Sorry David Frum, Battle to Stop Abortion is Here to Stay

Opinion   |   Paul Pauker   |   Oct 25, 2011   |   3:03PM   |   Washington, DC

Sometimes pro-abortion proponents are so blinded by ideology that they can’t see the obvious. Take David Frum. The CNN Contributor wrote a far-fetched article titled, What if abortion became a non-issue? He claimed that “incredible as it sounds now – there is reason to expect that the abortion issue may someday just vanish from national politics. After all, that’s what happened to the last great moral issue to rattle the American party system: alcohol prohibition.”

Sorry David, but that’s a logical fallacy. Abortion is a human rights issue. And while human rights issues are, by nature, also moral issues, the distinction is profound.

Alcohol prohibition banned the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol. But the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol, on its own, was not a violation of the human rights of another human being. Alcohol prohibition, therefore, was solely a moral issue. In contrast, abortion is a direct violation of all the human rights of another human being, including the fundamental right to life. Amazingly, Frum failed to make, or even mention, a distinction between moral issues and human rights issues. He simply assumed, falsely, that abortion is solely a moral issue.

Because of Frum’s bias, he completely ignored the more accurate comparison. The last great human rights issue was discrimination, sanctioned by law, against African Americans, which included segregation, and ultimately produced the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The civil rights movement demanded the legal protection of human rights for all human beings, regardless of characteristics such as race and color, while the pro-life movement demands legal protection for all human beings, regardless of characteristics such as age and physical or mental development.

Undeterred by the rules of logic, however, Frum gave three intellectually-feeble reasons in defense of his claim.

First, he argued that alcohol prohibition was “universally experienced even by former supporters as a disaster.” [Italics added] But he didn’t give a single reason why a ban on abortion would ever be viewed by pro-life advocates as a disaster.

Second, he argued that just like “the problem addressed by prohibition has dwindled away,” the abortion rate today is beginning to decline and will continue to decline. So David, if the frequency of rape begins to decline, and continues to decline, will you then support the legalization of rape?

Third, he argued that “if we come to a new consensus about the status of women – absorbing and digesting the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the feminist revolution of the 1970s into a new dispensation more comfortable with both women’s equality to men and their differences from men – disagreements over abortion will come to matter less.”

It’s a common tactic for pro-abortion proponents to misrepresent the motives of pro-life advocates. Frum either could not or would not acknowledge the actual problem: abortion is the intentional killing of innocent human life. And the intentional killing of innocent human life will never “matter less.”

Frum was engaging in wishful thinking. So here’s a dose of reality. The pro-life movement will “vanish from national politics” only after its outright victory. Note: Paul Pauker writes for the Live Action blog and this column is reprinted with permission.