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Who says American editorials don't take stands these days? Even with editorial boards diluting real writing--attention must be paid!--sometimes editorials can take a line. Although the subject would have to be something on which everybody on a standard editorial board can agree. Like guns or Donald Trump.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, how about abortion, too? Most editorial boards, especially at the bigger newspapers, can agree on that. Abortion should be . . . rare.

We love that line. Who could disagree with it? The preacher in Arkadelphia and the folks at Planned Parenthood all say the same thing. "Abortion should be rare" isn't the issue. Should it be legal?

The country is divided, and how. Some folks think that abortion is the killing of a child in the womb--and if that's not the definition of "the least of these" we don't know what is. Others might think that abortion is just the removal of some fetal tissue, no bigger deal than the removal of any other unwanted growth.

The folks running the editorial page at The Los Angeles Times have their own thoughts. And we've published them nearby. It's been a while since an editorial coming from one of the coasts raised eyebrows. But when we saw this thing on the wire Friday, we had to reprint it today. You have to hand it to the editorialists. They may be wrong, but they're not in doubt.

The theme of the piece seems to be that states should stop passing anti-abortion laws. Or rather, unconstitutional anti-abortion laws. But how tell if a law is unconstitutional until it goes before the courts? Should the 50 state legislatures send permission slips to the various federal courts before each session to find out in advance which laws will stand?

Lord a-mighty. Where to start with this editorial? How about at the beginning:

The Times calls the various anti-abortion laws passed by the several states "unnecessary battles." Really? These legislatures were elected by We the People, and voters are experts at what they think. And many of us, especially out here in flyover country, think abortion should in the very least be limited. In several ways: By age of the child; excuse us, fetus. By safety of the mother, which is why Arkansas demanded doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals. And other limitations: Many don't think aborting a child on account of her gender is copacetic, either. Or ending a pregnancy because the child may be imperfect.

If there have been a "staggering" number of anti-abortion bills passed of late, as the paper says, then somebody must think the issue is important. Unnecessary battles? Says you.

Our editorial friends out west also say the Texas law requiring admitting privileges is "notorious," then says the courts have allowed similar laws to stand. Uh, then are the courts notorious too? Or are they just allowing notorious laws to stand? The head swims.

One more confusing sentence: "Of more immediate concern than a broad Supreme Court ruling are the incremental state restrictions that manage to survive court challenges." Or, to put it another way, the states in which the people are mostly opposed to abortion are trying to find which laws can stick. And many laws do. This is of immediate concern to The Times. To some of us, it sounds like the 50 laboratories of democracy at work.

The Times says it is "unconscionable" that some states obstruct access to abortion--and if any laws get through the judicial gatekeepers, they only did so because the states cloaked their motives with "fake concerns" about health and safety. The Times is also clairvoyant! Who knew?

The editorialist, like any good writer, throws a kicker in at the end: "Abortion rights advocates must continue to challenge these laws in court, the judiciary must defend its critically important 50-year-old precedent and, ultimately, opponents must accept that abortion is a constitutional right that is not likely to go away."

Opponents must accept abortion-on-demand?

No, we mustn't.

Life isn't an outrage. It's a gift. Troublemakers who feel that the American Way of Death should be checked, when at all possible, probably wouldn't take it too kindly if our elected officials tiptoed quietly by. We'd like them to represent their constituents, not ignore them. To some of us, "incremental state restrictions that manage to survive court challenges" can also be described as "laws." Constitutional ones at that.

Oh, well, maybe it's good that The Los Angeles Times at least came up with an editorial that the rest of us would like to read. A foaming, sputtering, desk-pounding editorial about those bad apples in the lesser states beats the usual naval-gazers most newspapers publish.

Just call it partial-truth editorializing.

Editorial on 01/07/2019

Print Headline: California dreamin'


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Archived Comments

  • limb
    January 7, 2019 at 8:09 a.m.

    Then don’t get an abortion.
    You want to impose a restrictions on everyone else due to your unscientific idea of public opinion.

  • 23cal
    January 7, 2019 at 8:28 a.m.

