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Karen Hughes

Some strange fight about something she said about terrorists which then some (not she) applied to abortion rights marchers…

Ponnuru in NRO

I don’t think an apology is due from either one of them. Hughes denies that she was comparing supporters of legal abortion to terrorists. The most that can fairly be said is that by implication she was likening abortionists to terrorists, and supporters of abortion to supporters of terrorism. But the comparison is an extremely limited one: At most, she was saying that abortionists are like terrorists in that both groups violate the right to life and that supporters of abortion are like supporters of terrorism in that both fail to respect the right to life. In no way is she saying that abortion is just like terrorism, or that abortionists have the same are as evil as terrorists, or that support for abortion is as inexcusable as support for terrorism. (What she was mainly doing, I assume, is trying to find a way to switch the topic from abortion to the war.) Indeed, her implicit argument assumes that supporters of abortion can be moved to value human life in a way that supporters of terrorism, presumably, cannot.



By taking offense at a comment not directed at them, advocates of abortion stumbled into associating themselves with terrorists. The Smeals and the Engels reveal themselves in their wild charge against Hughes.

Unable to leave well enough alone, they demand an apology for a comparison to terrorists not made until they opened their mouths and formed an association that invites the public to ponder the casualty counts of the abortion industry.

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Gerard E.

posted April 29, 2004 at 9:27 am

File this week’s events away in your databases if Mr. Bush achieves a 1972-84-88 kind of blowout. Smeal, Ivins, Ashley Judd & Co. may be among his best friends. And the worst enemies of the very cause they espouse. As El Rushbo notes- when someone wants to make a fool of himself (or herself,) get out of his (her) way. And have pity for Smeal. Got fired last year after only six months as National YWCA president. Next paying job- campaign manager for Carol Moseley Braun. Not the best track record to comment on social policy. We should all not be so successful in our careers.

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Steve Skojec

posted April 29, 2004 at 9:49 am

The funny thing is, I have no problem with this comparison:
Pro-abortion Americans – marchers or otherwise – are like terrorists. They’ll sacrifice the lives of the innocent to further their cause. They’ve lost the distinction between whether they are accomplishing a good and whether they are simply satisfying their need to make political statements through bloodlust. They have taken more than a thousand times the innocent lives lost at 9/11. Their weapons are not hijacked airplanes. No firefighters or police officers can save their children from the flames of their destructive intent. And at the end of the day, they do it all in the name of their god – not “Allah” but choice – and think that they have done a good and worthy thing.
No apologies here.

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posted April 29, 2004 at 10:01 am

Ditto. Just like the terrorists, they think the ends (every child a wanted child, no birth defects) justify the means (murder).
An interesting detail about this comparison is that the “pagan ladies” at the march (who were not just a vocal few, but a significant plurality) frequently sported signs that their opponents were members of the taliban, and shouted that as well in cheers.

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posted April 29, 2004 at 10:24 am

I believe it was Patricia Ireland who got fired by the YWCA.

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Liberal pro-lifer

posted April 29, 2004 at 10:25 am

>In no way is she saying that abortion is just like terrorism,
But isn’t it?
>or that abortionists have the same are as evil as terrorists
But aren’t they?
I know she’s back-pedalling so as not to offend potential voters, but she was right the first time. I wish “pro-life” politicos could have the courage of thier convictions.
That “in cases of rape or incest” exception is an ugly position, and plays into the pro-abortion camp’s contention that the pro-lifers are just a bunch of moralistic old men trying to regulate women’s sex lives.
“Abortion is bad, it’s evil, you can’t have one, it’s killing babies, it’s your own fault for fooling around, sinner!…. oops, wait, you’re a GOOD girL? Oh, okay, YOU are allowed to kill your baby.”

