Kari Lake Fumbles with Abortion

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A Brief Response to the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial from April 15, 2024

In its apt commentary on Kari Lake, trying to do a clever finesse on abortion, the Editors of the Wall Street Journal remarked on how they’ve “counseled Republicans to develop a more cogent policy that meets most voters where they are.”

But that is not the counsel that my friends at Journal typically offer when they deal, say, with the crises in Ukraine or Israel. They don’t counsel the Republican political class to meet voters “where they are” in their dispositions to go to the defense of the Ukraine or Israel. They begin with what they take as the main truth of the matter, the sense of where rights and wrongs really rest, and their connection to the American interest. 

But when it comes to Arizona and abortion, the Editors curiously steer around the central truth that counts: that these laws are dealing with the protection of small, growing human beings in their mothers’ wombs. No one asked Kari Lake’s mother whether it was more or less agreeable to her to protect the figure we would come to know as Kari Lake, when she was 15-weeks in the womb or 6 weeks. For it was the same entity, the same small human being before she could spring upon the world to coarsen television and cheapen our politics. For all we know the world might be a better place if her mother had decided that 15 weeks in the womb of the future Kari was as much as she really had time for.

But the Editors of the Journal, with their insistent realism, should begin with the awareness that evades Kari Lake on what abortion is really about.


Hadley Arkes is the Founder and Director of the James Wilson Institute as well as the Edward Ney Professor Emeritus of Jurisprudence at Amherst College.
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