Home ] About DV ] Blog ]










Abortion Minority Report Has Problems

And the Titanic had a small leak...


By Bob Ellis


I've always said liberals are like children, that they can be counted on to voice juvenile opinions and act in juvenile ways. The pro-abortion liberals in South Dakota have once again proven my axiom.

As has been widely reported in recent weeks, the pro-abortion members of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion pitched a hissy fit at the last meeting of the Task Force in December and walked out before the conclusion.

Since that time, someone who had access to a draft of the Task Force's report released the draft to a feminist organization called feministing.com before the final report was complete. A South Dakota legislator told me they contacted the website as soon as they learned of it and asked them to remove the incorrect report.  So far, they have not—an incorrect draft remains on that website.

The pro-abortion minority has also maligned the Task Force's findings in the media because the majority of the Task Force did not believe throwing rubbers at the problem was the best way to reduce abortions in South Dakota.

Finally, the pro-abortion task force minority decided to come out with its own report last Friday, sending it on their own outside normal channels to all members of the legislature.

I've heard from some legislators and members of the task force who are very disappointed with this childish behavior of the minority. I agree that it's reasonable to expect adults to act like grownups and accept that if they are in the minority, then they are simply not going to get their way. Our system of government in South Dakota and the United States involves majority rule, not a touchy-feely fantasy where everyone can wear sparkly smiles and be happy (as long as things are done the liberal way).

But beyond simple childish behavior, the minority report appears to be specifically designed to obfuscate, muddy the waters, mislead, and cast as much doubt as possible upon the legitimacy of the findings of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion.

The minority report is crafted to sound as if it's the official report, using language such as “The Task Force finds…” and “the Task Force recommends…” Yet it can no more legitimately claim to speak for the Task Force than the Green Party can claim a national mandate from the last election.

The minority report, prepared by task force members Senator Stan Adelstein (R-Rapid City), Dr Maria Bell, M.D., Linda Holcomb, and South Dakota Planned Parenthood Director Kate Looby, begins by making some sort of claim that the mythical doctrine of “separation of church and state” invalidates any religious opinion in the public square.

The report blah-blah’s about a wished-for “separation of church and state” as if it were in the Constitution, and throws in some talk about the freedoms of speech and religion which actually are in the Constitution. That tired church/state cliché is simply, as the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist said, "a metaphor based on bad history."

Once again we find liberals behaving in the manner of children, playing a game of pretend. The so-called doctrine of "separation of church and state" is a concept which imagines an American that never was and one that liberals only hope to create through revisionism. Kids find it hard to live in the real world, and that’s okay…for children.

But this part is actually just the setup, cloaking their report in an air of noble statesmanship, protecting the Constitution and all that. It’s only a lead-in for the next parts:

"The Task Force finds that all life has value, however, the moment at which actual human life begins is fundamentally a religious, philosophical and spiritual issue, subject to differing definitions among religious faiths and even among individuals who share the same religious faith."

What, is the fetus bovine life at first, until it eventually becomes human life at some point?  Funny how prenatal science and the science of life isn’t “science” but is instead “religion.”  Translation: when we want to ignore science we don’t like, we call it “religion.”

Then the report makes the claim:

"The Task Force finds that there is no present or historical consensus among the world’s major religions, including those in South Dakota, as to the propriety or legality of abortion."

Well, as far as history goes, at least as far back as Hippocrates (you know, the medical oath guy) who lived 430-370 B.C., abortion was frowned upon. Part of his oath said, “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel, and in like manner, I will not give a woman a pessary to produce abortion.”

And as for the views of various religions on abortion, both Judaism and Christianity have historically condemned abortion, and still do with the exception of a rebel contingent. Islam and Buddhism condemn abortion as evil. Confucianism, Taoism, and Hinduism also believe that abortion is wrong. While I don’t know about each and every religion on the face of the earth, the religions I’ve just listed make up approximately 80% of the earth’s population, so I think it’s safe to say there is consensus among the world’s major religions that abortion is wrong.

The minority report also says

"such notions of personhood are understandable and supportable only as religious understandings"

Here we go again with that “selective science.” DNA science is good enough to convict criminals in a court of law, it’s enough to release men from jail when it appears they’ve been wrongly accused of a crime, yet the fact that the unborn child has DNA completely unique to him or her from the moment of conception…that isn’t science. Uh huh.

Then, as if the minority’s convoluted “Yellow Brick Road” logic, meandering through myths about “separation of church and state” and fantasies that religions don’t really mean what they say, was obvious to all, they pronounce

"Therefore, the Task Force recommends that the State of South Dakota and the South Dakota Legislature abide by the Constitutions of the United States and the State of South Dakota."

They say this as if any possible influence of faith on public policy violates the constitutions of the U.S. and South Dakota (yes, that South Dakota Constitution which begins, "We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties..." [emphasis mine]). 

This abiding which the minority advocates is one where the right of convenience trumps the right to life because, after all, anyone who can twist history and reality like this should certainly be rewarded by getting their own way.

The whole "separation of church and state" thing, which the minority report keeps harping on, never has been anything more than a sad attempt to remove faith from any relevance to public life.  Just as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, "Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been a part of the common law."  The secularists just want to silence Christians who are ignorant of their religious and American heritage so that they can define their own morality, since the morality of religion is too "narrow" for them.

That's all it is here, too.  They think that if they can successfully convince everyone that the only objections to abortion are religious in nature--as if religious beliefs are automatically nonsense--then no objection to legalized abortion remains.  This report uses faith--which the majority of people hold--as a smear against evidence that abortion kills a human being.

But even science is not beyond the disdain of those who want a world where they can do what is right in their own eyes.  If science can be interpreted to serve their purposes, fine.  If it can't, then it will be ignored.  Or cast aside in the greasy wrapping of religion.

The only recommendation this limp minority report can make is to prevent abortions with rubbers.  It says our children are just animals, slaves to their own impulses, and we have to keep them in a good supply of condoms because they're not responsible for their own behavior.

Thus, this misleading minority report is an affront to protocol, to propriety, to human dignity, to faith, and even to science.  It should therefore be treated with the disdain and disregard it shows for the values held dear by the majority of South Dakotans.

Write a letter to the editor about this article