Since the harrowing failure of Oklahoma's attempt to execute a death row inmate with a new untested drug cocktail last week, the death row debate has been rejuvenated. And you know what that means: more completely unsolicited parallels between death row and abortion!
In a discussion regarding the Oklahoma scandal, ABC's This Week explored the concept and relevance of executing inmates. But conservative Laura Ingraham had other thoughts on the matter. Namely, that babies are innocent and don't deserve to die in utero. Wait, what? Via Raw Story (jump to :50):
"We have to have that ability to take someone who's a danger to society out of society," Santorum opined. "I think if we could have a debate, maybe, of narrowing the cases.
Ingraham, however, pointed to the trial of abortion provider Louis Gosnell, and said that the botched execution was a "problem in our culture of being a culture of death."
"Late-term abortions, the heinous things happening in the womb to children," she continued. "And you don't want to equate it, but innocents, right? There could be innocent people today on death row."
"There is a lot of innocent life — forget the early-term abortions — late-term abortions. I think young people as well are changing their minds about the issue of abortion."
Van Jones' face expresses all of our reactions pretty perfectly.
Can we please just nip this whole false dilemma in the bud? Just because two controversial subjects both pertain to unnatural death does not mean that an opinion on one should inform an opinion on the other. Talking abortion is a completely different ballpark than talking execution—to overlap the two is a grave misunderstanding of each issue. And going so far as to overlap the rhetoric of innocence, to compare the innocence of a person who has undergone and been let down by the judicial process to that of an embryo, is a borderline criminal furthering of that misunderstanding.
So please. There's a time to talk abortion, and there's a time to talk death row. Turns out, it's not the same time.