Kamala Harris Compares Pro-Lifers to Slaveholders - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Kamala Harris Compares Pro-Lifers to Slaveholders
Kamala Harris addressing the NAACP on July 18 (The White House)

The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade denied the humanity of unborn children and treated them as disposable property. The decision bore an obvious parallel to the Court’s infamous ruling upholding slavery in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. That ruling denied the humanity of slaves and conferred upon slaveholders a right to ownership over them.

This history makes the recent remarks of Vice President Kamala Harris, which she delivered before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People of all groups, even more appalling. She had the gall to cast those who defend the humanity of unborn children and oppose the reduction of them to personal property as modern-day slaveholders.

“We know, NAACP, that our country has a history of claiming ownership over human bodies,” she said. “And today, extremists, so-called leaders are criminalizing doctors and punishing women for making healthcare decisions for themselves — personal decisions that it is her right to make in consultation with her doctor, her pastor, her priest, her rabbi, her loved ones, not her government telling her what to do.”

To the increasingly incoherent Harris, the overturning of Roe, which returns the issue of abortion to the democratic choice of voters across the states, is also somehow a blow against “democracy” and “our most fundamental freedoms.” This makes about as much sense as her claim that supporting the killing of unborn children “does not require anyone to abandon their faith or beliefs.” That line has become one of her frequent talking points, even though her practice of religion isn’t particularly conspicuous.

President Joe Biden used to say that his religious convictions led him to oppose abortion “personally” but not publicly. He wouldn’t dare say that these days. Nothing less than total enthusiasm for abortion as a moral good is now permitted within the Democratic Party, which makes it sound as unhinged as the 19th-century Democrats who tried to sanctify slavery.

Harris’ attempt to claim the moral high ground on abortion is pathetic. She embodies the extremism that she condemns, arguing for the dominion of the powerful over the powerless. Both slavery and abortion rest on the amoral grounds that might makes right. But it doesn’t. That an abortionist can kill the unborn child, and not the other way around, has nothing to do with justice. It simply reflects the fact that the abortionist is strong and the child is weak.

Both slavery and abortion rest upon the same dehumanizing sophistries. To justify slavery, its proponents cast doubt on the full humanity of slaves. To justify abortion, its advocates scoff at the full humanity of unborn children. The Democrats, who claim the mantle of “science,” can stare at a sonogram and deny the presence of a human life.

Both slavery and abortion also assume that value is determined entirely by the supposed owners of the slave or unborn child. Their value is extrinsic, not intrinsic, dependent wholly on whether or not the slaveholder or mother “wants” them. The “history of claiming ownership over human bodies,” as Harris put it, stretches not from Dred Scott to Dobbs but from Dred Scott to Roe, which declared the unborn child no more significant or distinct than an appendage of the mother’s body for much of her pregnancy.

In the late 1970s, before he flip-flopped on abortion, Jesse Jackson said that the government has the same obligation to defend the unborn child as it did to defend the rights of slaves. He dismissed the “privacy” fallacy of the Democrats: “If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as you please, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned.”

Imagine Jesse Jackson making that argument these days. That the NAACP has become a venue for the shameless posturing of Kamala Harris is a measure of its sad decline. By portraying principled pro-lifers as akin to slaveholders, Harris is hurting herself and her party far more than the Republicans. Like Hillary Clinton calling half the country “deplorables,” Harris’ contempt simply highlights her extremism and will alienate not only conservatives but also some moderates and independents ambivalent about abortion.

To make a human rights violation look like a noble cause, Harris and company have to emphasize the rarest and most exceptional cases of abortion. But even if those cases fell to zero, they would still support abortion on demand. Their support for it, after all, turns not on circumstances but on the crass assumptions Harris expressed to the NAACP — that the child has no right to life and is indistinguishable from the woman’s body. The Democrats assume automatically that abortion is “good” for women and “unwanted” children, as if an act of traumatizing violence to both mother and child is obviously better than life. This is as delusional and self-serving as the claim at the heart of the Dred Scott decision — that the “negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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