Contra Mozilla

Friday, October 3, 2014

Safe Legal Abortion: A Hypothetical

Good (if short-term) news out of Texas: the federal appeals court has allowed the state to immediately begin enforcing the restrictions which it passed last summer. This is short-term good news only because the appeals court is allowing enforcement to continue while it considers the overall constitutionality of the law. This should be a no-brainer (the law is clearly constitutional, even in light of earlier Supreme Court rulings), but in principle the appeals court could decide to uphold the circuit court's original ruling.

Well and good, and that news is certainly blog-worthy. But actually, what got my attention was this little passage from The Monitor's coverage of this news (my emphasis added):
"Today's ruling has gutted Texas women's constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care and stands to make safe, legal abortion essentially disappear overnight," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The phrase "safe, legal" is always used by those who call themselves pro-choice whenever talking about abortion. It is their current call sign (I guess "Safe, legal, and rare" was either too long or too obviously a lie), an unreflexive statement uttered like the various sleep-hypnosis phrases of Huxley's Brave New World, and because not reflexive, meaningless, a sort of verbal soma.

I suppose that the idea is to link the two terms in the mind, and thus to link their opposites: "legal = safe, therefore illegal = unsafe." Let us set aside for the sake of argument the morality of the issue, that is, the fact that if abortion means the deliberate taking of an innocent human being's life--in a word, murder--then it is never "safe" under any circumstances. I do this, because even though the procedure is obviously unsafe for one person, it may yet be relatively more or relatively less safe for another.

Which begs the question: what makes "legal" abortion so safe, and what proposals (read: laws, regulations, etc) would the "pro-choice" crowd in general, and the pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and their abortion-profiteering ilk in particular back to actually make abortions "safe"? Because, from what I have seen, any proposal, no matter how minor or major, is always opposed by them if one result is fewer abortion (read: loss of profit, loss of support, etc.). What makes legal abortions "safe," if there are no actual regulations of those who commit them legally? Nicer and cleaner conditions of the clinic? The current round of regulation exist to specifically require this. Easier access to a hospital if the procedures should go south? Again, that should be a no-brainer.

So what, if anything, should be done to actually make "legal" mean "safer"?

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