This week’s column was not fun to write. But I think it’s a point that has to be made.
On Tuesday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee traveled to Texas, where the debate over an extremely restrictive — and more than likely unconstitutional — anti-abortion bill raged on this week. Huckabee came flanked by more than 3,000 anti-abortion protesters, and armed with a by now familiar message: Abortion is like slavery, and anti-abortion activists are the modern-day equivalent of abolitionists.
The analogy is meant to cast the anti-abortion movement in a positive, even heroic, light, by evoking the stark image of trafficked human beings, bound into the holds of slave ships, borne across the Atlantic, terrified and abused, and if they survived, sold like cattle in the stocks. It is the image of human objects at the mercy of their “masters” that anti-abortion activists hope to cement in the minds of Americans, whom they hope to inspire to demand the outlawing of abortion (and in many cases, contraception, too, which the most devout equate to human pesticide.)
It is historically anachronistic and offensive to just about every descendant of African slaves, who recognize that there should be a slavery equivalent to the “Reductio ad Hitlerum” principle, whereby trying to equate an opposing opinion with Hitler and the Nazis is a fundamental logical failure. In short, nothing is like the Holocaust, and nothing is akin to the 400 years of human enslavement practiced by Europeans and their American cousins.
In fact, if one were to draw an analogy between slavery and the abortion issue, it might not be the one Huckabee and friends have in mind.
Because what groups like the National Right to Life Committee and Americans United for Life, the model legislation factory writing the bills proliferating across the United States want, is to control the reproduction of other people. And therein lies the unintended analogy. …
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