"But everyone should be opposed to the blatantly illegal violation of her privacy and the exploitation of her death by protesters using it to make their point."
Writes Petula Dvorak in the WaPo.
I don't understand the "blatantly illegal" part. Dvorak is only guessing that someone in the clinic leaked the information, so shouldn't "blatantly" be something like "possibly"? Dvorak's opinion goes beyond the question of whether any law was broken. She portrays what happened to the woman as something intensely private that ought to have been mourned within her circle of family and friends and never disclosed to the rest of us, who have various opinions about a matter of important public concern related to this death.
To shift the topic slightly: Remember the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks, when we kept hearing — from Hillary Clinton and others — that the primary concern is for the families of the men who died.
I think we need to be a little skeptical when we hear the argument this is private, this is for the families.
What belongs securely in the private realm and what should come out into the public light? Consider the old slogan: The personal is political.
When we hear the statement this is private, we need to test its truth with the opposite proposition: This belongs in the public debate. And consider whether we are looking at something that can be divided up into private and public. We can be respectful to the family, we can avoid using the woman's name and photographs and and so forth, and extract the part of the story that properly belongs in the public debate. Those who demand absolute privacy may have complex motives. They may say: What I care about is the very personal suffering of the victim's family and friends. Why would they give voice to less admirable motivations?