Another anti-abortion editorial published in The Oklahoman is so excruciatingly disingenuous and so filled with false comparisons it deserves a mention if only for conducting a rhetoric analysis of juvenile argumentation.
The short editorial, titled “Health question:,” (Aug. 5, 2013), makes the point that a recently proposed Alabama bill and other similar bills throughout the country restricting abortion is really an issue about good health standards, which “would be noncontroversial if abortion weren’t involved.” But the clear intent of the Alabama bill, sponsored by state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin and later blocked by a federal judge, is to essentially do away with the abortion procedure in Alabama, not protect women’s health. In other words, so this argument goes, to ensure good health standards we should do away with medical procedures. That’s setting good standards, isn’t it? Let’s do away with basic medical treatments in order to have good standards.
“The real purpose of this bill is to make safe and legal abortion in Alabama unavailable under any circumstance,” said a Planned Parenthood official about the bill. Who would think otherwise?
The editorial then makes its way to this comparison:
It strikes us as odd that standards for humane treatment of animals headed to slaughter are widely supported, yet the idea of requiring that a women’s health clinic be tied to hospitals in case of emergencies is seen as an unconscionable attack on women.
Note the “us,” as if that’s clear in an unsigned editorial, but especially note the illogical comparison between animals and humans. So, in other words, if you’re in favor of the humane treatment of animals, you should also be in favor of legislation that essentially stops access to the abortion procedure. It’s a non sequitur. Why not just say, It strikes us as odd that the same people who drive their cars to work each day also like to sing in the shower and mow their lawns. It’s absurd. There is no equivalency in the argument itself.
For good measure, the editorial gets in another false comparison AND bashes Obamacare. Here it is:
It’s ironic that groups like hers [a reproductive rights activist] support the most intrusive health care law ever passed in this country (Obamacare), but want abortion removed from most any regulation or restriction. What’s wrong with having high standards in place? For the abortion industry in this country, the answer is “Plenty.”
So, in other words, if you support the Affordable Care Act, then you should be against abortion because what all these draconian bills do is shut down places that perform abortions. See the logic behind that one? It’s incredible. No, even if you think the ACA is “intrusive,” it’s still about giving more people access to medical procedures not stopping more people from getting medical procedures.
Here’s more on McClurkin and the Alabama bill, which is pretty much similar to what was passed recently in Texas. The clear intent of these bills is to shut down medical clinics that perform abortions. To argue that it’s about women’s health is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. If you want to end legal abortion in this country, then just make the argument. Why hide behind rhetorical deception?
McClurkin also made the rather strange claim that abortion is “a major surgery that removes the largest ‘organ’ in a woman’s body.” A fetus is not a body organ; it wouldn’t be the largest organ, anyway.
The Oklahoman doesn’t mention that gaffe, of course, in its relentless quest to end safe abortions for women in this state. Here’s the real irony: The editorial implicitly argues for a return to back-alley abortions as it claims to be the defenders of good health standards.