Tuesday, April 21, 2009
It would seem that the pro-choice movement has a new ally: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Astonishing, right? After all, this is the erstwhile vice-presidential candidate who has loudly condemned a woman’s right to choose, stating her opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Yet in a keynote speech last week – at a right-to-life fundraising dinner, no less – Palin made a poignant argument against anti-choice legislation. Stating that she had twice considered abortion, she described in depth the process that led her to the “decision” to undergo the pregnancies. (This talk of “decisions” is certainly not new to Palin’s lexicon. At last summer’s Republican convention, Palin issued a statement referring to “[pregnant daughter] Bristol's decision to have her baby.”)
Yet, under the legislative initiatives that Palin conspicuously advocates, there would be no “decision” at all. The thought process that she chronicled would be moot – one of the options would be struck completely off the table. Palin, when making the decision she so emphasizes, had the choice of abortion and decided, independently and with much thought, to go another route. It’s wonderful that she was able to make a choice that was right for her; the logical next step would be to allow all women, women who may or may not arrive at a different answer, to make a choice that is right for them. Whether intentionally or not, Palin’s speech contained a clear moral, one that the Post’s Ruth Marcus points out: “Abortion is a personal issue and a personal choice. The government has no business taking that difficult decision away from those who must live with the consequences.”