Paul Greenberg
O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts,

And men have lost their reason.

- - "Julius Caesar," Act III, Scene 2

The other day I saw a syndicated column about sex-selection abortion. That is, a mother's choosing to abort her baby because it's the "wrong" sex, say a girl, when she really wanted a boy.

It happens around the world, particularly in Asia. And the one-child policy in still Communist China has only increased the practice. It would be hard to come up with a clearer example of sexual discrimination.

The pro-life faction in Congress has responded by introducing what's called the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw such abortions.

The columnist -- Ken Herman of the Austin American-Statesman in Texas -- seemed of two minds, at least, about this issue. He knew he was against unjust discrimination against women, the way any good liberal or just any fair-minded American would be. But he also seemed to be for a woman's right to choose, that is, to have an abortion. Which left him in a quandary.

So the columnist asked Planned Parenthood, that citadel of pro-choice opinion, whether it was for or against sex-selection abortion.

If he was seeking guidance, he got precious little. What he did get in response to his simple question was a load of boilerplate about how Planned Parenthood supported all the right principles when it comes to not discriminating against women. ("Planned Parenthood opposes racism and sexism in all forms; and we work to advance equity and human rights in the delivery of health care. Planned Parenthood condemns sex selection motivated by gender, and urges leaders to challenge the underlying conditions that lead to these beliefs and practices....")

Yadda, yadda, yadda. But was Planned Parenthood for or against this Prenatal Non-discrimination Act?

It wouldn't say, not at first.

But when pressed, it finally came out, like the Obama administration, against the proposed law. In short, Planned Parenthood is against all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex except when it isn't, and on this issue it isn't.

Planned Parenthood might be all against such discrimination in principle, but in practice it couldn't be bothered to save a single baby marked for abortion because of its sex.

Our columnist friend in Austin was left in his self-imposed quandary. He wound up spending a couple of columns of type deciding not to decide where he himself stood on the issue. He ended up by inviting any readers who disagreed with him to submit their opinions on the matter.

But what was there to disagree with? Or agree with, for that matter? He never took a clear stand himself.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.