The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

Polispeak: Rarely Safe.

In reading the online CNN report about the faith forum attended by the two candidates for the democratic presidential nomination, the following line lept out at me:

Clinton, asked whether she believed life begins at conception, replied that “the potential for life begins at conception,” adding that the Methodist church, her denomination, had “struggled with this issue.”

Much, I suppose, could be said about the tightly chosen rhetoric of Sen. Clinton (“potential for life?”), but it was this line that really made my puzzler puzz:

“…And as some of you’ve heard me discuss before, I think abortion should remain legal — but it needs to be safe and rare,” she said.

Safe and rare? We all know that this line was a product of a copious amount polling, strategy sessions, and spinmeisters. So, it’s worth our time to unpack the phrase.

First, Sen. Clinton believes abortion on demand, as currently practiced, ought to be legal. That means, from conception to 2/3’s delivery, Sen. Clinton wishes to have abortion available for all. This would also include partial birth abortion, the banning of this baneful practice she voted against in 2003.

But, her talking point here suggests that she is in favor of “safe” abortion. Safe for the future life? That can’t be it, after all the plain meaning of abortion ends that future life with suction, chemical, or clamps. Could she have meant safe for the mother? Perhaps, but it is a bit far fetched. Studies have linked abortion with several conditions that cannot be described as “safe” for the mother. Safety, it appears, is a concern based mainly within the political world, not one of reality.

Then there is the word, “rare.” While this is clearly opposed to what Sen. Clinton just said (“I think abortion should remain legal”), it could be supposed that Sen. Clinton is speaking in terms of ratios – births to abortions. Some sources say there is a birth every 8 seconds in the world, while other sources suggest an abortion takes place every 6 seconds. If Sen. Clinton suggests abortion, defined thusly, is rare, then so rare must also be live births. Then again, if she would like to see abortion be rare, perhaps she could help steer the multiple million Federal dollars away from the coffers of Planned Parenthood. That would do much to make abortion on demand go the way of the dodo.

No one should be permitted to determine whether one life is more important than the next, nor should one’s rhetoric escape unexamined (including mine).

The question is for you: what do you know about abortion and will it influence your participation in this representative democracy?To begin to answer the first part of that question, I commend you to the Roe IQ Test. Your knowledge (or lack thereof) about abortion in America may surprise you.


Written by Jeremy Dys

April 14, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Life, Religious Freedom

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