Monday, January 24, 2011

So feminists: how late is too late when it comes to abortion?

William Saletan:

I asked the feminist writers whether, in the name of women's autonomy, those charges should be dropped. haven't seen an answer to my question. Instead, I've been challenged by other pro-choice writers who see the Gosnell case very differently. They think I've misunderstood the scandal and its lessons.


We don't have solid data on elective abortions late in the second trimester, much less the third, but we do have well-informed estimates concerning so-called "partial-birth" abortions. I'm one of many journalists who bought the initial pro-choice claim that these abortions were mostly for medical reasons. Investigative reports subsequently debunked this claim and corroborated the confession of Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, that "in the vast majority of cases" the patient was "a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along."


So here's my challenge to these pro-choice writers: I agree with you on most abortion policy questions. Contraception or abstinence is best, emergency contraception is next best, early abortion is next best, and we should make these options more accessible, not less. But we'll still be left with some women who, for no medical reason, have run out the clock, even to the point of viability. Should their abortion requests be granted anyway? I've answered your questions. Now it's your turn to answer mine.

So: pro-choice supporters-- would you have been happier if Gosnell had snapped the babies' necks inside the womb?

I await your answer.