When the Left exiled Life: Nat Hentoff on Abortion, Jesse Jackson and the Village Voice

Nat Hentoff, c.1958

In this world turned upside down, the “compassionate”, the “caring”, the “good guys” on the left of the political spectrum have succeeded in twisting the abortion issue, and exiling all dissenting opinion from pro-abortion orthodoxy. In this fascinating piece from 1992 I came across today (thank you to a mysterious MIT-based web site for keeping it alive), Manhattan-born atheist-Jew Jazz-loving left-leaning civil libertarian and legendary Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff reminds us, among other things, that both Jesse Jackson and Bill Clinton were once staunchly pro-life. A taste from “Pro-Choice Bigots: a View from the Pro-Life Left”:

Not too long ago, (Jesse Jackson) was a pro-lifer. He wrote and spoke about the right to life and attacked advocates of abortion rights. “There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right to life,” he would say. “That was the premise to slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation, because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned.” He told the story of how he himself had almost been aborted. A physician had advised his mother to let him go, but she wouldn’t. Don’t let the pro-choicers convince you that a fetus isn’t a human being, he warned: “That’s how the whites dehumanized us, by calling us niggers. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do–and not even feel like they’d done anything wrong.”

Yet being without theology isn’t the slightest hindrance to being pro-life. As any obstetrics manual–Williams Obstetrics, for example–points out, there are two patients involved, and the one not yet born “should be given the same meticulous care by the physician that we long have given the pregnant woman.” Nor, biologically, does it make any sense to draw life-or-death lines at viability. Once implantation takes place, this being has all the genetic information within that makes each human being unique. And he or she embodies continually developing human life from that point on. It missses a crucial point to say that the extermination can take place because the brain has not yet functioned or because that thing is not yet a “person.” Whether the life is cut off in the fourth week or the fourteenth, the victim is one of our species, and has been from the start.

Yet rational arguments like these are met with undiluted hostility by otherwise clear-thinking liberals.

A very smart man. And, oh yeah – he’s got Obama pegged, too.

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1 Comment

Filed under Abortion Unlimited, Against the Grain, Leftist Duplicity, Obama Nation

One response to “When the Left exiled Life: Nat Hentoff on Abortion, Jesse Jackson and the Village Voice

  1. robin knudsen

    I did not realize that were any conservatives left in Canada. I live west of 3.

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