Monday, November 24, 2008

"Diminished In Morality" (Pt. 2)

(Editor's Note: This is part two in a series regarding the views of KBAR radio host, Zeb Bell, on abortion. The first installment was published Thursday, November 20, 2008.)

In the introductory post of this series, the background on abortion law, I posed the two-part question of whether or not it is justifiable to fear a reverse in abortion policy on the coattails of Obama alone and whether it is easier for the anti-abortion contingency, from the standpoint of logical argument and conscience, to attack those who oppose abortion and all of their values and standards than it is to attack those who support abortion and every other value and belief they hold.

Perhaps the answer, in part, is the recent diatribe of Zeb Bell regarding recent news surrounding the BLM's wild horse policy. Horses? Yes, I said horses. From November 13, 2008:
The way that we treat the horses in this country, with the saving them and putting them in these holding pens and a million and a half here, big deal. We treat those animals better than we do human beings with a partial birth abortion advocated by the new administration with Obama and it is disgusting and sickening to me.
What Zeb fails to connect for his readers is that the BLM policy regarding the euthanizing of wild horses was reversed by President Bush. The Clinton administration intervened on this issue and it is likely, given his recent staff and cabinet decisions, that President-elect Obama will operate under similar if not identical policies. Why does he fear change under Obama when on issues such as this it is his President who has reversed policy?

Before discussing the link Zeb automatically made between a country up in arms about the status of wild horses, yet ambivalent toward a procedure medically known as D&E (as opposed to the purely political term 'partial birth abortion'), it is important to note that Zeb Bell agrees with George W. Bush 90% of the time (sound familiar?), seeming to disagree with him only on immigration policy. He unabashedly supported George Bush's veto of embryonic stem cell research legislation and more than likely would offer an argument, identical in reasoning to that of President Bush, that opposing abortion is in fact protecting the sanctity of life.

If Zeb is going to make the improbable and illogical jump from the slaughtering of horses to the D&E procedure, how are we not to question his motives in fearing a change in leadership under Obama on abortion grounds and his lack of fear in the leadership of George W. Bush on what Zeb himself admits is an emotional issue? He goes on:
I get really emotional when I think that in a country like ours...that we tend to think about what they did in Chicago with Jill Stanek, the nurse that was on my program and testified at a hearing with Barack Obama when she tried to defeat him on his pushing for partial birth abortion and he wanted to let babies that lived through the surgery of partial birth abortion just pushed into a linen closet and allowed to die. We can't do this with an overpopulous of horses! They'll spend a million and a half a month in a holding facility. There's something wrong with this society!

Yeah, I'm very passionate about this. I've never seen something more ridiculous than the way we treat human life as a baby and yet we're so concerned about equines and bovines and canines, but yet we'll say that with partial birth abortion we will kill an infant that's ready to be born and if he doesn't die during that partial birth abortion process, just put him on a gurney and just push him in a linen closet, I'm not making this up, it happened, and let the infant die in that cold, clammy room. Our whole society needs a get better pill because right now I think we're sick.
Whether or not Jill Stanek has any sense of the truth and is anything close to a truthful depiction of Barack Obama's role in any of this remains to be seen; however, she appears to be aware of the divide among the anti-choice contingency on the wording of anti-choice legislation. Like the arguments in Planned Parenthood v Casey and Gonzalez v Carhart, there remains a certain amount of hesitation in placing any abortion law into practice without sufficient concern and verbiage regarding the health and safety of the mother. As far as I can tell, Zeb Bell does not believe abortion to be an appropriate practice under any circumstances, even the generally accepted cases of rape, incest, or the safety of the mother.

Zeb Bell believes that slaughtering wild horses across this country is a much more humane way of dealing with the cost of these animals than housing them in holding pens on the tax payer's dime. He also believes that allowing a mother to die because of a pregnancy is more humane than allowing that same mother to choose for herself and with the best advice of her doctor to undergo the D&E procedure to terminate a pregnancy that would otherwise be life-ending.

Would it be harder for him to attack Obama if the President-elect were anti-choice? I doubt it. Bell would just resort to instilling fear in his listeners by offering any other number of post-inauguration scenarios, scenarios he would likely offer as evidence of Obama and an accepting public being "diminished in morality." Would it be easier for him to attack President Bush if the President were pro-choice and supported stem cell research? Without a doubt. Seems to be a double standard here. A liberal is a liberal, abortion policy or not, but a conservative is less conservative if he can support abortion on any level?

It makes tons of sense, nearly as much sense as a conversation about wild horses morphing into one about partial birth abortion.

1 comment :

Nick S. said...

Ok, so I thought I'd share with you my new thoughts on abortion law in this country.

The moralities of abortion are sticky and I don't intend to wade into them. Luckily, we don't have to decide if abortion is morally right. That's for religious leaders and individuals. What we have to figure out is if it's governments job to say "you can't do this."

In the last few years I've come to think that because the moral questions surrounding abortion are unanswered, we should probably leave it to individuals to figure out where they stand.

A "New Rule" from Bill Maher stikes me as relevant somehow, probably because this isn't just about abortion. Maybe for some it is, but for others it's about abstinence-only in schools, and not talking about condoms (if I were a health teacher I'd have to be an alcoholic). "[Members of the christian right] want to make sure sex is as dangerous as possible, so that kids know, if they sleep around and get an STD, that's God teaching them a lesson."