Artur Davis‘ Second Response
[The RP’s Provocation; Artur Davis’ Rebuttal #1; Rod Jetton’s Rebuttal #2; John Y. Brown, III’s Rebuttal #3; Ron Granieri’s Rebuttal #4; Robert Kahne’s Rebuttal #5; Artur Davis’ First Response; Michael Steele’s Rebuttal #6; The RP’s First Defense; David Host’s Rebuttal #7; Zack Adams’ Rebuttal #8]
A few observations re Jonathan’s comments on abortion.
He underscores why Tebow’s brand of religiosity has lasting political relevance. The Focus on the Family ad is so effective because it attacks the pro-choice movement in one of its strongest places–abortions related to medical risks for the mother or fetus. Typically, the pro-life cause has dodged this line of attack in favor of a focus on abortions as a fallback when birth control fails, or abortions deep in the third trimester.
That the ad works so well, that it did not even strike many of its viewers as intensely political or even anti-choice, is an adman’s dream. And that’s no slight to Tebow or his mother; its actually a nod to the power of their testimony. But as Zack Adams appreciates, the ad is an argument for restricting or even criminalizing a different choice than Mrs. Tebow made. It’s not a plea for compromise; its a plea for codifying the value of unborn life even in the most morally complex, scientifically ambiguous context. With respect to Jonathan, calling it something less than that probably understates what the Tebows and Focus on the Family meant to say.
Not there is anything wrong with that. I’m like Jonathan, someone who has never liked pro-choice rhetoric, but who has never thought it a wise thing to make criminals out of scared women and their doctors (to paraphrase Bill Clinton). But I recognize the depth of conviction around the pro-life argument and the terrible philosophical struggle liberals have with the subject. There is, as Jonathan notes, room for consensus around reducing teenage pregnancy and promoting adoption, but its worth noting that pro-life sentiment is the one “conservative” social value that is steadily gaining public support, and the gains are with the very young adults who are moving left on gay rights and racial tolerance. That’s a big deal.
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