Savage’s Abortion Facetiousness vs DeBlasio’s Determination

My email filled up yesterday with people carrying on about Dan Savage, and his absurd off-the-cuff remarks delivered during a “Festival of Dangerous Ideas”. If you missed it, here’s what he said:

YouTube Preview Image

C’mon, that’s a toss-off; he’s clearly not serious but merely playing to a goofy crowd eager to think of itself as subversive and brave and oh, so intellectual, by listening to “dangerous ideas” that are not dangerous at all. To say “Population Control! Too many people on the planet!” to that post-modernist assembly is about as dangerous as saying “air is good.” A truly dangerous idea to speak before such a crowd would be one like Tristyn Bloom’s notion that people should stop being afraid of unplanned pregnancies and be willing to allow imperfection in their lives.

. . .these little apocalypses in our lives, whether they come in the form of an unplanned pregnancy or some other risk that we are called to take in the course of our lives, reveal the insignificance of all these other forces that we are shielding ourselves with — their fragility, their utter shallow importance in the grand scheme of things — but also the incredible, radical, bigness of life all around us.

That is a truly subversive, “dangerous” idea, one that would be met with something other than laughter. Savage is a mere provocateur. To assign anything more meaningful to his remarks than a Bugs Bunnyesque “did you hear what I just said? Ain’t I a stinker?” is to grant him an assumption of power and influence he does not possess.

With provocateurs, you make a note and then move on.

Be more concerned about someone who is about to step into an office of real power and influence, New York City’s new Mayor-elect Bill deBlasio. DeBlasio is not content to merely call himself “pro-choice”; he intends to actively work to increase abortion, while moving to suppress alternative outreach.

As mayor, Bill de Blasio will work to ensure that all women in New York City have access to quality reproductive health care. De Blasio will work with providers to ensure adequate protection for clinic access by ensuring close coordination with the NYPD, clinics and clinic access volunteers. In addition, he will continue New York City’s appeal of a judge’s order overturning New York’s local law to regulate sham crisis pregnancy centers, and if the law is ultimately struck down, he will work to craft new regulations to prevent these centers from masquerading as legitimate healthcare providers. Furthermore, Bill de Blasio will work with non-profit providers to identify neighborhoods underserved by reproductive health services and work with them to identify space in city sponsored development. De Blasio will also continue the Bloomberg administration’s groundbreaking abortion training initiative for medical residents at all HHC hospitals. And Bill de Blasio will work to increase access to the state Family Planning Benefits Program as the city works to support implementation of the Affordable Care act.

In a city where 41% of all pregnancies end in abortion, (almost 60% in the African American community) it’s difficult to imagine what neighborhoods deBlasio thinks are being “underserved”, but he’s on the case. Not satisfied with those percentages, he’s going to use the NYPD when he thinks he should, to help increase those numbers. 41/60% is not enough, but deBlasio is not saying whether a 50/70% abortion rate would suit. Being an open-minded guy, he’s going to leave the definition of success wide-open, too.

Perhaps 71/90% would be in the ballpark? Is he shooting for a 29/10% rate of pregnancies taken to term — all the right sorts of people encouraged to deliver?

I wonder how he’ll support the socialist state he favors without people alive and working to support it. Seems counter-intuitive to me, unless you are working for a whittled-down world where only the right sorts of people thinking the right sorts of thoughts will cross your line of vision or take up space on your planet.

Dan Savage tossing off a remark about 30 years of mandatory abortion is nothing to worry about; he’ll bloviate with the prevailing winds as long as they’re accounted as provocative and smart. DeBlasio, at least on life issues, is the real apocalypse, the real utilitarian revelation.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Manny

    No clue who Dan Savage is, but somehow the leftist radicals in Britain scare me more than the American kind. We in New York elected the worst possible choice and he’s elected with a huge mandate. I hate to say this but we might have been better off with Anthony Weiner.

  • Dan

    What are “sham crisis pregnancy centers”? From the context, I guess they are health-care providers that encourage pregnant mothers to give birth?

    I wonder if Savage’s comment was a half-joke? A sort of “testing the waters”?

  • Roughcoat

    New Yorkers got what they deserved, and they deserve to get it good and hard.

  • Jakeithus

    You are absolutely correct about Dan Savage not truly saying anything dangerous, but simply playing the part of anti-establishment provocateur. It was a comment designed to offend the people he’s already offended in the past, and receive cheers and laughter from his supporters.

