For years abortion advocates have presented themselves as "pro-choice," trying to distance themselves from the stigma of supporting the killing of unborn children. NARAL Pro-Choice Americaformerly called National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action Leagueparrots this position in its literature, stating, "Pro-choice means respecting and supporting the right of every woman to make personal choices regarding pregnancy, childbearing, and abortion. It is not which choice she makes, but rather that she is free to make the choice that is right for her." But the endless refrain of "pro-choice, not pro-abortion" cannot hide the real agenda of abortion activists.
When the bodies of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Connor washed up on the shores of San Francisco Bay late last week, the defenders of women's rights did not see two murders that cried out for justice. They saw one murder and one problem. The initial comments of the pro-abortion lobby prove that they are indeed pro-abortion, and not pro-choice as they universally claim.
Laci Peterson had made her choice by the time she disappeared on Christmas Eve, eight months into her pregnancy. She wanted to keep her baby. She had named her unborn son, and was excited at the prospect of being a mother. She took pre-natal yoga classes. She set up a gift registry. When she and her son were killed, the world lost a mother and the child that she wanted.
But abortion rights advocates have never been reticent to turn a personal tragedy, even one as appalling as the Laci Peterson case, into a self-serving political issue. Instead of holding to their public position of "choice," a representative of the National Organization for Women let down her guard and showed her and her movement's true colors.
In a recent interview published in the Morris County (New Jersey) Daily Record, Mavra Stark, the Morris County NOW President, spoke not of the brutal end of two human lives, but of the potential damage to her movement if Connor Peterson's death is treated as a homicide. California, like at least 28 other states, has a "fetal homicide" law on the books which protects the unborn from violent death. In typical knee-jerk fashion, Stark has concluded that to protect the unborn from vicious assault is tantamount to a frontal assault on women's rights.
"If this is murder," Stark contended, "well, then any time a late-term fetus is aborted, they could call it murder." One wonders who "they" are in Ms. Stark's world. The laws in question explicitly exempt abortions performed at the request of the mother. For better or worse, American women have been able legally to terminate pregnancies since 1974, and state laws designed to protect unborn children from criminal violence do nothing to diminish this legal right. This, though, is not enough for the most ardent of abortion rights supporters.
Apparently the "right to choose" only counts when the choice is abortion. Laci Peterson chose to give birth to her son, but abortion rights advocates have no use for this choice. If they did, if they really cared about a woman's right to choose, they would realize that the only way to respect Mrs. Peterson's choice would be to prosecute her and her son's alleged killer, her husband Scott Peterson, to the fullest extent of the law.
But the abortion rights lobby shows nothing but callous disregard for the choices of this dead mother. Reacting to news coverage of the discovery of the bodies, Stark expressed discomfort with the tone of the reporting, and said "There's something about this that bothers me a little bit. Was it born, or was it unborn? If it was unborn, then I can't see charging [Laci's husband, Scott Peterson] with a double-murder."
Maybe Ms. Stark cannot see it, but just about everyone else in America caneven uberfeminist Patricia Ireland, former president of NOW, distanced herself from Stark's comments. It seems that Mavra Stark has been a bit too honest about the pro-abortion position. Whatever one thinks about abortion itself, however, the unavoidable conclusion in this case is that the mother had every intention of keeping her child. And once that fact is clear, this is no longer a case about abortion rights.
For those like Ms. Stark, though, few things are unrelated to abortion. They are not the least bit concerned with choice, and they never have been. Theirs is a fetish of abortion itself, not the choice thereof. Their self-righteousness even blinds them to the consequences of their own position. Under California law, Scott Peterson, if he is guilty, could face the death penalty precisely because he murdered two people, which is defined as a special circumstance that opens the possibility for a capital trial. In the most perverse twist of all, those who attach the least significance to human life are the very ones who would prevent a killer from paying the ultimate price. For Ms. Stark, the conclusion is irresistible. Hers is the logic that would minimize the murder of a woman and her child in the name of women's rights.