April 25, 2004


Abortion's Opponents Claim the Middle Ground (ROBIN TONER, 4/25/04, NY Times)

Today, as [abortion rights supporters] assemble on the Washington Mall, the movement faces a far more complicated and in some ways more challenging political landscape. The anti-abortion movement is more confident, more sophisticated and far more ensconced in the government, with allies now in control of the House, the Senate and the White House.

Its legislative goals are incremental, careful and popular with Americans who would oppose an outright ban on abortion, even if this agenda is considered by its opponents to be a stealthy chipping away of rights. The anti-abortion movement has, in many ways, become part of the establishment.

Nobody has made a serious effort to push a constitutional ban on abortion through Congress in many years. The Republican Party platform still calls for such a ban, as it has since the ascendancy of the Reaganites, and that plank is expected to be reaffirmed this year.

But President Bush, who opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest and to protect the life of the woman, tried to defuse the fears of moderate voters early on. He said that he did not believe the country was ready for a ban, and talks more generally about creating a "culture of life."

Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who also works for Naral Pro-Choice America, said her research showed that Mr. Bush rarely even used the word "abortion" for months at a time.

The current Congressional agenda of the anti-abortion movement is a series of steps aimed at restricting abortion and recognizing the "personhood" of the fetus. Legislation already passed includes the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, aimed at a procedure performed in the second or third trimester, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes it a separate offense to harm a fetus in a federal crime committed against a pregnant woman.

A quintessential conservative revolution--step by step...

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 25, 2004 10:06 AM


That's what we told our 8th graders who were going to the capital in January for the Right-to-Life rally, that you can't expect Roe v. Wade to be overturned overnight. It's a step-by-step process.

Posted by: Bartman at April 25, 2004 5:39 PM

Have you ever heard of the "Roe Effect"? Coined by WSJ's Opinion Journal blog, it's actually very simple (and has enough similarity to Darwin's "Descent with Modification" and "Natural Selection" effects to pop a few aneurysms among those who actually stand to gain from it).

Simply stated, it's that pro-lifers don't abort their kids, thus tending towards larger families who they then raise pro-life. Pro-aborts exercise their choice to have less kids, thus there are less to raise pro-abort. As each generation builds on the one before, the disparity becomes more and more pro-life with each generation. At 20 years a generation, we're already 1 1/2 gens along; another 1 or 2 and the demographics will be solidly against abortion.

Posted by: Ken at April 26, 2004 12:56 PM