I’ve grown weary of articles in the Local that assume a progressive consensus in our neighborhood on almost everything related to sexuality, gender, and abortion.
Kathryn Kolbert is a nationally-prominent lawyer, active in current debates about the Supreme Court and abortion, and she happens to live in Chestnut Hill. In light of all that, she is newsworthy, and a profile of her and her work in the Local is understandable.
However, when I read her story on the front page above the fold (“Local lawyer at center of abortion rights fight,” 5/12), I sighed and my heart sank. I’ve grown weary of articles in the Local that assume a progressive consensus in our neighborhood on almost everything related to sexuality, gender, and abortion.
This article treats Kolbert as an unambiguous hero. There’s nothing in the article that hints that some people might reasonably think there is something tragic about abortion. The article repeatedly refers to abortion as a “right,” which begs the question, since whether or not this right exists is the question that keeps coming up in courts and in our politics.
More generally, if you go to the Local website, and do a search on words like “abortion” or “transgender,” the Local’s coverage is reliably cheerleading. If there is a technological intervention that enables individual autonomy, we can expect the Local to give it a high-five. Alternative ideas about life and nature, and their implications for human sexuality - about accepting and living within the body's limits, about supporting each other in ways that enable us to endure suffering and hardship in low-tech ways, and perhaps even questioning whether the sexual revolution is always worth the toll - will be invisible.
I hesitate to raise my head above the parapet. Cancel culture is real. I’m braced for the angry replies, including probably a few maladroit references to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” If anyone is interested in a neighborly cup of coffee and a conversation, let me know. If anyone is curious what an alternative pro-life politics might look like, google “The American Solidarity Party.” It’s a third party that emphasizes both the sanctity of life as well as social justice. I also recommend the Braver Angels organization for their models of how to have conversations on topics that are rife with misunderstanding.
Christopher C. Roberts