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Rush Limbaugh, Casey Anthony and Abortion

Limbaugh’s Insensitive Abortion Comments

Rush Limbaugh is well known for his anti-abortion views including referring to abortion rights advocates as "feminazis," claiming that they have "made every abortion, regardless of cost, mandatory." Limbaugh has never acknowledged the human side of the abortion decision. The only more outrageous statement I’ve heard, at least recently, was made by former Republican candidate Sharron Angle who was quoted as saying with respect to a hypothetical young girl raped by her father [she] “should know that ‘two wrongs don't make a right.’ Much good can come from a horrific situation like…Lemons can be made into lemonade.” My view is that it doesn’t get any more insensitive than this comment.

Back to El Rushbo. For some reason, Rush decided to weigh in on the Casey Anthony verdict. He said: "You know, what I don't understand about it is they're [the media] all card-carrying liberals. When does the death of a child bother them? I've never seen them get so upset over the death of a child… "If the child had died, what, two years earlier in the womb this woman would be a star. She'd be a hero. And folks, I don't think that is a cliché to say. And I don't think it is as cheap attempt at humor. I think that while it may be uncomfortable to hear -- one of the reasons it is uncomfortable to hear is that there is an element of truth in it." Just for good measure, Rush told the media if they want to feel better, they should imagine that Casey Anthony had an abortion instead:

"You people in the media, if you really, really think she is guilty and you want to feel better about this just tell yourselves that she waited a couple of years to get an abortion and then you'll feel better. Abortion is brutal, [it's] never characterized that way and the reason it is brutal is because there is an element of truth of it. I just wanted to put it out there. Pure and simple, nothing more."

I’m always taken aback by the phrase “you people.” The purpose of the offensive tag is to indicate to speakers how hearers might take something, not to indicate the true state of mind of the speaker. In the past some black have been considered it to be an offensive comment. It puts the emphasis on the media who, at least according to Rush, might better accept the Case Anthony decision by equating it with having aborted her daughter, Caylee.  Rush labeled the death as “unquestionably tragic and lamentable” and that “it’s absurd to know that the media would have been silent if her death had occurred in the womb. He opined that the same media figures who are heartbroken over Caylee’s death often celebrate a woman’s “right to choose,” which has caused the deaths of untold numbers of unborn children. While making this observation, Limbaugh said, “I’ve never seen them get so upset over the death of a child. If the child had died, what, two years earlier in the womb this woman would be a star. She’d be a hero…I think that while it may be uncomfortable to hear—one of the reasons it is uncomfortable to hear is that there is an element of truth in it.”

I'm not sure why Rush felt it necessary to chime in on the jury's decision and Casey's 'actions,' although I suspect it was to jump on the public frenzied bandwagon concerning disdain for the jury. Rush has never been accused of having fair and balanced opinions. In this case, he ignores (or discounts) the agonizing emotion of a woman in making the abortion decision. Of course I'm not addressing those making self-centered decisions that might be motivated simply by doing what is best for the woman without concern for the unborn child. I include in this category: (1) Negative Impact on Mother's Life (wrong place at the wrong time or the Casey Anthony approach to decision-making; (2) Financial Stability (financial burden of raising a child); and (3) Relationship Problems and/or Unwillingness to be a Single Mother. The latter two factors should have been considered in advance and actions taken accordingly including never having unprotected sex. In other words there are consequences for our decisions and actions.

My objection to attributing the motives of women in making the abortion decision is it is an individual choice and Limbaugh’s disdain for that choice belittles abortion decisions made as a result of incest or rape. It’s not an easy choice and I believe most women agonize over the life-changing event. It can be viewed as a moral issue from the perspective of fetal rights versus women’s rights. What I object to is Limbaugh’s cavalier attitude towards the decision

Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on July 20, 2011