Wednesday, October 19, 2005In 1989, Harriet Miers stated that she would be in favor of the so-called "human life" amendment to the Constitution. This amendment would give foetuses and embryos the status of human beings, and would ban all abortions with the sole exception of the life of the mother. It has also been suggested that such an amendment would make permissable laws banning contraception.
Call it a litmus test, but I think this makes her an unacceptable choice for the Supreme Court. The human life amendment is so radical that it would ban abortion even in cases of rape or incest. One could argue that her support of such a proposal need not influence her decisions on the court. I would simply respond that her position on the issue calls into question her basic judgment. Talk about out of the mainstream opinions! What percentage of the American people do you think would be in favor of such a proposal, knowing that rape and incest are not exceptions and that contraception could be declared illegal? 2 percent? Maybe 3?
On the other hand, I think there is a slight possibility that this information was leaked in order to rally the conservative base and to rile up liberals. If we Democrats start making noise about this issue, it's likely to unify the Republicans and stop their internecine squabbling. But if this is their strategy, I think we should use her position on abortion to demonstrate exactly how radical she and the Theocons really are. With some skill, we could marginalize social conservatives they way they marginalized themselve during the Schiavo case.