BY JUSTIN HERDMAN
Ann Coulter has never been accused of being reserved. Just witness the conservative journalist’s assessment of Justice David Souter ’66. “He’s a chimp,” Coulter said of the Republican-appointed Justice, whom many conservatives view as a turncoat. “He writes three opinions a year, and they’re incomprehensible.”
Coulter’s harsh words, which rolled over a rather sedate crowd in the Vorenberg Classroom, did not stop at Souter. Invited to address the Society for Law, Life and Religion’s annual symposium – “New Realities and the Future of the Pro-Life Movement” – Coulter sounded off on the controversial topic of abortion.
At the beginning of her talk, Coulter expressed disappointment at the lack of visible protest from pro-choice advocates. “I seem to be demoralizing the left,” she said in response to the absence of rioters.
As the keynote speaker, Coulter was on hand to decry the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. She denounced the decision as an example of a “fascistic order that is supplanting democratic processes” in the name of “choice.” Coulter writes for the conservative newspaper Human Events and appears regularly on “Politically Incorrect”, ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
The main theme of Coulter’s speech was that Roe should be repealed not because abortion is wrong, although she would say that it is, but because the political input of Americans has become irrelevant in light of the decision. “We can’t vote, we can’t criticize it,” Coulter said, clearly exasperated.
Coulter referred to the right to an abortion as “non-existent,” based as it is on “non-existent penumbras” of constitutionally-protected rights. “Not only does the emperor have no clothes,” Coulter said, “but there is no emperor.”
According to Coulter, the Roe opinion based the right to abortion on the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Amendments, and the penumbras thereof. “Any right that is that hard to pin down is a hoax,” Coulter opined.
While Coulter later heaped much scorn on the Supreme Court itself, she initally reserved the bulk of her criticism for her colleagues in the media. “Children are ‘fetuses’, abortion is ‘choice’, abortionists are ‘abortion providers’, and abortion is a ‘procedure,'” Coulter said about the news media’s selection of language.
Even supporters of abortion rights, Coulter said, are ashamed of the right. “This is a constitutional right that even its proponents don’t want to be associated with,” Coulter said, noting that there are no “Harry Blackmun Abortion Clinics.” She also cited the fact that abortion rights supporters “won’t show pictures of this constitutional right being performed.”
Coulter did not flinch from addressing violence by radical pro-lifers. Noting that the “casualties” in the abortion war number thirty million babies against seven abortion providers, Coulter said that only the seven murdered doctors garnered media attention. “I can’t claim to be shocked that some pro-lifers feel murder is the only option left to them,” she said.
But Coulter was insistent upon the most pernicious effect of Roe. “It is a direct assault on citizens’ most basic right to choice … the right to vote in a democracy … to have a say in the most pressing moral issues of the day,” she said. “We’re not subjects in a dictatorship, we’re citizens in a democracy. Let’s repeal Roe and vote on it.”