Right to choose --- to die

Right to choose --- to die

by digby

Is Herman Cain pro-choice or is he anti-abortion and just thinks there should be an exception for rape and incest? It's hard to know from this exchange:

MORGAN: Abortion. What's your view of abortion?

CAIN: I believe that life begins at conception. And abortion under no circumstances. And here's why --

MORGAN: No circumstances?

CAIN: No circumstances.

MORGAN: Because many of your fellow candidates -- some of them qualify that.

CAIN: They qualify but --

MORGAN: Rape and incest.

CAIN: Rape and incest.

MORGAN: Are you honestly saying -- again, it's a tricky question, I know.

CAIN: Ask the tricky question.

MORGAN: But you've had children, grandchildren. If one of your female children, grand children was raped, you would honestly want her to bring up that baby as her own?

CAIN: You're mixing two things here, Piers?


CAIN: You're mixing --

MORGAN: That's what it comes down to.

CAIN: No, it comes down to it's not the government's role or anybody else's role to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you're not talking about that big a number. So what I'm saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make.

Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.

MORGAN: By expressing the view that you expressed, you are effectively -- you might be president. You can't hide behind now the mask, if you don't mind me saying, of being the pizza guy. You might be the president of United States of America. So your views on these things become exponentially massively more important. They become a directive to the nation.

CAIN: No they don't. I can have an opinion on an issue without it being a directive on the nation. The government shouldn't be trying to tell people everything to do, especially when it comes to social decisions that they need to make.

MORGAN: That's a very interesting departure --

I have a sneaking suspicion that he thinks that rape and incest are the only exceptions, but he forgot for a minute that his libertarianesque odes to freedom from government interference don't apply to pregnant women. (This is where you refer to the "sanctity of life," not "liberty.") I can understand why he's a little bit addled there because being anti-abortion while screaming "freedom and liberty" every five minutes to justify everything else is confusing. Not that it stops Ron Paul, mind you. But Cain has a hard time keeping all this straight even on easier issues than abortion rights.

I think what interests me about this flap is that all over the internet today we have people implying that being against abortion except in cases of rape and incest is a pro-choice position. This is incorrect. In fact, until recently, there was virtually nobody in the country except the most fanatical of the fanatical who didn't believe there should be an exception in case of rape since most people used to understand that forcing women to bear their father/rapists child was cruel and indecent. It's only very recently that we've gotten all this nonsense from the zealots that says otherwise. Herman Cain is just behind the times and hasn't noticed that the goalposts have moved. Again.

However now that a good number of people seem to believe that it's a bold "pro-choice" stand to oppose abortion except in cases of rape or incest, I'm guessing this is going to be the next redefinition of "liberty" for women. And it's chilling:

The conservative website "Hot Air" has published a doting ode to Stacy Crimm, a woman who refused chemotherapy that would save her life in order to not endanger her long awaited pregnancy.

And anti-choice supporters couldn't be more proud of her.

Tina Korbe writes:

Crimm truly did have a choice: Even if abortion were illegal, she could have opted to receive chemotherapy. That she bravely chose to place her child’s life before her own recalls forcibly to mind why the phrase “a mother’s love” has such resonance. When we talk about abortion, rarely do we talk about the ache many women feel after they choose to abort their babies. Crimm’s physical suffering must have been unimaginable — and, yet, three days before she died, she was able to hold close the fruit of her choice in what Phillips said was a perfect moment. Would that her story might help all mothers see nothing is worth the sacrifice of their own child.

Robin Marty who wrote that up for RH reality Check writes:

Crimm did have a choice, and acted out on her own wishes. But when you switch that to "nothing," including the life of the mother, is worth ending a pregnancy, well, then that's not really a choice, is it?

No, and it's not meant to be.

"God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it." --- Martin Luther

Update: to be clear, it is pro-choice to be against abortion for yourself but in favor of letting other people decide for themselves. Lot's of pro-choice Catholics and others take that position. That may be Cain's position too, although I doubt it. I think he was saying that people should be able to decide for themselves in cases of rape or incest, which is not the pro-choice position. It's what used to commonly be the anti-abortion position. As I said, he's behind the times.