The Middle Ground Essay

The Middle Ground Essay-85
The intermittent Native American communities at Chicago maintained close ties with the French.

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Rhetorically, such a compromise was nicely captured by Bill Clinton's line about the importance of making abortion "safe, legal, and rare." Policy-wise, it gestures toward easy availability of abortion in the early stages of pregnancy, severe restrictions close to viability, and a range of regulations in the middle, differing somewhat from state to state (because of the American federalist system).

This (minus the federalism) is precisely what prevails throughout most of Europe today.

The Miamis reoccupied the region in the 1690s, forming two villages on the Chicago River, one of 2,500 inhabitants near the river's mouth and another about three miles upstream.

Other Miami villages were located on the Calumet River near the modern Indiana border, and at the junction of the Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers.

I find the trend deeply disturbing — and not because I'm an abortion-rights absolutist.

On the contrary, I think that abortion raises extremely difficult moral questions on all sides.

Don't tell that to Katha Pollitt, whose new book is just the latest in a series of attempts on the part of a certain style of feminist to de-moralize the act of aborting a fetus — to assert that women who terminate a pregnancy should feel no regrets or moral qualms, and that they should perhaps even embrace it as a positive good that involves no significant moral compromises at all.

An equal and opposite form of moral simplification — and one with far more political clout behind it at the present moment — can be seen in the personhood movement that, as Paltrow and Flavin so chillingly show, is changing the way the law treats pregnant women.

Despite the absence of an organized religious right, abortions across much of the continent are extremely difficult to procure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. They're easily and safely available nearly everywhere, often at taxpayer expense.

That makes no sense to the extremists on both sides of the American abortion debate — even though it's precisely what liberalism demands when an issue is shot through with tragic moral conflicts and deep fundamental disagreements.

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