Monday, December 19, 2005

dec 19 issue: the mail from philadelphia

Two Philadelphians emphasize to me, and Peter Boyer, exactly what the terms of a Democratic compromise with social conservatives on abortion might be. Not good. If he and I want to compromise, we ought to have our facts straight.

Seth Levi reminds us of the "uneasy" and dangerous coalition of liberals and conservatives in New Deal politics. I think there was a really good New York Review of Books on this this issue this fall. About how the Southern conservatives made sure that the social benefits of the New Deal were not extended to African Americans.

And Carol Petraitis informs us that PA law forbids abortion 24 weeks after conception, but the language of "partial birth abortion" obscures this and should the laws change to include this language, PA would have stricter restrictions on a woman's right to choose. And she explains that PA requires a minor to have the permission of a guardian, not just inform them. Boyer had made it clear how dangerous requiring permission is; it can put the woman at a lot of risk from her family.

Thank heaven for Philadelphia. And its well informed, thoughtful citizenry. Who take the responsibility to write to the New Yorker.

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