Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some FOCA Talking Points

Apologies to all, as thoughts have been percolating for a week, now. I will have a much larger discussion of the FOCA very shortly, but for now, I can offer only the following skeletal remarks.

Earlier this week I posted the Open Letter originally posted at vox nova, in which the signatories (and this blogger is one of them) call on president-elect Obama to enter into dialogue and reconsider his support for the so-called Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

As a contribution to the hoped-for conversation, I propose two points for consideration.

The points are not likely to be new to pro-life readers, though they might be phrased in a way that is new and interesting to our interlocutors, and here I would like to pause and say something I think bears repeated mention: stopping FOCA requires that we find common ground with those who currently support the legislation. If we do not come down from our moral high horse and start talking political sense in civil tones, no one will take us seriously. We need also to start listening: many people support abortion becuase they think such things as the achievement of womens' equality and independence, and/or the reduction of poverty, suffering, etc., depend upon the availability of legal abortion. We believe they are profoundly wrong in thinking so, but before they will care about the merits of our position regarding abortion, they need to know that we not only recognize the legitimacy of their aspirations, but actively share them.

I am not talking about moral compromise, here. There can be none of that. I am saying that there needs to be a return to empathic civility in the national discourse.

Think about it like this: when Joe and Mary Abortion Supporter call you a benighted, backward, intolerant medieval mysogynist, all before, "hello!" are you tempted to give them the time of day?

Points to come...

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