Kill women who have abortions, says National Review reporter

It’s not 100% effective now, sure, but both Williamson and I said “soon.” It’s not impossible to imagine that, within the next decade, scientific advances will make pregnancy a matter of opting in rather than opting out. That’s what he means.

In the podcast episode I highlighted he mentions that he doesn’t oppose terminating a pregnancy when a woman’s life is at risk.

I mean, I know you don’t agree with him (neither do I), but it certainly seems like he’s thought this thing through.


If we’re going to shape policy based on an imaginary world, why not just imagine a world where nobody ever has an unwanted pregnancy and everyone is happy all the time? Then Williams could have just skipped writing that disgusting, misogynist screed entirely.


You misunderstand. He’s not advocating a policy here (beyond over-the-counter access to birth control), but rather making an observation that, given the very real progress of medical science, the question will basically resolve itself.

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  • He said he thinks women who have abortions should be hanged. That’s a policy statement, even if he made it in utterly terrible, tasteless jest.

  • He’s specifically opposed to mandates of the Affordable Care Act. That’s a clear policy position.

  • He’s also railing against the very idea of getting people to vote based on policies they support. That’s—just inane.

I’m not sure why you seem so set on presenting Williams as a reasonable guy, especially if you oppose him as you claim to. I’ve met not-horrible people who opposed abortion and managed to articulate their honest, heartfelt beliefs in a respectful way. Williams is not one of them.


I would disagree with some of your characterizations.

Williamson doesn’t say voting is useless, he says it’s of limited value:

As a procedure for sorting out complex policy issues, voting is of distinctly limited value … and though it is a necessary instrument of accountability in a democratic republic, voting properly plays a very limited role. For instance, we have a Bill of Rights, which could with equal accuracy be called the List of Stuff You Idiots Can’t Be Trusted To Vote On. A majority of Americans don’t like free speech? Too bad, Harry Reid.

It has value, it’s just not the fetish object people like Lena Dunham make it out to be.

The article isn’t about what women “can and can’t do with their bodies,” it’s about what services the government pays for. He thinks Lena Dunham is an idiot for urging women to vote for government-funded contraception while simultaneously telling the government to stay out of their bedrooms:

Those of us who have been working against various mandates imposed by the Affordable Care Act are as a matter of fact attempting to extricate ourselves from involvement in Lena Dunham’s sex life, the details of which we would gratefully leave to her own idiosyncratic management. It is the so-called Affordable Care Act that has involved us in subsidizing birth control, abortifacients, surgical abortions, and who knows what else, for the strong, powerful, self-actualized American woman who cannot figure out how to walk into Walgreens, lay down the price of a latte, and walk out with her own birth-control pills, no federal intervention necessary … I suspect that Miss Dunham does not know very many conservatives, so allow me to pass along the message: We really, truly, sincerely do not wish to be involved in your sex life.

He doesn’t argue that decisions should be “disconnected from one’s vote,” but rather that those decisions shouldn’t be funded by the public.

I don’t really understand this criticism. It’s an opinion piece. By design it’s meant to curry favor in one direction.

I meant his specific observation about the future of contraception wasn’t a policy position. That’s what I meant by “here.”

The piece is full of policy positions, you’re right, actual and implied. (And I agree the “hanging” comment is completely tasteless.)

I don’t agree – he’s railing against people voting based on things they want the government to give to them.

I’m a fan of his theatre criticism. :slight_smile:

And I yours.

Which is fine, except that you’ve cited it as an example of how we’re all jumping to conclusions about this guy, and he’s actually thought everything through really well, and has a really nuanced opinion.

Right. The government should only fund things that everyone agrees should be funded. Name one thing that meets that criteria. Plus the government isn’t explicitly funding those items, people who have a moral objection to them are asking that they be excluded on that basis.

I’m really struggling to continue to believe that you don’t agree with him, like lockstep. You are certainly investing a lot of energy defending his position considering you say you reject it.


Implant a uterus and many fertilized eggs into Kevin Williams, says average person.


That’s not remotely what I said.