    About "Should the 50 state legislatures send permission slips to the various federal courts before each session to find out in advance which laws will stand?"
    Come now.
    Legislators should school themselves on legal precedent so they aren't wasting taxpayers monies which they are obligated to wisely shepherd on foredoomed culture war bills which won't pass constitutional muster. Ours don't. I challenge the editor to do a column on all of the laws which have been passed by the Arkansas legislature in the past twelve years or so for culture war purposes and have been shot down in the courts, and the total expenses involved in passing and defending these ill-thought panderings, using the taxpayer monies for culture war publicity stunts.
    Here are a couple of examples: Rapert's current boondoggle Ten Commandments monument. The 2014 heartbeat (12 week abortion limit) law. Preventing gay people from fostering children.
    It is amazing an editor who rings the cowbell of the abortion issue pretty much weekly in his need for clicks never---never, ever--brings up what we absolutely know decreases abortion rates. Comprehensive (not just abstinence only) sex education in schools lowers abortion rates. Providing free, reliable birth control to women could prevent between 41 percent and 71 percent of abortions in the United States, new research finds. In a study published Oct. 4, 2016 in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers provided free methods of reversible, reliable contraception to more than 9,000 teens and women in the St. Louis area. They found that the program reduced the abortion rate among these women by 62 percent to 78 percent.
    Think of that for just a moment: the editor never even mentions something that could prevent between about 60% plus or minus of abortions RIGHT NOW, yet he has almost weekly columns about abortion.
    He--and those to whom he is pandering--wants to retard social programs meant to assist the poor, while simultaneously trying to push failed abstinence only education programs that seek to remove contraceptives, safe-sex courses in high schools, and adequate access to valuable scientific courses regarding anatomy and human biology.
    A woman does not want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone, a new dress, or a Porsche; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off it's own leg to escape. The truth is, in an ideal, or even simply well functioning, society abortions wouldn't be happening because women wouldn't be put in situations where they felt like they needed one. The editor not only never mentions implementing these policies which would help to eliminate the bottom line cause of abortions---unwanted pregnancies---but also campaigns against them.

  • LRCrookAtty
    January 7, 2019 at 8:53 a.m.

    23..."...she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off it's own leg to escape."
    All in all, not a bad analysis from someone that supports abortions. However, a large part of America still sees "abortion on demand," not abortion, as murder and cannot come to grips with it. Also, as to the statement above, the difference is that the animal does not have enough intelligence to not be caught in the trap, the woman knows exactly how to NOT get pregnant. You make a man PAY for his MISTAKE. Why not make the woman pay?

  • RobertBolt
    January 7, 2019 at 9:13 a.m.

    Has there ever been an historical era when men invoking imaginary super-friends have not used religion and other forms of intimidation and abuse to control women?

  • Seitan
    January 7, 2019 at 9:32 a.m.

    If anyone has perfected the art of "partial-truth editorializing," it is the editors at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Just read all their disingenuous and factually-challenged writings on cannabis.

  • GeneralMac
    January 7, 2019 at 9:47 a.m.

    Homosexuals will become anti-abortion when we reach a point in the future where they are able to detect if a baby in the womb is gay.

    ( yes, "in the womb" because all Homosexuals say you are BORN as Homose xual and it is not a choice )

    If any of you think a liberal pro-abortion woman, carefully planning her "perfect" children, is going to carry a gay baby to term, you are only kidding yourself.

    She woll have that pre-born gay baby flushed down the drain just like she would do if it had Downs Syndrome.

  • GeneralMac
    January 7, 2019 at 9:54 a.m.

    The United States Supreme Court .....DID.... side w ith pro-life people when it upheld a bill outlawing partial birth abortion.

    partial birth abortion....tou onle delive r the head far e nough so a scissors can be thrust into the base of the skull , t hus rendering it dead BEFORE the e ntire baby is delivered.

    Yes, the decision did make United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg upset as she wrote a scathing MINORITY opinion.

    It also made Barack HUSSEIN Obama upset enough to voice his STRONG support for partial birth abortion.

  • 23cal
    January 7, 2019 at 9:55 a.m.

    About "However, a large part of America still sees "abortion on demand," not abortion, as murder and cannot come to grips with it."
    If that were so, one would think that occasionally they would support some of the things which we KNOW---absolutely and unequivocally KNOW---reduce abortion rates instead of having an ineffective one trick pony solution which we also KNOW leads to dead, injured, sterile, and disfigured women from back alley and kitchen table abortions. If the editor and his backers on here have their way, wire coat hangers and butcher knives will be the best investment in town.

  • LRCrookAtty
    January 7, 2019 at 10:06 a.m.

    23..."...which we also KNOW leads to dead, injured, sterile, and disfigured women from back alley and kitchen table abortions."
    What is that 23? Having unprotected sex, or just the inconvenience of an untimely pregnancy? People will still murder, even though there are laws against such. Should we legalize murder, so that it will be cleaner and safer?

  • LRCrookAtty
    January 7, 2019 at 10:07 a.m.

    Or legalize robbery, so that someone does not get killed during the commission of said robbery?