Conservatives Distract With "Science," Too

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Let's grant for a moment that leftist chant about "climate change:" "The science is settled."

So what?

Even if we knew that the most apocalyptic scenario were going to occur, it hardly follows that we should persecute dissent and impose central planning measures, such as fuel rationing. Oh? I'm exaggerating the political goals of climate "activists" or taking what they say too literally? Thanks for making my point: Arguments about scientific facts are not alone sufficient to discern the answers to questions of political philosophy. Indeed, I find endless scientific debates bizarre and inappropriate when a political program is being put forth as a solution without any serious debate. Whatever you might think of the climate effects of increasing the atmosphere's carbon dioxide content by burning fuel, I don't care how solid a case you make for it: You still haven't explained why the government should violate individual rights in an effort to do something about it.

Conveniently, Michael New of National Review has just about spared me the necessity of proposing a thought experiment to help make my point. (Prius-drivers with pro-life bumper stickers will still have some thinking to do.) New attacks a study on so-called "telemed" abortions. Said study concludes that it is just as safe for a pregnant woman to use abortion-inducing drugs without a physician present as it is to have the procedure administered by a physician. New raises several issues that anyone relying on such a study really should satisfy herself with before agreeing with it. One might conclude that New is concerned that this study offers bad guidance, and maybe, in his own inconsistent way, he really is. But the piece concludes with what sounds to my ear like the punch line to a sickening joke: "The concerns of pro-lifers and other public-health professionals about the safety of telemed abortions are well founded."


This comes in a piece that starts off by noting that there are fewer and fewer abortion facilities in the United States, no doubt a testimony to the successful efforts of such "concerned" parties, many of whom work overtime to make abortion illegal altogether. This they do not because of any concern whatsoever with the safety of the patient, but due to an arbitrary, mystical assertion that the fetus is a human life. That many women are having to resort to this procedure (which is still doubtless safer than what went on before abortion became legal) puts this concern to the lie: Anti-abortionists are far more concerned with protecting the fetus than they are patient safety, so matter how credibly (or credibly-sounding: I haven't looked at the study) one of them dissects a journal article, the fact is that they still have not offered an earthly reason for their political agenda. Let's assume arguendo that New is correct: The procedure is not as safe when a physician isn't on hand. I say again: So what? The fact that a medical procedure may not be as safe as other alternatives is still not a reason to abuse government power by standing in the way of a woman who may decide it is an acceptable risk.

I thank Mr. New for providing me a real-life example of something many leftists need as a look in the mirror: Someone using "science" to push a political position they rightly find abhorrent.

It is a shame me that some conservatives have chosen to ape this tactic, rather than taking the moral high ground. But that would require offering reasoned, relevant arguments for their positions.

-- CAV

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