Was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) using yesterday’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor as an opportunity to announce to the world that he has changed his mind on the issue of reproductive rights? Is the noted and outspoken anti-choice zealot now pro-choice? Check out this quote from yesterday:

Here’s what I will say about you. I don’t know how you’re going to come out on [a second amendment case]. Because I think fundamentally, Judge, you’re able, after all these years of being a judge, to embrace a right that you may not want for yourself, to allow others to do things that are not comfortable to you but for the group, they’re necessary. That is my hope for you. That’s what makes you to me more acceptable as a judge and not an activist because an activist would be a judge who would be chomping at the bit to use this wonderful opportunity to change America through the Supreme Court by taking their view of life and imposing it on the rest of us.

As you can tell by the brackets used to refer to the context in which he was speaking, Graham’s statement was not made in reference to the issue of a woman’s right to choose. No, it was made in reference to an issue Graham (and Hatch, Kyl, Cornyn, Corburn, and the rest of the oppressed white guy gang) find far more important – the right to own a gun.

Political and social issues should be examined individually; no individual issue is the same as any other, and it is far too easy to make false analogies. Similarly, the rationale we all use to come to conclusions on where we stand on individual issues is not always the same. Sometimes the rationale we use to explain our position on one issue seems to contradict the rationale we use for another.

But the philosophical rationale Graham states is a somewhat transitive one. Essentially he is advocating for the need to recognize the fact that belonging to any group necessitates embracing the notion that individuals within the group should be allowed to make choices that you may find to be problematic, perhaps even antithetical to your own sense of morality. This is particularly the case when it comes to reproductive rights, where so many on the anti-choice side base their position on theological beliefs and/or a belief in when human life begins. Neither of these are provable or universally held.

The ideology Graham articulates is exactly what the pro-choice movement is all about, and it is why the anti-choice folks’ use of the term pro-abortion to describe those who are pro-choice couldn’t be more inappropriate.

A video clip containing this quote was difficult to find, and the only place I could find it was on C-SPAN’s website. Graham’s statement above comes from around the 46:55 mark. Enjoy.



1 Comment