Dr. George Tiller, “Juno,” And Why I Hate Andrew Sullivan
A few months ago, I penned a Wordsmoker post celebrating the 36th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in which I coined the term “forced-birth movement” to describe that tiny minority of people in the United States that doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices.
Since then, tragically, one of the only doctors who was willing to perform late-term abortions in the U.S, Dr. George Tiller, was assassinated by a member of the forced-birth movement.
I can honestly say that I felt physically ill when I read that news. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has stated repeatedly on her nightly news magazine over the past week, the forced-birth movement is a domestic terrorist operation that has been largely successful in meeting its goals.
Unlike Maddow, however, I don’t draw a distinction between the supposed “moderates” in the forced-birth movement, i.e., those who stop just short of calling for the assassination of OB/GYNs, and its “terrorist” wing. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the same.
But, of course, this undeniable clarity becomes muddied in the bizarre and cowardly and sentimental and anachronistic way in which we talk to each other about women.
For instance, is it even within the realm of possibility that a quirkily pretty, truth-talking teen would be seen cheerily riding her bike up a suburban sidewalk (an acoustic guitar strapped to her back) to her boyfriend’s house mere weeks after that same quirkily pretty, truth-talking but heartwarmingly honest teen mother gave birth to a son whom she arranged to be adopted by Jennifer Garner’s barren and icy hyper-mom?
“It’s just a movie,” you say. Well, no.
Anyone who would presume to tell another human being–even indirectly–what should emanate from her vagina ought to be viewed, frankly, as insane. Or at the very least a pariah in the public square. And yet, Diablo Cody won the screenplay Oscar for the execrable “Juno.”
What’s worse, self-proclaimed Catholic public intellectual Andrew Sullivan has been in great demand since Dr. Tiller’s murder. Why? Well, because he appears to represent the “reasonable center” in this awfully polarizing debate about what women should do with their uteruses.
Here are some money quotes, for the record, from Andrew Sullivan last week:
“I don’t believe in late term abortions.”
“I think that Dr. Tiller, even though I disagree with him, was acting according to his conscience, within the law.”
“Our role, and those of us who want to end abortion, is to act within our conscience and persuade, and testify and peacefully protest, but not engage in this kind of stuff.”
“I think everybody wants to end abortion [chuckling], right?”
Women who were anguished over their genetically deformed fetuses sought out Dr. Tiller as a last resort. They sought him out when their own physicians told them that it was “their duty” to carry a dead or deformed fetus to term. Women who had been diagnosed with cancer late in their pregnancies also sought out Dr. Tiller because they did not want to kill their fetuses via chemotherapy and miscarry.
I guess when it comes to Andrew Sullivan, I have a lot of questions. First and foremost: Are you an M.D.? No? Are you a woman? Nope. You’re just a smug, self-righteous, HIV-positive, bareback-loving bear.
Ultimately, I suppose I am astonished by Andrew Sullivan’s willingness to wade in on this issue. With all of his personal conflicts of interest, it’s truly amazing to me that he would race into the public square with his ‘Pro-Life’ flag a-waving.
That’s really embarrassing for him. Or maybe it’s just a shame.