Jennifer Stockman vs. Jeffrey Lord: an exchange.
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Typical of this mindset is Ms. Stockman’s line that implies I have not spent time “thinking about the health and well being of American women.” Sigh. The obvious counterpoint of the pro-life activist (which, I should say, I am decidedly not) is to wonder whether Ms. Stockman spends any time thinking about the health and well-being of the millions of babies whose lives have been snuffed out because of Roe. Both lines are, well, out of line. Yet typical of the raw emotion that Roe brings to the surface, typical of its tendency to push good, rational people to extremes, one of which Ms. Stockman occupies. And for the record, I harbor no such unkind thoughts about Jennifer Stockman who, I believe, is the mother of, I’m sure, two wonderful daughters and doubtless loves babies.
A few points:
• The Big Tent argument. Sounds wonderful, infers broadmindedness. Really? In 2004 pro-life Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum had done the Big Tent thing and provided crucial support for pro-choice then-Republican Senator Arlen Specter in a tight primary fight with the conservative Pat Toomey. Specter won, and promptly thanked Santorum. In 2006 Ms. Stockman went out of her way to oppose Santorum, running ads against him and editorializing against him in the Philadelphia Inquirer. In effect, Ms. Stockman vividly demonstrated the real idea behind the Big Tent. Which is to say, the Big Tent is for me but not for thee. She in fact believes religiously in a litmus test on abortion for candidates, and vigorously demanded a litmus test for Santorum. She talks the talk but refuses to walk the walk.
• It startles to see that Jennifer Stockman says I “conveniently” ignored Brown v. Board of Education in my list of Supreme Court decisions that, as with Roe, deliberately violated the Constitution. I confess I simply believed that Ms. Stockman understood Brown and no explanation was needed. Obviously not so. Far from being an example of judicial activism, Brown was precisely the judicial antidote to the judicial activism that was Plessy v. Ferguson, which, in the style of Dred Scott and Roe, conjured a right for states to segregate, a direct violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Judge Robert Bork, famously pro-life and very much the originalist, called Brown a “great and correct decision,” which it was. Not because it was morally correct — which it also was. But because it righted the constitutional wrong that was Plessy, specifically violating the plain intent of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plessy, like Roe, was judicial activism. Brown is its opposite.
• To airily dismiss the idea that “legislatures and governors” — i.e., the people’s chosen representatives directly elected by those same people — should set abortion policy, while defending, Roger Taney-style, the right of judges to write in their own personal abortion policy prescriptions that deny choice to Americans, is morally wrong but more to the point constitutionally wrong. To update the essence of the quote from dissenting Justice Curtis in Dred Scott, one woman’s common sense is another woman’s nonsense. Which is why we have a Constitution and the rule of law. The law is not about Jennifer Stockman or Sarah Palin. It’s about — the law. Which both Jennifer Stockman and Sarah Palin — and all the rest of us — have the opportunity to write.
• The “conservative position” in 2010 America should be to let the American people chose the abortion policy they wish to have.
With the greatest of respect I think Jennifer Stockman should take a leadership role in resolving this issue for good while upholding her point of view. Let me suggest the following language for a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
The right of a woman in the United States to have an abortion is unlimited.
Two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states, and the abortion issue is resolved in a simple, quite plain Constitutional fashion, with the American people getting to chose the abortion consensus they prefer by supporting or not supporting it. Surely she could get the support of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and, I bet, even the pro-life Harry Reid, not to mention pro-choice Republicans who are, she insists, the Republican Majority.
No fuss, no muss. No government in the bedroom. No judges in the womb. True to the Constitution. Choice for all Americans, not just judges. Women free at last, as embedded specifically in the Constitution itself, to “consult with their doctors, their families and their own consciences — not a political party looking to round up votes in the next election.” And most attractive, surely, it would be the end of those irritating pro-lifers for good.
The problem? Ms. Stockman told Sean Hannity she opposed abortion at the very last stage of a pregnancy. Which makes her…drum roll please…not just an opponent of a Constitutional amendment legalizing abortion, but one of those irritating pro-lifers after all.
Over to you Jennifer.
Thanks for writing.
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