The Raving Theist

Dedicated to Jesus Christ, Now and Forever

2001 September

Out of Gas

September 22, 2001 | Comments Off

The ACLU this week put the brakes on its lawsuit to stop Ohio from offering “Choose Life” license plates. The end of the road really came last June, when the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the ACLU’s challenge to the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision upholding a similar program in Tennessee. Further litigation would have been hopeless, because Ohio appeals also go to the Sixth Circuit.

As I blogged at this site last May, the Tennessee case was largely pro-choice propaganda masquerading as free speech advocacy. It was litigated by the ACLU’s “Reproductive Freedom Unit” and the accompanying press releases repeatedly derided the plate program as “anti-choice.” The goal wasn’t so much to force the state to allow equal space on plates for pro-choice messages as it was get the pro-life messages off.

The pro-choice motive was at least as overt in the Ohio litigation. Indeed, the ACLU brought the case on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. NARAL, in turn, announced the suit with a blast at crisis pregnancy centers: “[n]ot only are these plates unconstitutional but the money they raise funds centers that often masquerade as clinics to lure in women and give them inaccurate and misleading information.”

Despite the recent developments, the license plate controversy is still technically a two-way street. Under the precedents, a staunchly pro-choice state legislature could authorize abortion-friendly plates and prohibit similar opposing displays. But this has never happened: every demand for a pro-choice plate has arisen as “me too” reaction to some pro-life program. The pro-choice lobby apparently views affirmative cheerleading for its cause the same way the pro-life side views abortion: as a very, very dead end.

(HT: BushvChoice)

Choice 9/11

September 11, 2001 | Comments Off

For most of us, memories of that terrible day five years ago are personal and anecdotal. It’s no different for abortion providers. Over at Planned Parenthood’s website today, Joan Malin offers her reminisces of 9/11. Bittersweet, they are. Malin recounts both missed opportunities (“[s]ince the attack was early, most clients had not yet arrived”) and triumphs (“but some had and we waited for them to awake from anesthesia”). She also relates, with pride, the “charity” described in the previous post: “For two weeks, we offered all of our services free to everyone who needed them.”

For former NARAL Pro-Choice President Kate Michelman (writing in her 2005 autobiography And Liberty and Justice for All), the day was also one of mixed blessings. While the tragedy was undeniable, she thought it might inspire us to look deep within ourselves. And perhaps kill whatever we found there:


In the days that followed, I thought that, in some small way, some good might be recovered from the ashes of 9/11. The attacks forced us to think about what it meant to be Americans, shocking us into a new appreciation of freedom and tolerance. We were confronted with the specter of religious fanaticism taken to its extreme. Now that our shared ideals — like democracy and individual rights — were under such bold attack, perhaps Americans would come to value and appreciate our freedoms more deeply.

Fortuitously, at the time NARAL was running a series of “Choice for America” promoting our most precious “freedom” of all. Michelman recalls that “[m]y personal instinct was that there was no better way to honor the ideals the terrorists had attacked than to continue an open and vigorous dialogue about important issues of personal liberty.” Miraculously, however, America did manage to find “better ways” to pay tribute than abortion-hawking (“[w]hen NARAL received a small number of complaints about the propriety of the ads, I immediately directed that they be removed from the airwaves”).

The National Abortion Federation not yet weighed in on the meaning of this sad anniversary. Based on the contributions of Malin and Michelman, I’m hoping for a moment of silence. But don’t be surprised if they urge us to let the fallen towers live on in our hearts as the twin pillars of dilation and extraction.

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