I think he has a thought-through, coherent position that I happen to disagree with. Why is that so hard to believe?

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Anyone else having trouble getting at the link?

You appear to be invested in his point of view. I could be reading you wrong, but it seems unlikely.


I’m finding it difficult to work out what you’re saying here. There’s no spectrum of opinion? Plenty of pro-lifers agree that abortion should be possible in certain cases, but not others. Others believe that it should be possible, but a lot rarer, so they try to promote other options. Something like Clinton’s quote that abortion should be safe, legal and rare would seem to be a middle ground, and there will be quite a spectrum of opinions when it comes to promoting the third principle.

I think for many pro-lifers, the woman outranks the fetus: when the question is between the life (or often health) of the woman or that of the fetus, the woman’s life comes first. If it’s between the woman’s choice (and nothing else) and the fetus’ life, the fetus comes first. There are many people who believe that a fetus is human from conception and should be respected as such, but they shouldn’t have the same rights as a baby who has reached full term. I know a lot of pro life people, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest to me that women who have an abortion should be killed, and most have been against the idea of picketing or otherwise actively opposing women from having an abortion. Ultimately, if you believe that a fetus is a human being with a certain amount of value (which is not a women’s rights issue, although it does have effects on women’s rights), it will make the question of abortion a lot more complicated. If you see a fetus as similar to a tumour or cancer (I’ve heard both descriptions), it does clear things up a little even if these are terrible metaphors (of course I’m not suggesting that this is where most pro-choice arguments are coming from). I think there are a lot of people who neither hate women nor wish to deny the humanity of a fetus, and have come to different conclusions about how to balance the values of life and choice.


They’re both cremated or buried, and they enjoy equal protection against necrophiliacs and organ thieves and such. How are they treated differently?

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You caught me. I’m secretly Pat Robertson.

I could tell you that I’m the son of a liberal OB-GYN and have been raised to respect the relationship between a woman and her doctor, but why on earth would you believe that either?

This, right here, is why politics has become indescribably vicious in this country: the search for hidden, evil motive.


The reaction is harsher – think of the stories of what happens in prison or in custody to men who kill children. Courts hand down stiffer sentences, often the death penalty, to those who murder children.

Their remains are treated the same, but their murders evoke different reactions.

Don’t panic: the spectrum I’m talking about is about is upholding the law of the land versus the “death by a thousand cuts” used by anti-choice adherents.

They claim the middle is about where to draw the line, but it really isn’t. As China shows us, choice really is about choice: about making the decision based on your own medical, religious, and philosophical reality, and NOT forcing that decision on anyone else. I’ve never had an abortion and don’t think I could have made that choice unless there were serious medical issues for me or the fetus, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to argue the law of the land should be based on me.


Regardless of his actual arguments, Williamson’s choice of words and phrasing are inflammatory and odious, and he shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Particularly ugly is calling Lena Dunham “the distinctly unappealing actress,” a phrase that can only have one interpretation in regards to her: “that woman who should be ashamed of showing her naked body on TV because she doesn’t look like a model.” Though the rest of his comments about her are nearly as disgusting.


So he says “Life begins at conception” and then he says “You don’t understand how reproduction works” and “I’m not opposed to contraception.”

Except, if he’s really going with “life begins at conception”, then he is opposed to some of the most effective forms of birth control, AND doesn’t understand reproduction. A non-hormonal IUD prevents a fertilized egg from implanting. And of course that’s ignoring the fact that something like 30-50% of fertilized eggs naturally fail to implant in the uterus and are expelled. Since he’s claiming there’s no religious component to his argument he can hardly go with “God’s will” on that front.

Ugh it’s too early to be this disgusted with the internet already.


How often does this work against what right-wingers like and for what liberals like? It’s easy to say that one should be allowed a moral opt-out for things which one opposes.

I dunno - nearly 100% of my taxes still goes to military spending (really, look at the numbers - the deficit exists because we already spent the actual tax income on the military). You can say that’s becsause of the liberal Democrats just as much as the conservatives, in which case I would ask you, what liberal Democrats, we don’t have anyone to the left of Nixon left in government.