Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

The Sanctity of Life

Today is the 40th March for Life, the massive annual protest on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. It is also the winter meeting of the Republican National Committee. This is not a coincidence. The GOP has long manipulated the abortion issue, and this year it is downplaying the sectarian stridency that offended many women and is instead emphasizing public-funding issues and (here’s a surprise) tying it to Obamacare. I believe that all life is sacred, but that is not a simple matter in a world where life depends on – and arises from – death. I have yet to meet a woman whose abortion was a callous choice rather than a wrenching decision, and it seems a cruel irony that those who scorn the role of government in our lives demand it regulate the most personal of all decisions. This is not new. When I ran for Congress in Pennsylvania in 1996, abortion was rarely discussed even though everyone knew it would determine the election. In Lancaster County, a teenage boy followed me screaming, “baby killer” (for the record: not true), and on the Sunday before Election Day, ministers across the district commanded their congregations to “do your duty” on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, “stand-your-ground” and “open-carry” laws find increasing favor in the pro-life party; and Texas, where husbands could once kill adulterous wives and lovers, “provided the killing takes place before the parties to the adultery have separated,” will today execute its 509th person since 1976, although his arrest violated international law

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