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Monday, 15 June 2009

Don't like slavery? Then don't own one: A lesson from history

As a historian, The White Man is always on the lookout for those who are repeating history rather than learning it. One such situation seems to be emerging in regards to the threatened abolition of abortion.

More than a decade ago, Rush Limbaugh coined the word 'feminazi' to describe women who were determined to push their radical views on the majority. This category of person has not gone away, and it is interesting to see the parallels between the antiabolitionists of the 21st century and the antiabolitionists of the 19th century.

The antiabolitionists of the 18th and 19th centuries were, of course, opposed to the abolition of slavery, which had begun in the late 18th century in New England and soon spread to the remainder of states north of the Mason-Dixon line. Parity thus achieved was then maintained by Congress admitting new states to the Union in a careful balance of slave and free. But by 1846, the former territories of the South had all become slave states, and the balance could no longer be maintained with the consecutive admission of Iowa and Wisconsin into the Union as free states.

As the antiabolitionists saw their relative presentation in Washington diminishing, they became more and more adamant about imposing slavery on the new territories whether they wanted it or not. It was this belligerence more than anything else that precipitated the Civil War.

The antiabolitionists of the 20th and 21st centuries are opposed to the abolition of abortion. With poll results showing a continued drop in the support for decriminalized abortion among the American populace, they are becoming more and more belligerent. Unable to force abortion on any more Americans, they are intent on exporting it throughout the world, as evidenced by President Obama's repeal of the Mexico City Policy, and the recent passage in the House of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act.

It is hoped that these antiabolitionists will learn a lesson from history. Abolitionists were successful only on their home turf, as long as antiabolitionists were content to keep slavery on theirs. Only once the antiabolitionists began forcibly exporting slavery to states that voted against it, like Kansas, did blood began to flow. And by the time it stopped flowing, the South was in ruins and slavery was universally abolished.

Antiabolitionists like the taunting slogan, "Don't like abortion? Then don't have one!" But by forcing the US State Department to blacklist nations that refuse to remove anti-abortion laws from their books, they run the risk of awakening a sleeping giant, and eventually finding that the resulting backlash will re-criminalize abortion in their own nation.

And as before, Bleeding Kansas appears to be the tipping point.

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