(In These Times) -- Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is a deeply felt and well-researched book which argues that abortion, despite what any of its opponents might claim, is a palpable social good. Progressives, Pollitt says, can and must treat abortion as an unequivocal positive rather than a “necessary evil”; there is no ethical, humane way to limit abortion rights. The fact that Pollitt needs to make this argument in 2014, however, seems to indicate that pro-choicers have long been a little too nice for our own good.
Which is something Pollitt herself points out, many times. There are the obvious truisms about abortion ideally being “safe, legal, and rare,” sure. Pollitt also cites Roger Rosenblatt's formulation of “permit but discourage,” which makes it sound like reproductive autonomy is a form of social faux pas, like taking the last slice of pizza at the pizza party. Not criminal, sure, but are you sure you need it?
But the language of apology for abortion has seeped ever deeper into our language:
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