    Savage is 200 years behind Malthus in promoting Population Control as a “dangerous idea”, and if he really wanted to be as dangerous as he likely thinks he is, it would be much more dangerous for him to promote population control by removing the “undesirables” from society. Now that would be something to really talk about.

  • MeanLizzie

    And exactly WHO are the “undesireables” you are talking about?

  • Jakeithus

    Well according to Savage the “undesirables” are people that have not yet been born, he just doesn’t use that term because of the overly dangerous (and negative) connotations that it brings up.

    The point of my comment was basically to say, promoting population control in the way he did isn’t really that dangerous when the group he is targeting has already been stripped of much of its value and importance in society. Given the crowd he was speaking to, there’s nothing dangerous about suggesting a fetus or unborn human might be undesirable, while it still dangerous to suggest there might be other categories people would consider undesirables if we want to control population.

  • Augustine

    As a foreigner, I can’t stand the fetish on order that most Americans have. Perhaps it’s part of the inheritance from the Germanic Saxons. Yet, where I come from, a Latin country, I can see the same strain, especially in regards to procreation. It’s as if Nietzsche was merely an antenna when he tuned in to the essentially human temptation to will to power. Perhaps only a few make to Ubermensch-hood, but it seems to me that most people make to false-godhood when desperately trying to control their fertility, their weight, their aging.

  • Manny

    Hey I’m a New Yorker and i didn’t vote for this leftist! I don’t deserve it!!!

  • Alex

    Augustine, what in the world are you trying to say? You’re not making any sense.

  • Mike

    Will be interesting to see the relationship between the new mayor and the Cardinal Archbishop of NY. I hope Cardinal Dolan stands up.

  • Old Broad

    I think he means the type of control freak that wants to stay forever young and hot. Maybe even rich and famous: the American Dream! The plan includes flawless children, carefully timed and trained. Am I reading you correctly, Augustine?

  • fondatorey

    They shouldn’t be outraged about that Savage guy, they should be outraged that people pay that clown lots of money (one school payed him 24k according to to show up and be ‘dangerous.’ Anyone can say weird stuff, but our system actually rewards people with crazy money for doing so.

  • stemmer

    The two can get together, smoke cigars, yuck it up, and slap each other on the back over how wonderful it is to euphemize illegal immigrants as “undocumented” and fully support amnesty for them. Common ground, that.

  • David_Naas

    It is with a severe lack of mirth that I note how todays trendy “Moderns” seem to think Ancient History is what happened yesterday on Ye Ole Internet.
    Abortion is simply the most popular expression of early 20th century Eugenics, which had as its goal the eradication of “worthless” and “inferior” peoples. (Absent DNA testing, they only had physiognomy as a guide.) Other means were forced sterilizations of blacks and poor whites, a move approved by the social and economic elites back then.
    It should not be forgotten that Margaret Sanger (Patroness of Planned parenthood) advocated abortion as a means of eliminating Negroes from society. It is also worth remembering that Eugenics was a fad in the English-speaking world, which was adopted by the Nazis and pushed to its horrific logical conclusion.

  • Jonenred

    i think it’s important for Dolan to be friends with the new mayor… and keep things quiet.

  • kmk1916

    Maybe it started off as just good old-fashioned fear, especially by women? That if your life isn’t “under control” then you risk not achieving something?
    I guess if you think you have a lot to lose by being a housewife (especially the women a generation or 2 older than me–I am 46–when they were younger), then you cling ferociously to some kind of idealized autonomy. How sad that staying home and raising your family is considered so useless and a waste of an education or a good mind or something. Now, of course, economically we have made it so difficult for young couples to even make that choice, unless they have a good support network of family and friends.
    The reality that I see in my own extended family is that those who chose (actively chose to contracept) to rule themselves are increasingly lonely.
    It is a cause for sorrow. How many have and will despair as they age alone. It seems that the Church (us) will be called very deeply into caring for people in these situations. Lord, have mercy on us all.

  • Augustine

    Yes, thank you.

    I’m just reflecting on the the article by Trystin which Elizabeth quoted.

    Control was the first temptation: to be like God. It permeates my life, even if I try to rid my soul of it whenever I spot it. I need to be constantly vigilant and pruning to keep this temptation at bay.

  • PewSitter

    The proper question should be: “WHO are the “undesirables” Dan Savage is talking about?”