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Trent Franks Is Too Frank

Last week, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) made some anti-abortion remarks that slid into a controversial comparison with slavery:

In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long.  And now we look back on it and we say "How brave were they? What was the matter with them?  You know, I can't believe, you know, four million slaves.  This is incredible."  And we're right, we're right. We should look back on that with criticism.  It is a crushing mark on America's soul.  And yet today, half of all black children are aborted.  Half of all black children are aborted.  Far more of the African American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.  And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

Some of my fellow liberal bloggers have interpreted this as saying "Blacks were better off under slavery." I suppose that's a true rendition of his remarks, but it's not exactly fair. Franks was not in any way minimizing the horror of slavery. Yes, he made an absurd comparison. But the absurdity lies not in his view of the beneficence of slavery but in the horror of abortion.

Indeed, Frank's view is a fairly straightforward extrapolation from the premise that a fertilized egg has equal value to that of any human life. I would consider this step to be a reductio ad absurdum that calls into question the premise itself. I'm surprised that more absolutist opponents of abortion don't think through the correlations of their belief and either draw insane conclusions, like Franks does, or rethink their premise. In any case, the crazy element of Franks' thinking pertains to abortion, not slavery.