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What women want …

… is for Melinda “Clueless” Henneberger to speak for herself.

She has a jaw-dropping opinion piece in the NY Times: Why Pro-Choice is a bad choice for Democrats. (Where do they find these female mouthpieces? Like those tented “women” in the Iraqi parliament who dutifully said whatever The Man told them to. She also wrote something subtitled, with not inconsiderable arrogance, “What Women Voters Want Politicians to Hear.”)

Her point seems to be that because some women are virulently anti-abortion, the Democrats should keep quiet on the subject to get their votes.

The mind reels. This isn’t about what color hat to wear. This is about the fundamental right to live according to your own beliefs rather than someone else’s. This is about the bedrock of this country.

But Ms. Clueless doesn’t see a problem with trading that away for a few votes.

You know what, Henneberger? Forced pregnancy is a crime against humanity equal to forced abortion. Just because the only human beings who can suffer from it are female, doesn’t make it less of a crime.

Another point: nobody is suggesting that anti-abortion women have abortions. They can live their lives exactly as they wish according to their beliefs. What they cannot do, at least not in a free country, is tell anyone else how to live. It’s too bad if that upsets them. Human rights are not negotiable.

And it cuts no ice whatsoever to say that opinions differ on when human life begins. It doesn’t matter, except to the woman involved, when she believes human life begins. She has to handle her pregnancy according to her own lights. However — and this is the essential point — nobody can order somebody else to provide life support against her will.

Whether you think a fetus is a person or a developing mass of tissue, a pregnant woman is providing the life support. It is up to her whether she does that or not. If you think otherwise, then you must also believe healthy people should be strapped onto gurneys and forced to give up a kidney because a patient will die without it.

It is simply breathtaking how little women count. In no other situation, none, not one, has anyone ever dreamt of pretending it’s okay to use one human being as parts for another. Yet that is exactly how women are treated. We’re so far from thinking of women as human beings that the point needs to be explained . . . and when it’s explained it sounds odd.

The fact that women are adapted by nature to provide life support, and the fact that they are happy to do it often enough to overpopulate the planet, doesn’t change the ethics of forcing a woman to be pregnant.

So, Melinda Henneberger, get a clue. You don’t know what women want. Nobody does. They don’t come off an assembly line down at the female factory. Nor do men come off an assembly line. That’s exactly why it’s so important for everyone to live their own lives and not somebody else’s.

Technorati tags: human rights, abortion, choice, politics, current events, Democrats, Henneberger