A Supreme Court abortion decision is expected any day. Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. Supreme Court traditionally releases its major opinions in the month of June. We have already seen blockbuster rulings on LGBT employment discrimination and DACA. Next up: June Medical Services v. Russo, which will determine the fate of a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

Image via the Katrina Jackson for
Senate District 34 facebook page

The common-sense, bipartisan law was spearheaded by then-state representative (now state senator) Katrina Jackson (pictured), a Democrat. It is not a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Instead, it seeks to harness the power of existing medical institutions to identify and stop abortionists who are especially dangerous to women. As pro-choice author William Saletan noted years ago in his chilling Back Alley series, the medical community knows full well who these shoddy abortionists are and quietly declines to work with them — but historically, they have refused to speak up for political reasons. Admitting privileges requirements make these “open secrets” truly open, and force the abortion lobby to live up to the “safe” part of its empty motto.

Side note: Any news coverage of this case that fails to mention Kevin Work is sham journalism. He’s exactly the type of abortionist that Louisiana’s law is meant to address. Read more about him here
Louisiana’s law is similar to the Texas law that the Supreme Court tragically struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted some differences when it upheld Louisiana’s law in 2018. Pro-life advocates were horrified by Hellerstedt, which prioritized abortion access and industry profits over women’s safety. Hellerstedt was a 5-3 decision, when the Court had only eight Justices due to the death of Justice Scalia. (The three in the minority were Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito.) Since then, pro-abortion Justice Kennedy has retired, and Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — widely believed to support the right to life — have joined the Court. 
Here are the possible outcomes to watch for in Russo, from worst to best:
  • The Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s law. This would mean that at least one of the Justices believed to be an anti-abortion vote is not, and that pro-life groups have received little in return for their decades of putting up with the Republican Party. If this happens, expect absolute chaos to ensue.
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law without overturning Hellerstedt. This would essentially ratify the Fifth Circuit’s approach. Lower courts would be instructed to consider other states’ admitting privileges laws on a case-by-case basis, depending on such factors as the number of abortionists in the state and what criteria the state’s hospitals use to grant or deny admitting privileges. 
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law, recognizes its past mistake, and reverses Hellerstedt. This would be a victory for women’s health and babies’ lives.
  • The Supreme Court finds that the plaintiffs lack standing. This is a long shot, so don’t get your hopes up, but a decision on the basis of standing would be huge. The legal concept of standing means that a person can’t sue merely because they dislike a law; they have to have a certain level of direct involvement. To give an obvious example, the plaintiffs in the LGBT employment discrimination cases decided earlier this month were, not surprisingly, LGBT people whose employers discriminated against them. In Russo, the plaintiffs are arguing that Louisiana’s law unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion — but the plaintiffs in Russo aren’t women, much less pregnant mothers seeking abortions and facing legal burdens. The Russo plaintiffs are abortion companies whose hired abortionists don’t have admitting privileges. Although many past cases have involved abortion companies legally standing in for abortion-seeking mothers (e.g. Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Hellerstedt), allowing that type of substitute standing in a safety regulations case creates a serious conflict of interest. Women’s desire to obtain the best possible care and avoid quacks like Kevin Work is directly at odds with abortion vendors’ desire to cut costs. If the Supreme Court finally expresses some long-overdue skepticism at the idea that abortion businesses represent women’s interests, our legal system could finally escape, or at least reduce, the influence of abortion industry money.
Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute puts it best:

A Supreme Court abortion decision is expected any day. Here’s what you need to know.

The U.S. Supreme Court traditionally releases its major opinions in the month of June. We have already seen blockbuster rulings on LGBT employment discrimination and DACA. Next up: June Medical Services v. Russo, which will determine the fate of a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

Image via the Katrina Jackson for
Senate District 34 facebook page

The common-sense, bipartisan law was spearheaded by then-state representative (now state senator) Katrina Jackson (pictured), a Democrat. It is not a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Instead, it seeks to harness the power of existing medical institutions to identify and stop abortionists who are especially dangerous to women. As pro-choice author William Saletan noted years ago in his chilling Back Alley series, the medical community knows full well who these shoddy abortionists are and quietly declines to work with them — but historically, they have refused to speak up for political reasons. Admitting privileges requirements make these “open secrets” truly open, and force the abortion lobby to live up to the “safe” part of its empty motto.

