Incoherence of the “Pro-Choice” Response to Kermit Gosnell

QuicktakeRoss Douthat, writing in the New York Times on the “pro-choice” reaction to Kermit Gosnell:

[T]he most interesting response by far has come from voices on the uncompromisingly pro-choice left. These writers have basically made two interlocking arguments: First, that there was no “liberal media” blackout, because feminist bloggers wrote about the story from the beginning, and second, that if there was a breakdown in mainstream coverage, it was the failure to recognize the ways in which the Gosnell story is actually about inequities in access to medical care and the perverse consequences of abortion restrictions, rather than (as the pro-life side would have it) the inherent horror of the procedure itself.

To respond effectively to the doubts about abortion that fetal snipping summons up, pro-choice advocates would need arguments that … acknowledge and come to terms with the goriness of third-trimester abortions while simultaneously persuading the conflicted and uncommitted of their validity, and that somehow take ownership of the “violence” and “gruesomeness” of abortion … without giving aid and comfort to the pro-life cause. And in the absence of such arguments, the pro-choice response to Gosnell feels either evasive and euphemistic, or else logically consistent in ways that tend to horrify the unconvinced — and in either case, inadequate to the challenge his case presents to the cause of abortion rights.

But of course it’s possible that those arguments are absent because they simply don’t exist.

Read the whole thing.

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