Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Animal Rights and Women's Health Win!

Ok, I threatened to write about the recent Planned Parenthood controversy, but I refuse to be drawn into the ridiculous Cecil The Lion analogy. Everybody's used that one. You want hypocrisy? I've got hypocrisy. It was worth the wait.

Today, a federal judge ruled in favor of a gaggle of liberal groups, including the ACLU, saying legislators wrongly tried to inhibit free speech because animal rights activists wanted to release undercover videos which graphically displayed animal abuse at various "factory farms". Nathan Runkle,  President of Mercy for Animals, said, "We hope [Idaho's lawmakers] will now focus their efforts on improving animal welfare and rewarding the brave whistleblowers who uncover criminal activity in Idaho's agricultural operation."

This is too rich. It's a shame Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton and Cecile Richards don't feel the same way about babies. We need a Mercy for Embryos! How much consternation has there been about these Planned Parenthood videos, how they were obtained, what they depicted, that they had been edited and taken completely "out of context"? Cecile Richards described the "brave whistleblowers" who are responsible for the Planned Parenthood videos as , "...the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches." No substantiation for these slanderous charges, no challenge from George Stephanopoulos on whose show she made these lunatic statements.

Let's be frank. It would be a disingenuous admission on the part of liberals if they attempted to dispute that there isn't ideological linkage between animal rights activism and pro-choice advocacy. And yet we find boisterous litigation on behalf of First Amendment rights in the former's case and a gagging of free speech protection in the latter's.

How to account for such blatant contradiction? I'm afraid the answer to that question is all too obvious, too. There is uniformly broader support for animal rights generally and against the slaughter of animals bred for consumption than there is outrage over the sale of embryo body parts by abortion clinics. It is an essential part of the dogma, a belief system that cannot be challenged and if challenged, must be delegitimized. Free expression does not have application when liberal orthodoxy is confronted, and dissent cannot be broached.

In my view this is a fundamental reason we find ourselves so polarized. Harry Reid, when trashing Senate Republicans following the failed cloture vote on defunding Planned Parenthood said they had "lost their moral compass". Could there be a more ironic face slap than this? Regardless of how one feels about a "woman's right to choose", what kind of feeling human being could see those shreds of humanity in a Petri dish and not feel some sense of shame or outrage? And have those pieces discussed with less emotion than one feels about a chicken stuffed into a coop? The lack of moral equivalence is breathtaking.

Does Planned Parenthood provide valuable health services to women exclusive of abortions? Certainly. Are there alternative, low cost options for women besides Planned Parenthood? Definitely. Does Planned Parenthood deserve some exclusive access to $500 million in taxpayer support? Unlikely. In many ways, this effort to strip Planned Patenthood of taxpayer funding is a beachhead; not so much to overturn Roe vs Wade, but to stop the profligate spending that has run amuck under both democrat and republican administrations. This is not a vast amount of money. It isn't going to make a dent in the reduction of our debt. But if we cannot find some justification for removing this subsidy from an organization whose services can be sourced through other, non taxpayer supported clinics, then we have no hope of ever reducing the size of government and its inexorable growth is therefore irreversible.

If this isn't really about the provision of health services to women, but rather about the sacrosanct
nature of abortion, then Harry's right. Our moral compass has been sledgehammered, and as Elizabeth Warren asked, have we hit our heads and gone back to the 1890's? Maybe not the 1890's, Great Chief Liz. But the area of 1914, perhaps. That's when Saint Margaret Sanger coined the term "birth control" as a more palatable way of describing "family limitation".

And just to come full circle, she viewed "birth control" as a First Amendment struggle since anti-obscenity laws prohibited open discussion of contraceptive options. Another stroke of cosmic irony that the organization that Sanger founded strives to silence its critics by denying them free speech while accusing them of unfounded bombings and murder. Thank God the animals have the ACLU and Mercy for Animals to speak on their behalf.

1 comment:

  1. There is no contradiction. The Ag-Gag laws impose criminal penalties for speech - they are a direct assault on the First Amendment. No one is suggesting that the makers of the anti-abortion videos be arrested, just that they are misleading and devious.