Do fetuses matter more than women?

A developing fetus, pictured here with a grown fetus who could not be avoided.

A developing fetus, pictured here with a grown fetus who could not be cropped out

Over at The New Republic, Rebecca Traister has written a provocative essay titled Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do. Kombat! Kids: can you cut two words from that headline? Extra credit: can you explain why declaring that an adult woman has more rights than a cluster of cells feels transgressive? About two thirds of the way through, Traister suggests that it might feel that way since Roe v. Wade. As women gained rights not just to legal abortions but also to economic and political parity, they lost the aura of sanctity that came with purely reproductive value:

What rose up instead was a new character, less threatening than the empowered woman: the baby, who, by virtue of not actually existing as a formed human being, could be invested with all the qualities—purity, defenselessness, dependence—that women used to embody, before they became free and disruptive.

The way we talk about abortion suggests that we are most comfortable with people who don’t exist.

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Rick Santorum and the aristocratic mode

Good morning, dicks!

Clearly god exists, because Rick Santorum is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He’ll do really well in the general, too, except for with women, homosexuals, hispanics, people on public assistance, recipients of student loans, libertarians and atheists. But he’s got the white male Christian high school graduate vote sewed up. If you draw a Venn diagram of all the bias groups in the United States—straight, Christian, male, dumb—the region where they overlap is the Santorum constituency. It’s a group that defines itself by what it is not, and the word for what it is not is elite. Santorum gave us a usage example yesterday, when he described the Obama administration to his audience at a campaign rally:

They don’t believe that you can make these decisions. They need to make these decisions for you…Don’t you see how they see you? How they look down their nose at the average American. These elite snobs.

Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for the link.

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