Why can’t Nancy Pelosi answer a simple question about late-term abortions?
Everyone, left and right, has taken a turn condemning Kermit Gosnell (well, almost everyone). But we’re still waiting for a pro-choice politician to explain the moral distinction between Gosnell and a run-of-the-mill late-term abortionist. Was it the lack of cleanness in the facility that’s most offensive to them? Were the tools that he off-putting? What is it?
Well, Nancy Pelosi got her shot to explain at a news conference today, and she took most cowardly position you could imagine. (video below)
The House is now passing legislation that would outlaw abortions after the 22nd week of pregnancy (with exceptions for the life or physical health of the mother.) The aim of members is to focus public attention on the theory that fetuses can already feel pain in those weeks — which is a fine point to make, though it only makes a minimal difference in the moral outcome. Even if the fetus was unable to feel any discomfort during the procedure the consequence remains.
It is curious, isn’t it, though, that the same Democrats who couldn’t stop talking about the “will” of the American people on the subject of background checks, have no interest in a majoritarian process when the topic is late-term abortion? Polls show overwhelming opposition to the procedure.
Pelosi, who, naturally, opposes the bill, was asked what “moral difference” was between a late-term abortion and a Gosnell special. “As a practicing and respectful Catholic,” she explained, “this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. This shouldn’t have anything to do with politics.”
Even on her consecrated apolitical earth that Pelosi, a 73-year-old woman who’s been involved in politics her entire professional career, walks around on this is preposterous answer. If something is sacred to you, there is a chance you may want to weigh in. In any event, that’s exactly why the Kermit Gosnell story was so diligently ignored by the media. To talk about Gosnell would necessitate a conversation about moral ambiguity of abortions.
Or say things like this: “What was done in Philadelphia was reprehensible and everybody condemned it. For them to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible.”
So it’s all about feelings. Most of the pieces I’ve read regarding Pelosi’s comments focus on her contention that talking about abortion is “sacred.” Silly, yes. But think about this : Pelosi says what was done in Philadelphia “was reprehensible” and dissing women who decide to destroy a child in the third trimester is also “reprehensible.” Equally? That’s quite the moral equivalence. If there is an exception to protect the mother’s physical health, why is it reprehensible? She should explain.
Since the bill has no chance of becoming law, perhaps it isn’t politically astute of Republicans to engage; though I’m not convinced the topic is as harmful as Washington pundits claim, either. And though the effort targets a very specific practice, broadly frowned upon, it will, as you surely know, turn into a new War on Women. But if the debate were really about the bill, who would be seen as taking the extremist position?
Follow David Harsanyi on Twitter @davidharsanyi.