The Logic of Eliot Spitzer
Last month a rising political star fell suddenly. Eliot Spitzer made what appeared to be a public admission of involvement in a prostitution ring and then resigned as Governor of New York two days later.
Ironically, on the same day of the explosive admission, the Catholic Church came out in force against the radical abortion proposal Spitzer had been pushing for months.
New York law on abortion is already extremely permissive: abortion is permitted at any point in pregnancy, no medical reason necessary. And New York has the highest abortion rate of any state in the nation. And Spitzer wanted more.
He wanted abortion to be beyond the reach of even reasonable, common-sense regulation so he pushed for a new law enabling non-physicians to do abortions in New York. And he threatened Catholic institutions such as hospitals, social service agencies, and schools with having to cooperate in abortion or risk losing state licensure.
Cardinal Edward Egan called Spitzer’s bill “an attack on human dignity and the well-being of society as a whole.” Spitzer called it a top priority.
This wasn’t the first inkling of Eliot Spitzer’s immoderation on abortion. As Attorney General he made national news for his aggressive attack on pregnancy aid centers, often the last hope of women who feel pressured into abortion.
Is it possible that Spitzer’s motives for propping up abortion were more complicated and personal than they appeared?
The sex industry, exploits all that it touches, especially young women, is heavily reliant on abortion. The prostitution-abortion link, evident throughout history, is still present today. All contraception methods have some margin of error, with annual failure rates ranging from one or two percent all the way to fifty percent. When that failure rate is considered in light of a prostitute’s high number of sexual encounters, the chance of pregnancy increases exponentially and abortion becomes an integral part of the enterprise.
Prostitution presents the promise of sex without consequences. Abortion takes that check to the bank.
Before Roe v. Wade, proponents of permissive abortion laws were motivated by a misplaced fear of overpopulation, and then the cause was cloaked in feminism where it took root and remains today. The accepted wisdom is that Roe v. Wade was and is an unmitigated good for women.
But Alice Paul, the original author of the Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.” Was she right? Did an unlimited right to abortion actually undermine the best interests of women?
Why is so little made of the fact that men poll more “pro-choice” than women? Is this just some inexplicable irony or is there a hidden truth in this apparent contradiction?
It would be too much to say that all men who favor permissive abortion laws do so out of self-interest, but it would be naïve to think that none do.
We can’t know the mind of Eliot Spitzer, but in his actions there is a certain logic.