July 20, 2008


Abortion, remarkably, remains an issue in U.S. politics (Albert R. Hunt, 7/20/08, Bloomberg News)

That abortion has such resonance in American politics is remarkable on several levels: It's not an issue of top-tier importance to voters, and very few elections anywhere have been determined by it. It's the province of a small clique - devout believers and political opportunists - on both sides.

By contrast, there are huge issues in the American presidential election, underscored by Obama's current trip to the Middle East and Europe.

If Senator Obama applied his abortion standard to the Middle East--that killing is an acceptable way to deal with an unwanted problem--we could exterminate every Palestinian, Iraqi, and half the Afghans before we'd reached the Roe body count.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 20, 2008 9:28 AM

What makes you think that abortions would be ended or even reduced if Roe were overturned?

Posted by: And yet at July 20, 2008 1:13 PM

The present record prison population.

Posted by: oj at July 20, 2008 3:42 PM


By law, if Roe were overturned tomorrow the issue of abortion would develove back to the states - where nothing will change. Early term abortions would remain protected, and late term abortions would be banned (these are only a tiny percentage of abortions performed), which conforms to the wishes of the vast majority of Americans.

Even in the most conservative states, however, the overturning of Roe would put any pro-life governor or attorney general in a tight spot. For the truth is that draconian state bans on abortion that failed to provide widely supported exceptions would likely be unpopular with majorities in all the states in question. According to Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor who has studied public opinion on abortion, there would be majority opposition to any law that failed to include these exceptions, even in the most conservative states. “My guess is that any state that has a total prohibition on abortion—that can’t stand,” Wilcox told me. “If you look at the polls, you’ll never get more than 15 or 20 percent that would ban all abortions. Across the board, around 75 percent are in favor of exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal defect, as well as the life and health of the mother. Even in the most conservative states, that will be over 50 percent.” In other words, there’s less variation among states when it comes to public attitudes about abortion than you might expect.



Posted by: andyet at July 20, 2008 4:20 PM

Drug laws were similarly becoming permissive in the early '70s. They aren't anymore. The difference is the Court protected murder, but not drugs.

Given normal social evolution--not Judicial intervention--some Blue states would have fairly permissive abortion regimes, as they have myriad pathologies, but most of the country would have rather restrictive ones and even greater social pressure applied to physicians and hospitals not to perform them.

Posted by: oj at July 20, 2008 8:01 PM

Oj said it for us all. The baby-murder regime exists only because it is propped up by the imperial judiciary.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 21, 2008 3:32 AM

but most of the country would have rather restrictive ones and even greater social pressure applied to physicians and hospitals not to perform them.

The polling says otherwise Mr. Judd. Kindly read the article and learn something about the law and how it operates.

Also look up the stats of abortion performed per state on a per capita basis. If your social pressures already existed, there would be a meaningful difference in the abortion rates between red and blue states. There isn't.

Your point is also moot when a pregnant woman in Mississippi can hop a bus to Illinois for an abortion.

The article's other point is spot on: remove RvW and the GOP electoral coaliton collapses. The Left used to have the welfare plantation (until Clinton reformed welfare) that kept Blacks in the Democratic party.

Abortion does the same thing to Evangelicals in the GOP. Overturn RvW and the Evangelicals may actually start voting along economic instead of social lines - which means that they would vote Democratic.

The GOP leadership would never want RvW to be overturned. By keeping abortion as an issue forever they can keep the Evangelical vote forever. Without Communism as a common foe, abortion is the only issue that units Evangelicals to Wall Streeters. If the Dems were smart (which they aren't) they'd overturn RvW and get an electoral lock for the forseeable future.

Posted by: andyet at July 21, 2008 4:02 AM

Polls? Do you think you're in Athens?

Posted by: oj at July 21, 2008 8:17 AM

"Overturn RvW and the Evangelicals may actually start voting along economic instead of social lines - which means that they would vote Democratic."

Surely you jest. Most conservatives, especially evangelical conservatives, recognize that economically the Republican Party still endorses (at least in theory and rhetoric) policies that have a much greater chance of helping poor people. Handouts are NOT the answer - research makes it clear that giving people handouts only results in them needing more handouts. We have to help, equip, and motivate the needy rather than simply handing them someone else's money.

In addition, the economics of the country as a whole would benefit greatly from several positions the Democrats are not willing to take: 1) drilling for oil, in places where it can be done most easily and profitably, as soon as possible; 2) refusing to raise taxes, which ends up resulting in lower revenues overall due to reduced profitability (and thus reduced motivation on the part of business owners); and 3) a steadfast determination to completely remove earmarks from the federal budget.

The Democrats simply refuse to do anything about any of these issues. For example, in the six years President Bush and the Republican Congress were in charge, the price of oil increased from $1.44 to $2.10 per gallon; in the two years since the Democrats have taken over, it's gone from $2.10 to $4. Yet as soon as President Bush lifted the ban on offshore drilling, the price of oil immediately plunged. If the Democratic Congress would open America's offshore areas (almost 90% of which are currently off-limits, and which contain at least a decade's replacement of every ounce we import), and ANWR (which contains at least two decade's worth of oil), and encourage companies to develop technologies and refineries to draw oil from oil shale (which contains at least a century's worth of oil), the price of oil would drop precipitously, and the American economy would be strengthened. Instead, they float ridiculous proposals such as releasing 10% of our Strategic Petroleum Reserves (which are currently at only about a month's worth) - a whole 3 1/2 days' worth! - and forcing companies to drill where they currently have leases - which is impractical since if there were oil there to be gotten, and with the price of oil where it is, the companies would certainly have already done that.

Not only that, the Democrats insist on raising taxes (supposedly on "the wealthy" although their refusal to extend the Bush tax cuts means my own family, making less than $60,000/year, is going to pay much higher taxes). AND they refuse to even consider putting any kind of limitations on earmarks, which this year amounted to something like half the federal budget (I realize some Republicans are also very guilty on the earmarks issue, but more of them are pledging to eliminate them, and more of them are refusing to use them). So which party is better in terms of the economy?

What I see happening with the evangelical vote, if Roe v Wade is dropped, is that they (we) will either vote less or switch parties. I think you'll see a party surface that stands for more true conservative values, and though that party would likely not win any elections, it would siphon off a significant part of the evangelical vote. In effect, that would still mean the Democrats would win, but it would not be because evangelicals are voting Democrat. With the Democratic Party's stand on social, religious, and moral issues, as well as their economic position, I doubt they are going to see any substantial increase in the number of evangelicals that vote for them.

Posted by: Marcy Muser at July 22, 2008 10:22 AM
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