A Threat to Their Moral Superiority

I’ve been thinking about something Joseph Epstein wrote, posted the other day, about the hatred liberal women have expressed towards Sarah Palin:

…Strongly liberal women get most agitated over the issue–though of course to them it is no issue but a long since resolved matter–of abortion. Abortion, to be sure, is the great third-rail subject in American politics. But when a male politician is against abortion, these women can write that off as the ignorance of a standard politician, if not himself a Christian fundamentalist, then another Republican cynically going after the fundamentalist vote. A woman not in favor of abortion is something quite different.

And it is all the more strikingly different when the same woman not only holds this opinion on abortion but acts on it and knowingly bears a child with Down syndrome, a child that most liberal women would have thought reason required aborting. What else, after all, is abortion for?

I support abortion and here’s why: If my daughter or daughter-in-law were pregnant with a disabled child, I would want her to abort that child, as I would if I learned that I was going to be the father of such a child. I would do so because I want my life and the lives of my kids to be as happy and care-free as possible which, I imagine, would be precluded by having to care for a disabled child. In other words, my position on abortion has nothing to do with the disabled child’s interests and everything to do with my interests, my happines, my freedom, and my convenience.

Although I am pro-abortion (euphemistically referred to as “pro-choice”), I must admit my admiration for for the anti-abortion (pro-life) people and my skepticism towards the pro-abortion people. When I honestly examine my reasons for supporting abortion – a desire to be as “happy” and care-free as possible – I cannot help but conclude that those opposed to abortion are, shall we say, less self-less in their motivation.

It would be fine if the pro-abortion folks would at least be honest about this, but that is something they can never do. I admit to being a self-interested slob, but the pro-abortion liberals can never admit to anything so grubby and low as selfishness. They must have the moral and intellectual high ground, and the phony “civil rights” rhetoric and a claim to superior powers of reason provide the cover.

I know a couple who have a disabled child which, from my point of view, must place a terrible burden on them. The expense and the effort that goes into caring for their child is enormous. Yet they seem to bear the burden with, what seems to me, admirable good cheer.

I cannot pretend to know what they feel about their situation, but I strongly believe that if they were to lose their disabled child, they would mourn the loss at least as deeply as they would the loss of their “normal” child. I cannot imagine they would rejoice in their “liberation.”

In The Road to Wigen Pier, George Orwell wrote:

…As for such qualities as loyalty, generosity, etc., in a world where nothing went wrong, they would be not only irrelevant but probably unimaginable. The truth is that many of the qualities we admire in human beings can only function in opposition to some kind of disaster, pain or difficulty; but the tendency of…progress is to eliminate disaster, pain and difficulty.

Which brings us back to Sarah Palin and the liberal women who despise her. Palin chose to bear a disabled child rather than avail herself of an abortion (Yes, I’ve heard about the “anguish” of those women who choose to have an abortion), but liberal women, most revealingly refuse to countenance the idea that Palin’s was a self-less act; rather, they insist on seeing it as, in Epstein’s description, “The act of an obviously backward and ignorant woman, an affront to womanhood. ”

Palin is no threat to “abortion rights,” but she is a threat to the feminist, pro-abortion movement’s claim to moral and intellectual superiority.

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