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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 25, 2010 / 12 Sivan 5770

As Morally Serious as Root Canal

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm often asked whether I support Sarah Palin for president. I don't. But I do very much support her as America's next Oprah. Her cultural antennae are exquisitely sensitive, and she relishes combat. "Sarah's book club" would be an improvement.


After a recent speech in which she argued that "choosing life may not be the easiest path, but it's always the right path," the Washington Post Web edition invited responses. Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, thundered that "Palin calls herself a 'frontier feminist,' but she sounds more like a Pat Robertson feminist." Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor at the Chicago Theological Seminary, noted that "A woman's life is a human life: Those who would deny women the right to moral autonomy, the ability to engage in moral reasoning about whether to continue a pregnancy to term or to have an abortion, develop their arguments based on assumptions of women's moral ineptitude."


Debra Haffner, of the Religious Institute, wrote, "In more than 30 years of working with women struggling with the question of continuing a pregnancy to term or having an abortion, I can think of fewer than a handful who approached the decision lightly. Almost every woman wrestled with what would be best in her individual circumstances, and with what her faith taught her."


This is fatuous moral reasoning. Thistlethwaite suggests that to oppose abortion on moral grounds is to "deny women the right to moral autonomy." Rights talk, as Mary Ann Glendon has observed, has invaded every arena of American life and impoverished civic discourse. Of course women are moral actors. But what is "moral autonomy"? Is it a new right to make immoral choices without being criticized? Does it apply in areas beyond abortion? Do laws against prostitution or baby selling compromise women's "moral autonomy"? Do all laws?


Haffner's argument is also familiar -- not to say hackneyed. We've heard it many times. Abortion is a an "agonizing personal choice." Women struggle with the decision. Well, some doubtless do agonize, but, let's face it, many do not. Feminist writer Naomi Wolf admitted in 2004 that, "I used to think of abortion as being somewhat trivial; the moral equivalent of serious root canal dentistry." A recent survey by the Allan Guttmacher Institute found that 50 percent of women undergoing abortions each year are having their second or more. If the process of deciding on abortion were truly that wrenching, repeat abortions would not be nearly as common.


But, in any case, agony is irrelevant. If, before robbing a bank, the thief agonizes about the act, does that make the decision a moral one? Is it a "very personal choice" whether to libel someone? Shall we say that making insider trading illegal compromises people's "moral autonomy"? These terms are designed to obscure the issue rather than clarify it.


Though the pro-life position continues to be characterized by the press as marginal, it has in fact become the majority view. A 2009 Gallup poll found that 51 percent of Americans described themselves as "pro-life" versus 45 percent saying they are "pro-choice." This year's poll saw some narrowing, but with the pro-life position still outnumbering pro-choice. Only 38 percent of respondents said abortion was "morally acceptable." The poll also found that young people, ages 18 to 29, were much more likely to say that they oppose abortion in all circumstances today than a decade ago (one in four, versus one in seven). National Abortion Rights Action League president Nancy Keenan has noticed this collapse of support among the young, even referring to herself and her contemporaries as the "postmenopausal militia."


Partisans among the press, meanwhile, continue their rear guard actions, making themselves ridiculous with semantic gymnastics. It is not abortion, it's "reproductive choice" or "abortion rights." The New York Times consistently skirts the term "partial birth abortion" as in this story about Sen. Blanche Lincoln: "… Even Emily's List … joined the pile-on last week, reminding followers that it stopped supporting Mrs. Lincoln … after she voted to ban a form of late-term abortion in 1999." A form.


For decades, feminists have argued that the unfettered discretion to harm their unborn children was the foundational women's "right." The law has changed little in that time, but the psychological shift has been significant. The number of annual abortions has been steadily declining since 1981, and polls suggest that people see through such cynical manipulations as calling abortion "choice."


By provoking their ire, Palin reminds us of the shallowness of the "pro-choice" case.

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