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Sometimes politics is personal, and local, such as abortion

Thinking It Through

We are in the midst of a spirited Presidential contest in which the main issue is our economic condition, universally admitted to be bad, with a serious difference of opinion over what to do about it. But what Democrats call a “wedge issue,” namely, abortion, keeps obtruding itself into the campaign.

The Democrats don’t think it’s a “wedgy” when they maintain that Republicans are waging a “war on women” when they object to subsidizing “free” birth control pills for women at elite law schools. No, that’s the Republicans’ trick, as when they insist — so dogmatically — that abortion takes the lives of human beings at their most vulnerable stage.

That blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng spoiled the party by drawing the wrath of the seriously pro-abortion Chinese Communists by objecting to Bejing’s wretched policy of aborting every child after the first born. What an embarrassment!

The same Obama Administration that extols the virtues of abortion, including Vice President Joe Biden, who said he “understands” why a country as heavily populated as China has a “one child” policy, was involuntarily involved in a “domestic” matter that infuriated the ChiComs. We hope and pray that Chen’s nightmare will end and he will be able to avoid more years of imprisonment, beatings and torture, but all that depends on the elusive good will of tyrants.
Yes, I know, there is a difference between forcing women to have abortions and giving them the choice, but the effect on the growing child in the mother’s womb is the same. And it doesn’t stop there. Few women cheerfully trot off to an abortion clinic, as more often than not, it is their angry boyfriends or embarrassed parents who drive them to negate their natural desire to embrace a child and nurture it.

Several years ago, I saw a boyfriend’s rage when I joined several others in picketing the abortion clinic that once existed on Seventh Street in Victorville. This young man cursed us for as long as we walked and carried our pro-life signs, telling us what horrible people we were to express our opinions while his girlfriend was inside the building undergoing an abortion. This is the face of abortion which is seldom mentioned, let alone seen, in the ongoing abortion debate.

But it is relevant here and now in the High Desert as Planned Parenthood seeks to attract “patients” that have been taking their “business” to San Bernardino instead. Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron, to his credit, has made clear his intention to prevent the “clinic” from opening. His expression of long-held convictions will no doubt be denounced as “wedge” politics in his campaign for Congress in the new Eighth District, but abortion is no more intrusive than slavery was before the Civil War, when it was similarly unwelcome.
I have seen numerous videos of children in the womb, but the most recent one I saw, using a combination of actual ultrasound footage and animation, made clear how incredibly sensitive, complicated and creative the reproductive process is.

The expression, “The Miracle of Life,” has been around for so long it has almost become a cliché, but when you see each stage of the growing child’s development, with the exceedingly complex changes and additions that occur within mere days and weeks following conception, one sees that the whole process truly is a miracle.

Modern science owes much to its meticulous attention to the minute details of living things. But while it can describe vividly what happens, it cannot explain why it happens. As the late Dr. Mildred Jefferson, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, a past president of the National Right to Life, and a Christian, put it when she visited a California college years ago, doctors “don’t know what’s going on in there.”

What Dr. Jefferson was calling attention to was the conceit of modern medical science which confidently intervenes in pregnancies from their early stages to late term, but can be callously indifferent to the physiological and psychological effects on the woman who undergoes an abortion. And the uterus is not any old organ but one which alone can provide the materials that miraculously interact with spermazoa to form a child.

Whether babies die in China or in Victorville, the same fundamental issue of the right of the unborn child to life is, or ought to be, our greatest concern. Every nation, and every couple, has a vital interest in its posterity.

Richard Reeb taught political science, philosophy and journalism at Barstow College from 1970 to 2003. He is the author of “ Taking Journalism Seriously: ‘Objectivity’ as a Partisan Cause”  (University Press of America, 1999). He can be contacted at

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