Carroll County Times Opinion

Chris Roemer: Will Democrats’ newfound candor change abortion debate? | COMMENTARY

Recently, a well-known and respected local Times contributor wrote, “Democrats have done more to promote the life, health, and well-being of our nation’s infants — both born and unborn — than Republicans ever have.”

This statement is remarkable, not because of what the author believes concerning the relative value of Republican and Democratic health care policy, but because of what it says about unborn children.


The statement clearly implies the writer understands an unborn child is a living person, and that the “infant” relies on the government to protect that person’s health and well-being. I couldn’t agree more.

Recently, when asked his thoughts on learning of the now infamous leaked legal draft opinion coming out of the Supreme Court, President Biden responded, “The idea that we’re going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child, based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think goes way overboard.”


Whoopi Goldberg, arguing passionately on “The View” in support of a woman’s right to an abortion said, “But you won’t let me make my decision about my body. You are not the person to make that decision. My doctor and myself and my child, that’s who makes the decision.”

I’m not sure what input a child has concerning its own abortion, but the fact Ms. Goldberg agrees it is a child is no small matter.

You may not like their position on abortion, but I commend both Biden and Goldberg, as well as our local writer, for their honesty. If society is going to condone abortion as a woman’s right, we should at least do so with our eyes open, honestly defining what exactly it is we are allowing. Saying it is a victimless act is simply untrue, but to acknowledge an unborn baby is a child is a difficult admission for most abortion advocates to make. It means they must argue a woman has the right to end the life of another human being, who in this case happens to be her own child. That’s a tough argument to make no matter who you are.

It’s why abortion advocates have always used euphemisms to describe an unborn baby, who is instead referred to as a “fetus,” effectively dehumanizing the child and making it easier to defend abortion from a moral perspective. Abortion is said to be nothing more than a medical procedure, something akin to removing an unwanted growth, like a tumor.

But tumors don’t feel pain, they don’t react to light and sound, and they don’t have a beating heart.

Still, there are many people who refuse to think of abortion in those terms. They talk about terminating a pregnancy, not a child. They talk in terms of reproductive rights, and women’s health care. The issue is framed in any number of ways to deflect the public’s attention from what exactly is taking place when a woman has an abortion.

We hear chants of “My body, my choice,” but an unborn baby also has a body. What the baby doesn’t have is a choice.

The Democratic Party views the recent decision by the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade as a political opportunity to enhance its prospects in the upcoming midterm elections. Democratic elected officials and their allies in the press are already warning, with a straight face, that the Supreme Court vote to overturn Roe could mean the end of interracial marriage and the segregation of gay children in public schools.


Such far-fetched extrapolations are specious on their face, but they provide an array of new arguments that allow abortion advocates to continue talking about everything except the unborn child.

With high profile individuals like President Biden and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as influential local commentators now talking about abortion in more realistic terms, it will be interesting to see if their candor changes the focus of the debate, and if it does, if support for abortion rights softens overtime.

It’s one thing to support a woman’s right to have a medical procedure to remove a growing fetus from her body. It is quite another to argue a woman has the right to terminate the life of her child.

I suspect the Democratic Party has already circulated talking points urgently warning its members and supporters to avoid referring to a “child” or an “infant” when speaking publicly about abortion. From a purely political perspective, that kind of honesty is a losing proposition, and the party’s leaders know it, but ultimately Americans are going to have to decide…

Do we really want to live in a society that is ambivalent toward the practice of sacrificing one life to benefit another?

Chris Roemer is a retired banker and educator who resides in Finksburg. He can be contacted at