Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Abortion Isn’t a Privacy Right

Katie Couric, anchor for cbs Evening News, did her best to play “gotcha” journalism with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during her interview shortly after the governor announced her candidacy for Vice President.

Couric knew she had Palin in a corner when she brought up the question about abortion. Her surprise follow-up question tripped the governor, especially since Palin was not answering from her heart, rather from the very strict and politically-correct coaching that she had been fed from the John McCain campaign.

The question was why did the governor believe that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision by the Supreme Court. The governor was forced to give the party-line answer, positioning it as a states’ rights issue. That gave Couric the opening she needed to assert that Roe v. Wade was a privacy rights issue, not a states rights issue. She got Palin to admit that the constitution guaranteed a right to privacy — It does not — and therefore she must be in conflict with her own assertion.

Palin tried to backpedal and get the topic back on states’ rights issues, but the damage was done. Couric countered with a challenge to name any other Supreme Court decision that Palin disagreed with. Sarah clutched, gulped, and fumbled. She never recovered.

Okay, Sarah, I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way that politics in the federal arena is very nasty business, especially if you’re a pro-life evangelical fundamentalist. I know it was no surprise to you, but it still hurts, doesn’t it?

On the other hand, I am not being interviewed by any national news anchor. I am not accountable to a national party candidate and I have nothing to lose. (Joe the Plumber and I have that in common.) So here is the answer that Sarah Palin wanted to give:

Katie Couric’s question: Why, in your view, is Roe v. Wade a bad decision?

My answer: The individual states had already decided for themselves whether to allow abortion and under what circumstances. The tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States grants all powers to the states if those powers had not been otherwise granted to the federal government. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret law, not to create new laws. Since neither the Congress nor the Constitution had specifically addressed the issue of abortion, the right to regulate it rests with the individual states. Until and unless that changes, the Supreme Court should have never even accepted the case, much less ruled in that way.

Q: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

A: No. I believe there is an inherent expectation of privacy in our society. And there are various laws passed by Congress and by individual states to enforce that expectation. But it is not guaranteed by the Constitution.

Q: But the right to privacy was the cornerstone of Roe v. Wade.

A: And that was wrong. If your question is about Roe v. Wade, the answer is it’s a states’ rights issue. But if you’re asking about my views on abortion, I believe abortion is wrong because it is murder. A fetus is not a cystic mass to be surgically removed by a doctor at the whim of a woman. It is a human being. The rights of the mother are limited when they would infringe upon the rights of the baby to be born. There is no inherent right to reproductive decisions once conception has occurred. And the right to privacy is just a red herring that abortion advocates have put up in their attempt to de-humanize an unborn baby.

There you have it, Governor. I know that’s what you wanted to say. Maybe in your next career, you can be a contributor on Fox News Channel and you can throw that verbiage at Alan Colmes. You don’t even have to give me credit for it; I know you would have come up with it yourself if you were given the opportunity.

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