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OPINION

Alan Keyes and the Abortion Issue

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

With the possible exception of who should be the next American Idol, there is probably no question that divides Americans more than abortion. It not only divides liberals and conservatives, parents and offspring, and men and women, but also divides those within each group. Even my wife and I have been known to argue about it; she feels that men shouldn’t even have a say in the matter, while I contend that cutting us out of the discussion is like saying that people who aren’t serving in the military shouldn’t have an opinion about Iraq, or that honest, law-abiding citizens aren’t entitled to comment on the legal system or voice an opinion about capital punishment.

That being said, my position isn’t all that different from hers. Yvonne’s major gripe is that irresponsible men who impregnate women, thus leading to abortions, suffer no consequences. They don’t have to undergo the trauma or suffer the guilt. Even if their promiscuous behavior leads to two or three or a dozen abortions, nobody talks about sterilizing them. In fact, in certain circles, they’re admired as studs. Well, I, for one, am all for sterilizing them. Vasectomies aren’t terribly complicated procedures and a friend, who had one some years ago, has told me that they’re not even painful, hard as that may be for most men to imagine. To hear him tell it, it’s less intrusive than a colonoscopy, and you don’t have to prepare for the big event by suffering through a day’s worth of Fleet enemas.

One of the arguments against the reversal of Roe v. Wade is that it would return us to the old days when abortions were performed in back alleys with wire coat hangers. But the truth is, it would simply be a return to life before Roe v. Wade when abortions were legal in some states and not in others. I guarantee you they would continue to be performed on demand in New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois and wherever the majority of citizens wanted them to be legal. In other states, the sperm donor would be expected to cough up in addition to dinner, drinks and a little sweet talk, a Greyhound bus ticket.

The Supreme Court should never have stuck its big nose into the issue in the first place because by no stretch of the imagination could abortions be regarded as a constitutional right. The U.S. Constitution is pretty doggone specific about such matters and nowhere in that precious document is the federal government authorized to rule on which operations are legal and which are not. That’s why those who promoted Roe v. Wade had to employ smoke and mirrors, arguing that the right to an abortion was covered by “the pursuit of happiness.” The problem with that interpretation is two-fold; one, those four words appear in the Declaration of Independence, not the U.S. Constitution; two, it’s high-flown rhetoric, but it doesn’t really mean anything. These days, the ladies of NOW, who must have their Kool-Aid delivered in oil tankers, defend abortion by arguing for a woman’s right to privacy. That’s even goofier than trying to make a case for the pursuit of happiness. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that a sexual predator could claim that it was in the pursuit of happiness that he raped a woman or molested a child, and that a killer could argue that the murder he committed was strictly a private matter between him and his victim.

But even I can see my wife’s point when it comes to a fellow like Alan Keyes. In a recent article, he took Sarah Palin to task because when she was questioned about Roe v. Wade, she said it should be reversed. If she had stopped there, Mr. Keyes wouldn’t have had a problem with her. But her sin was in concluding with “I think states should be able to decide that issue.”

Keyes, in his article, wrote: “She regards the issue of responsibility for human life as a matter of personal opinion rather than public principle.”

Now, Alan Keyes is a very intelligent man, but he sounds like an absolute goofus when he heckles a mother of five because she is realistic enough to accept that until the day that the mullahs take over America, a certain number of legal abortions will always take place.

Now, God knows I can be pretty self-righteous, but even I wouldn’t dare call a woman, a woman who decided to give birth to a baby with Down Syndrome, on the carpet over the question of abortion. When the Chutzpah Society of North America hands out its Man of the Year award, it’s my guess the plaque will have Mr. Keyes’ name engraved on it.

Perhaps Alan Keyes’ mistake is that he has devoted his life to politics instead of the ministry. Perhaps if he hadn’t spent the past 20 years running for the U.S. Senate (’88, ’92, ’04) or the White House (’96, ’00, ’08), and had delivered his sermons from a pulpit instead of a dais, he might have taken his place alongside the likes of Norman Vincent Peale, James Dobson and Billy Graham, instead of alongside such perennial also-rans as Norman Thomas, Harold Stassen and Dennis Kucinich.

Finally, speaking strictly for myself, I don’t approve of abortions….until I consider people such as Chris Matthews, Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell, and then I can see where a case could be made.

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