Bi­den and Pelosi: Ex­trem­ists on abor­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Joseph Farah

Joe Bi­den and Nancy Pelosi and a host of other Demo­cratic Party leaders ex­plain they are per­son­ally op­posed to abor­tion but sup­port pub­lic poli­cies pro­mot­ing the snuff­ing out of in­no­cent hu­man lives be­cause they don’t want to im­pose their moral views on other Amer­i­cans.

Do you be­lieve them? I don’t. I’ll tell you why: Mr. Bi­den and Mrs. Pelosi are only too ea­ger to im­pose their moral views on the rest of us in a thou­sand other ways.

For in­stance, Mrs. Pelosi and many of her Demo­cratic Party col­leagues have pub­licly op­posed the death penalty — a mat­ter of es­tab­lished law in the U.S.

She and Mr. Bi­den share the com­mon moral idea that it is ap­pro­pri­ate for the gov­ern­ment to take the prop­erty of the wealthy and re­dis­tribute it to the poor — re­gard­less of whether this no­tion is uni­ver­sally pop­u­lar or not.

Mrs. Pelosi says she would sup­port same-sex mar­riage, and Mr. Bi­den says he be­lieves it is in­evitable. Again, nei­ther seems to have a prob­lem im­pos­ing his or her own moral­ity in this mat­ter on a pub­lic that re­mains largely op­posed to the idea.

I could go on and on. The list is end­less. Mr. Bi­den, Mrs. Pelosi and ev­ery Demo­cratic Party politi­cian who swears he or she is “per­son­ally op­posed” to abor­tion but pub­licly in fa­vor is stak­ing out a po­si­tion on this is­sue only. Why is that?

The an­swer is sim­ple: They are pro-abor­tion but at­tempt­ing to po­si­tion them­selves as good Catholics or good Chris­tians, with a rea­son­able and ac­cept­able view­point. They are try­ing to in­sist they don’t re­ally sup­port killing un­born chil­dren; they are just be­ing open-minded and plu­ral­is­tic.

But why is it that this open­mind­ed­ness only ap­plies to one is­sue? Why is it that they are per­fectly will­ing to im­pose their val­ues on ev­ery other im­por­tant is­sue of the day? And, even more sig­nif­i­cantly, why is it they adamantly op­pose per­mit­ting the leg­isla­tive process to de­ter­mine whether abor­tion should be per­mit­ted or not? Why is it they de­fend ju­di­cial fiat over the pop­u­lar will on this im­por­tant moral is­sue?

Mr. Bi­den had his own spin on the ques­tion on Sept. 14 when grilled by Tom Brokaw on “Meet the Press.” Asked how he might ad­vise his run­ning mate, Barack Obama, on when life be­gins, he said: “I’d say, ‘Look, I know when it be­gins for me.’ It’s a per­sonal and pri­vate is­sue. For me, as a Ro­man Catholic, I’m pre­pared to ac­cept the teach­ings of my church. But let me tell you, there are an aw­ful lot of peo­ple of great con­fes­sional faiths — Protes­tants, Jews, Mus­lims and oth­ers — who have a dif­fer­ent view. They be­lieve in God as strongly as I do. They’re in­tensely as re­li­gious as I am re­li­gious. They be­lieve in their faith, and they be­lieve in hu­man life, and they have dif­fer­ing views as to when life — I’m pre­pared as a mat­ter of faith to ac­cept that life be­gins at the mo­ment of con­cep­tion. But that is my judg­ment. For me to im­pose that judg­ment on every­one else who is equally and maybe even more de­vout than I am seems to me is in­ap­pro­pri­ate in a plu­ral­is­tic so­ci­ety. And I know you get the push back, ‘Well, what about fas­cism?’ [. . .] Are you go­ing to say fas­cism is all right? Fas­cism isn’t a mat­ter of faith. No de­cent re­li­gious per­son thinks fas­cism is a good idea.”

Fas­cism? Hon­estly, I hadn’t thought to ask Mr. Bi­den about fas­cism. But I would like him to ad­dress the laun­dry list of con­tro­ver­sial moral is­sues of the day on which he has no prob­lem leg­is­lat­ing his per­sonal views.

I still don’t un­der­stand why abor­tion is ex­cep­tional in this re­gard. Why is it that abor­tion on de­mand is an ab­so­lute right? It is cer­tainly not be­cause a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans came to that view. It is, on the con­trary, be­cause a small num­ber of de­ter­mined ex­trem­ists came to that view and worked on the courts to coun­ter­mand the will of the peo­ple as ex­pressed through the leg­isla­tive process.

Maybe a bet­ter ques­tion for Mr. Bi­den and Mrs. Pelosi next time would be why they be­lieve a com­mit­ment to abor­tion on de­mand should be a lit­mus test for any prospec­tive mem­ber of the Supreme Court.

Maybe they should be asked why they op­pose al­low­ing the Amer­i­can peo­ple to have a voice on the mat­ter of abor­tion.

I would like to hear them squirm around that one.

Joseph Farah is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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