Clever marketing is as important to selling a political candidate as selling a laxative or a Lexus. Bill Clinton and the Democrats insisted a generation ago they wanted abortion to be “legal, safe and rare?”
The unlucky child waiting to be born might have a strong difference of opinion about how one important abortion may be, and including “rare” in Bubba’s mantra strongly implies that abortion is something less than a public good. But even that has been edited out of the mantra.
Chelsea Clinton, the former first daughter who has inherited the family talent for monetizing everything, argues that Roe v. Wade has been good for business. “If you care about social justice or economic justice, agency, you have to care about this,” she told a rally the other day for abortion and blocking Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. “It is not a disconnected fact,” she said, “that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added [$3.5 trillion] to our economy. The net, new entrance of women [to the economy] is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”
Two generations of economists somehow missed all that.
Feminists bridle at the conservative accusation that feminists want to elevate abortion to a rite of female passage, something like a Sweet Sixteen party, a first communion or a bat mitzvah, but O Magazine (as in O for Oprah Winfrey), gives the game away with an article headlined “How One Woman Became an Activist with the Hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion.”
Amelia Bonow recounts how she came to take pride in her abortion. “It struck me that the times I’d ranted about abortion rights, I hadn’t actually invoked my own experience,” she writes. “On some level, I’d internalized the stigma, though I honestly wasn’t ashamed. Then why hide?”
Others are shouting their pride in taking innocent life. An ice cream parlor in Portland, Ore., is giving a whole new meaning to “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.” Proceeds, or some of them, from the sale of its $9.50 a pint Rocky Roe flavor is meant to “help defend reproductive freedom” and “save Roe” from Brett Kavanaugh. “Is the hot weather and political climate getting you down?” asks a pro-abortion rights group. “It’s time to eat more ice cream!” (Diet be damned.)
Rocky Roe, which sounds like it’s something tasty with chocolate and nuts, took a licking from the president of Americans United for Life. Catherine Glenn Foster told Fox News it’s “truly appalling” that anyone “would trivialize abortion by turning it into a joke and a tongue-in-cheek ice cream flavor. And it distorts the joyful and childlike qualities of ice cream and tries to corrupt a delicious frozen treat into a perverse political statement.”
Nobody ever said Bubba was not one of the most politically astute among us. Given most Americans’ continued moral ambivalence on legal abortion 45 years after Roe v. Wade, the Democrats should send his “legal, safe and rare” description back to him for a little body-and-fender work.
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