Third, you object to targeting women rather than men. "Nobody's proposing the walk of shame for men who don't or won't use condoms, or stern lectures for them in the clinic waiting room either," you write. Well, I am. Any guy who knocks up his date should go with her, whether it's for an abortion or prenatal care. I'm open to ideas on how to pursue this.
Now, to the main point. You doubt that the pro-life movement will support a campaign to reduce abortions through birth control, since so many pro-life activists oppose birth control. I agree. I'm not trying to form a coalition with the pro-life movement. I'm trying to form a coalition with the public. Any pro-lifer who wants to join us is welcome. Anyone who doesn't will learn that preaching against birth control is a lot lonelier than preaching against abortion.
Katha Pollitt, reliably, kicks his ass in her rebuttal (scroll down the link).
The next day Saletan comes back flailing:
Pro-choice groups are afraid of saying anything that might 1) make women feel bad about having abortions, 2) get quoted by pro-lifers as a rationale for restrictions, or 3) piss off other folks in the pro-choice movement. The result is that they water down any comment that might sound anti-abortion. It's like pulling teeth to get them to admit that abortion can be "tragic" or "sad." "Bad" is completely out of the question. They work so hard not to make waves on the left that they get the same nonresult in the middle.
What about you? You say pro-choicers don't see abortion as "morally trivial." You say they defend it as a reluctant decision, a "sad necessity," a "morally serious, very unfortunate event." Is that how you see it?
But my question is: does ANYBODY think that William Saletan is going to "form a coalition with the public?" A coalition devoted to hounding women about how BAD abortion is, while at the same time promoting birth control and policing people's sex lives to ensure that men accompany women they knock up to the abortion clinic?
How easy it is to solve life's problems when you live miles about the real world!
What a douchebag.
Actually, that's an insult to douchebags. Douchebags perform a useful function.
UPDATE TO THE DEBATE:
After Pollitt demolished Saletan, he finally admits what his coalition to guilt-trip women comes down to: pandering to rightwingers in an effort to gain political power:
But, Katha, if we agree on virtually all of the policy questions, isn't politics the whole ballgame? Look at our wish list: more birth control, more sex ed, more emergency contraception, more male responsibility, more health insurance. How much of that agenda can we get without government action? And how much action can we get from a government of which we control not a single branch?
That's why I quote polls instead of letters. It's not because I don't care about women. It's because polls tell us what the public thinks, not just what our friends think. Without the public, we have no power. And without power, we're no good to women at all.
Yeah, and Saletan's bizarre "coalition" fantasy is really going to be good for women.