Monday, April 18, 2005

Watch out, it's a trap! In editorials today, both the Washington Times and theWall Street Journal attack NOW for being anti-choice on cosmetic surgery, yet pro-choice on abortion.

It is inconsistent for NOW to oppose letting women decide whether to have breast implants, while being extremely vocal in their advocacy of not letting anything interfere with a woman's ability to have an abortion. The danger for conservatives (and others who like to attack NOW) is that their arguments pushing 'choice' in cosmetic surgery end up bolstering NOW's position on choice on abortion. After all, if a woman should have the choice over something as trivial as what to put in her body, why shouldn't she have the right to choose what comes out of her body?

But there is actually an opening for anti-abortion forces in NOW's position on implants. NOW President Kim Gandy argues that the debate over whether to allow breast implants is about "science and medicine" - in other words, she's acknowledging there are issues that preclude a woman having total control over her own body. She also complains that "women who want augmentation surgery cannot make an informed choice" (italics mine) and says that "hundreds of thousands of women have been injured and become seriously ill after receiving ... implants" - a position anti-abortion forces can use to push for requiring informed consent for abortions and quality standards for those performing abortions.

The opportunity for conservatives is to welcome NOW's position on implants. They (at least the men) need to give up their fantasy surgically enhanced women feedomg them grapes around the pool, and use NOW's own arguments against them. If one supports limits on little things like implants, how much of a stretch is it to favor limits on bigger issues?