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Blunt’s anti-abortion task force is bad politics

Thursday, November 1, 2007 | 9:09 a.m. CDT; updated 10:50 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last week’s news was so enriched with the fodder that it was hard to pick where to start. The court’s decision concerning the Union Pacific’s bridge in Boonville. The president pre-vetoing the newest SCHIP attempt by Congress. The continuing saga of naming the alleys in Columbia. But it was an Associated Press article concerning the governor’s abortion task force that gripped my pen. Or in this case, computer keyboard.

Hey Matt, what were you thinking? You are attempting to create anti-abortion legislation based on “evidence” developed by an extremely bias and partisan board while hiding their existence? Do you take the citizens of this state as uneducated and without care, allowing the wool to be pulled over our eyes? Do you really believe that the people living in the middle of Middle America will stand for this? What were you thinking?

I am sure my readers did not miss the articles in both Columbia dailies. For those of you on the outside, here are the pertinent “facts” as reported by The Associated Press. The governor has convened a task force to answer questions concerning the effects of an abortion on the physical and psychological health of a woman. The task force members are from organizations opposed to abortion, including the Alliance for Life-Missouri. They are “people who believe in advancing the cause of life (read anti-abortion) and believe that we should minimize the impact of abortion on society.” More disturbing is that the governor did this “without any publicity or promotion,” without telling the public that he is again wasting our tax dollars.

I understand the nature of good science and good politics. Good science is listening to all sides of the issue— the good, the bad and the ugly— and drawing a fair, unbiased conclusion. I cannot believe that you are using this extremely hot political button to advance your political clout. More disturbing is the fact that you already determined the outcome. This is a political whitewash. Are you taking your lead from others in the Republican Party, attempting to hide the facts of your misconceived venture?

Here is a fact that you missed. The vast majority of “pro-choice” supporters are not pro-abortion. They do believe that this is an individual choice, not one that should be made by the government.

There is more than one oxymoron here. The demand to control the private lives of our citizens, the calling for the ultimate control over a woman’s body, comes from the party that bases their politics on the reduction of government control on individuals and business. Comes from a governor who took away the health benefits of thousands of Missourians only to piecemeal them back saying “look at what a good boy I am!” From a party that sees the protection of a potential life more important than the protection of current life. That sees the state and federal Constitutions relevant only when it agrees with their political ventures. That sees, locally and nationally, the First Amendment as a road block to inserting religious doctrine into the law through the guise of secular politics, much like the Taliban.

C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general under Reagan, could not determine the effects of abortion on a woman’s physical and psychological health based on extensive scientific research, despite his own conservative stance on the issue. His letter to the president only said, “the available scientific evidence about the psychological sequelae of abortion simply cannot support either the preconceived notions of those pro-life or those pro-choice.” That is as true today as it was in 1989. How can we, the people of this great state, expect a fair and unbiased report from this biased “task force” if the surgeon general could not find a conclusion?

Your committee will find too many studies supporting both sides of the debate. It will deny equal representation, selecting only those supporting their political bias. It will achieve its preconceived conclusion. It is bad politics. It is un-American.

David Rosman is a business and political communications consultant, professional speaker and instructor at Columbia College. He welcomes your comments at ProfDave1011@netscape.net.

 


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