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Steve Skojec

posted April 29, 2004 at 11:01 am

“Abortion is bad, it’s evil, you can’t have one, it’s killing babies, it’s your own fault for fooling around, sinner!…. oops, wait, you’re a GOOD girL? Oh, okay, YOU are allowed to kill your baby.”
That’s exactly why that little piece of twisted rhetoric is the devil’s gambit in the pro-life cause. It’s either right or it’s wrong – and until the powerful pro-life leadership – by that I mean gents who are supposedly pro-life, like G.W. – figure out that equivocating on that is like peeing into the wind, we’re never going to move forward.

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Henry Dieterich

posted April 29, 2004 at 12:19 pm

Unfortunately, what Mrs. Hughes actually said is not going to be featured in the proabortion liberal media. What will be repeated is “Karen Hughes compared pro-choice demonstrators to terrorists” and no amount of correction will suffice to do any more than spread the lie around. Once they have labeled something, the label cannot be removed.

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Mike Petrik

posted April 29, 2004 at 12:24 pm

I agree with most of the sentiments expressed above. But I caution us all to refrain from rhetoric that is counterproductive to our cause. Many, perhaps most, pro-aborts either see no evil in abortion or see it as the lesser of two evils. They are mistaken, but they are generally sincerely mistaken. Righteous rhetoric all too often comes across as self-righteous and off-putting. Let us strive to persuade. We are unlikely to persuade villians, but we have every opportunity to persuade the mistaken. But calling the mistaken villains is not helpful to that process.
None of the foregoing is intended to suggest that Mrs. Hughes said anything wrong or unhelpful. Sadly, Henry is correct that she will be unfairly quoted as having said something she didn’t say.

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chris K

posted April 29, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Just line her up next to Mother Theresa who said that a terrible war was going on in the U.S., the war against the child in the womb by the mother. And from what I’ve been reading about what went on at that march, there were a lot of peaceful people feeling a bit “terrorized”. Look, people are actually afraid to even publicly give their point of view on the pro-life side … or are afraid to peacefully pray outside of clinics. They’re not “terrorized”? – not all terror is from those who blow themselves up – a lot of it comes through mere suggestions or warnings as we’ve witnessed in the last few years.

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Kevin Kennedy

posted April 29, 2004 at 2:47 pm

For a shocking note on the subject of abortion, please check out Peggy Noonan’s column on today’s

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Julianne Wiley

posted April 29, 2004 at 3:00 pm

How about an agreed-upon definition of “murder”? Here’s the traditional one: “The deliberate killing of an innocent human being.” Then, we have a “principle”: “Murder is morally wrong.”
Thus we draw certain conclusions:
Abortion = murder.
Flying an airliner into the WTC = murder.
Dropping an atom bomb on Hiroshima = murder.
But as Joseph Sobran says, these things are SO complicated for people who have no principles.

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posted April 29, 2004 at 3:30 pm

Someone mentioned Ashley Judd. If it is any comfort, her new movie “Twisted” (appropriately named considering her view regarding life) opened the same week as — you guessed it “The Passion of The Christ”. “Twisted” cost 50 million to make and 20 million to market. So far it has grossed just over 25 million.
Sweet justice.

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c matt

posted April 30, 2004 at 11:43 am

Hmm . . . pro-abortionists are like terrorists? Now that I think about it, they do have a lot in common.
Hopefully, that will be the reaction of most to this bruhaha.
Mike – you are quite generous. I cannot believe that most pro-aborts are mistaken about the facts when it requires less than an 8th grade level of education (even in the US’s deplorable system) to figure it out. If they are not mistaken about the facts, they cannot be “mistaken” about the morality – they either justify it or ignore it. Every supporter I know has always said they PERSONALLY think its immoral, but who am I to judge, etc. Which translates to “I turn a blind moral eye” – not unlike a Nazi or slavery sympathizer. All laws are passed to enforce a certain minimal level of morality – otherwise, it wouldn’t need a law, would it?

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mary s

posted May 10, 2004 at 9:00 pm

I’d like to know how many people who have posted on this website have adopted unwanted children especially children with severe birth defects. That’s the answer.

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