For proper perspective, let’s state the sides of the abortion debate in a way that gives due consideration to the gravity that they respectively assign to the subject:
- Those who consider themselves to be pro-life believe that a human life begins at conception, creating a child with the full basic rights of humanity, most importantly the right not to be killed. Abortion is therefore the unjust killing of an innocent child.
- Those on the pro-choice side, believing either that life does not begin at conception or that the fact of life does not create obligations for the mother, hold that restricting access to abortion is therefore the government’s intervening in women’s private health decisions regarding their own bodies.
Either way, the issue clearly has grave moral consequences and has implications for the very meaning of life, not just for superficial aesthetic preferences. Now, read this bullet from this weekend’s Nesi’s Notes:
Rep. Joe McNamara, longtime chairman of the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee, has converted to the pro-choice side in the abortion debate. This fall McNamara sought and received the endorsement of Planned Parenthood for the first time; as recently as 2008 he’d secured the endorsement of Rhode Island Right to Life. But his relationship with Right to Life soured after that election when his committee blocked a bill requiring women who seek an abortion to be given information about other options. McNamara, who is also state Democratic Party chairman, says the legislation in question “was not well thought-out” but Right to Life nevertheless “worked actively against me” by buying an ad calling attention to the issue in 2010. McNamara argued he’s had no major change of heart on abortion, though. “I just think that, looking at some specific issues, that, you know – it’s basically where I’ve been, supporting the law of the land, and over the years that’s what it’s become,” he said.
The impression one gets is that, for crass political purposes, McNamara wants the support of one organization or the other. Thus, if one organization rejects him, it no longer matters whether an embryo is a living human being or not. A guy’s got to win elections, after all.
As Nesi notes, McNamara is the face of Rhode Island’s Democrat Party.