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Jewish World Review Jan. 27, 2005/ 17 Shevat, 5765

Ann Coulter

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Where's that religious fanatic we elected?

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Maybe he is an idiot. On the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade this past Monday — I was going to say "birthday of Roe v. Wade," but that would be too grimly ironic even for me — President Bush told a pro-life rally in Washington that a "culture of life cannot be sustained solely by changing laws. We need, most of all, to change hearts."

Actually, what we need least of all is to "change hearts." Maybe it's my law background, but I think it's time we changed a few judges.

The "changing hearts" portion of the abortion debate is over. ATTENTION, PASSENGERS: We're now entering the "minds" portion of the "hearts and minds" journey on abortion. We've been talking about abortion for 32 years. All the hearts that can be changed have been changed. By some estimates, 35 million human hearts (and counting) have been "changed" by abortion.

Judging by her comments this week calling abortion a "sad, even tragic choice," we've even changed Hillary Clinton's heart. (And who would know better than the sad, even tragic choice offered to New York voters in 2000 herself?)

Hillary went so far as to say she had "respect" for those who believe that "there are no circumstances under which any abortion should ever be available."

I've never heard of anyone who thinks abortion should not be "available" to save the life of the mother. There was never a law in any state that prohibited abortion to save the life of the mother. If Hillary "respects" even this (nonexistent) lunatic fringe of the pro-life movement, she must adore the rest of us!

The only thing we need to do now is to start "changing laws." A culture of life cannot even begin — much less be sustained — until we change the law and repeal Roe v. Wade. Only then can we tally up how many hearts have been changed.

If, right now, pro-lifers had already succeeded in changing the hearts of every last person in America — including Hillary Clinton! — abortion would still be legal in every state of the union. It's a "constitutional right" — taking its place alongside all those other "sad," "tragic" rights guaranteed by the Constitution, such as religious expression, free speech, freedom of assembly and so on. Who was it who said, "Free speech should be safe, legal and rare"?

Only when at least five members of the Supreme Court stop pretending to see a secret, hidden clause in the Constitution, discernible only to members of the ACLU, and repeal Roe can Americans finally vote on abortion. This is a right we have been denied for 32 years. In effect, a 32-year gag rule has been imposed on those of us who respect every stage of life.

The National Abortion Rights League (NARAL) claims that if Roe were overturned, 19 states would immediately outlaw abortion, and 19 more would soon follow suit. This is the one issue on which NARAL and I agree: Pro-lifers already have changed the hearts of Americans about abortion!

Abortion was not terribly popular when Roe v. Wade was first concocted in 1973 — by seven male justices and their mostly male law clerks. Abortion — like other liberal priorities over the years including forced busing, gay marriage and removing "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance — is an issue liberals believe is best voted on by groups of nine or fewer.

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We know it wasn't popular with actual Americans back then because 46 states had outlawed it in a once-common procedure known as "representative democracy." Reflect on the fact that among the things more popular than abortion even back in 1973 were white-guy afros, lime-green leisure suits and earth shoes.

In the intervening 32 years, abortion has only become less popular. People have seen sonograms of smiling fetuses, they've seen the mangled remains of aborted babies, they've heard the ghastly arguments from NARAL termagants, and they've seen untold women marking the birth dates of their terminated children with weeping and despair.

In a Los Angeles Times poll a few years ago, 57 percent of respondents said they believed abortion was "murder." Seventy-two percent of women and 58 percent of men said they thought abortion should be illegal after the first trimester. (Among men currently listed on NBA rosters, the figure was even lower.)

Note that men in the poll were more supportive of abortion than women, which is perfectly in keeping with the pro-abortion orthodoxy that men should have no say in this matter, unless they're saying "yes, dear." Once again, NARAL and I are in agreement! It's a "woman's issue"; could you men please just butt out?

Despite the fact that feminists cry and try to make people feel guilty about opposing a "woman's right" to abortion, men always support abortion more than women — no matter who takes the poll or how the questions are asked. Curiously, single men aged 18-34 are the cohort most dearly devoted to a woman's "right to choose."

Until Roe is overturned, telling pro-lifers they need to be "changing hearts" is like telling the New England Patriots they need to practice more — while never, ever letting them play in the Super Bowl. We've been changing hearts for 32 years — I think we're ready for the big match now. I think Americans would support massive restrictions on abortion. And NARAL agrees with me! How about it, liberals? Prove me wrong! Let Americans vote.

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JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of, most recently, "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) : The World According to Ann Coulter". (Sales help fund JWR.)

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