Thank you Mother Talkers and a tip of the hat to Miss Melissa at Mark’s Miscellany for reminding me about Blog For Choice Day. Melissa says I don’t get to have an opinion on this, but I can’t agree.
I do agree that whether to have an abortion or not to, is not a choice that I can make, that choice is left to the one who will have to deliver and raise the child. No, that’s not a choice any man can make for a woman. Here is where I think I do have a right to an opinion, I think that a woman should be allowed to have a choice, and that no one has the right to make the choice for her.
But here’s the kicker and it’s a devil’s dilemma. I am also personally anti-abortion. I don’t like it that abortion exists and want to see a world where there are no more abortions. It’s not a morality thing, not a religion thing. It’s just that the very decision to have an abortion is so hard on a person. It changes people, changes relationships.
So like Bill Clinton, I would like to have a nation where abortion on demand is “safe, legal, and rare”.
Abortion, unfortunately, has become a political issue. It shouldn’t be but the other side insists on talking about it. So let’s talk about it. This data is from Carville and Begala’s Take It Back – A Battle Plan for Democratic Victory.
Most people in the country favor some sort of abortion. Neoconservative Evangelical Republicans are in a distinct minority here. This needs to be kept up front whenever the issue becomes politicized.
85% Favor abortion when a woman’s life is in danger
77% Favor abortion when a woman’s physical health is in danger
76% Favor abortion when the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest
66% Favor abortions in the first trimester, whatever the cause
56% Favor abortion when there is evidence of physical or mental disability
56% Favor abortion in most or all cases.
Contrast those figures to these figures on when do Americans favor restrictions on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion:
88% say it’s OK for a doctor to provide information on alternatives to abortion
84% say that abortion during the last trimester should be illegal
74% say that there should be a 24 hour waiting period after an abortion has been requested.
73% say that minors should have a parent or guardian’s permission
72% say that husbands must be informed of the decision to have an abortion
70% support a ban on partial birth abortion.
These figures tell me this: Americans are on the side of pro-choice, but want that choice made early on and not later in the pregnancy. Democrats need to understand this when the issue is brought up in any campaign. 70% of all Americans are against partial birth abortions, but guess what? 100% of the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates were in favor of partial birth abortions. This fed into the hands of the Neocon Crazies and they beat us over the head with this, showing that Democratic presidential candidates were out of step with the vast majority of Americans. So, Carville and Begala warn, before you fully embrace the pro-choice support groups 100%, consider what this gives your opponents.
Will Roe v. Wade ever be overturned? When he wrote the majority opinion on the decision, Justice Harry Blackmun predicted that it would be someday. It narrowly survived a challenge in 1989 (Webster v. Reproductive Services), but when you look at the Bush Court, you have to wonder when they are going to go after Roe.
If and when they do, watch out for the backlash. Several states have already passed legislation to make abortion illegal when the federal restraint is lifted. When that happens, your American majority, in favor of abortion on demand, who are happy with the current situation, will become very unhappy. “People don’t vote on issues that they are happy about”, write Carville and Begala. “In short the conservatives’ fondest dream – overturning Roe – will be the Republicans’ worst nightmare”.