Side note: Any news coverage of this case that fails to mention Kevin Work is sham journalism. He’s exactly the type of abortionist that Louisiana’s law is meant to address. Read more about him here
Louisiana’s law is similar to the Texas law that the Supreme Court tragically struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals noted some differences when it upheld Louisiana’s law in 2018. Pro-life advocates were horrified by Hellerstedt, which prioritized abortion access and industry profits over women’s safety. Hellerstedt was a 5-3 decision, when the Court had only eight Justices due to the death of Justice Scalia. (The three in the minority were Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas and Alito.) Since then, pro-abortion Justice Kennedy has retired, and Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh — widely believed to support the right to life — have joined the Court. 
Here are the possible outcomes to watch for in Russo, from worst to best:
  • The Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana’s law. This would mean that at least one of the Justices believed to be an anti-abortion vote is not, and that pro-life groups have received little in return for their decades of putting up with the Republican Party. If this happens, expect absolute chaos to ensue.
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law without overturning Hellerstedt. This would essentially ratify the Fifth Circuit’s approach. Lower courts would be instructed to consider other states’ admitting privileges laws on a case-by-case basis, depending on such factors as the number of abortionists in the state and what criteria the state’s hospitals use to grant or deny admitting privileges. 
  • The Supreme Court upholds Louisiana’s law, recognizes its past mistake, and reverses Hellerstedt. This would be a victory for women’s health and babies’ lives.
  • The Supreme Court finds that the plaintiffs lack standing. This is a long shot, so don’t get your hopes up, but a decision on the basis of standing would be huge. The legal concept of standing means that a person can’t sue merely because they dislike a law; they have to have a certain level of direct involvement. To give an obvious example, the plaintiffs in the LGBT employment discrimination cases decided earlier this month were, not surprisingly, LGBT people whose employers discriminated against them. In Russo, the plaintiffs are arguing that Louisiana’s law unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion — but the plaintiffs in Russo aren’t women, much less pregnant mothers seeking abortions and facing legal burdens. The Russo plaintiffs are abortion companies whose hired abortionists don’t have admitting privileges. Although many past cases have involved abortion companies legally standing in for abortion-seeking mothers (e.g. Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Hellerstedt), allowing that type of substitute standing in a safety regulations case creates a serious conflict of interest. Women’s desire to obtain the best possible care and avoid quacks like Kevin Work is directly at odds with abortion vendors’ desire to cut costs. If the Supreme Court finally expresses some long-overdue skepticism at the idea that abortion businesses represent women’s interests, our legal system could finally escape, or at least reduce, the influence of abortion industry money.
Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute puts it best:

Recap: SPL at the Democrats for Life of America Conference

Many of our followers know by now that SPL is run by three atheist women: Monica the conservative, Kelsey the independent, and me (Terrisa), the flaming liberal. Naturally, when Democrats for Life of America cleverly sought out a secular speaker for their national conference in Lansing, Michigan, I was happy to fulfill the role!

I work full-time in the pro-life movement and have been to countless pro-life conferences. The first thing that is noticeably different about the DFLA National Conference is just how much resistance it inspires from pro-choice groups. This year, a local groups took out three (yes three!) expensive billboards with the MSU specific message “Go Green, Go White, Go Home Dems for Life!” Little did they know that DFLA Executive Director, Kristen Day, is MSU alumna! In addition, they dropped off flyers at the conference venue in the days leading up to the event. Similarly, last year at the 2018 conference in Denver, Colorado, a billboard was taken out exalting that “Abortion access is a Progressive Value” and NARAL hosted a press conference outside the venue to address the event!

I find these efforts kind of shocking considering what a relatively small pro-life effort we are. I’ve rarely if ever encountered anything similar at a more traditionally conservative event. Pro-life Dems are often referred to as unicorns, like we’re so rare were a myth. But it’s this effort to counter us that reminds me: Democrats who want to see abortion more restricted than it is today-contrary to the party platform-are actually in the majority. The abortion industry almost exclusively maintains political power through the financial relationship they have with our party. Pro-life Dems pose a unique threat to the future of that relationship.

The conference was lively, fun, diverse, and welcoming. Sure, it skewed a little older and more religious, but the topics and speakers were timely and engaged with topics relevant to us left-leaning types like protecting the life and dignity of immigrants, those who are incarcerated, death row inmates, the LGBT community, enemy combatants, and so much more. It’s pretty cool to be in a room full of people who align so closely in ideology to your own. Especially since being a pro-life activist alone can be so isolating.

I presented a talk that Kelsey, Monica, and I developed together earlier this year, discussing the relationship between millennials, secularists, and leftists, why it matters, and what we can do about it to effectively win hearts and minds for life! Due to the nature of the conference it has a bit more of a left take on the concept but be assured, SPL is nonpartisan and welcome to all! Check it out here.

Then on Tuesday, DFLA hosted a press conference outside the Democratic Presidential debate in nearby Detroit, Michigan. They have created a political action committee to compel a qualified pro-life Democratic candidate to come forward and run for President of the United States in 2020! I spoke about the need for someone to represent the majority of Democrats and even Millennials by supporting abortion restrictions. Kristen Day urged the party not to ignore the 1 in 3 Democrats who are pro-life.

It’s an interesting time for being a pro-life Dem. Our party platform is as extreme as it gets, even calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment, which has saved more than 2 million lives. If you’re left-leaning and pro-life, now’s the time to be heard! Pro-life Dems are uniquely equipped to reach the next generation and replace the abortion influence with a culture of life. And together with our right leaning pro-life fam, we can end the abortion regime in America forever.

Recap: SPL at the Democrats for Life of America Conference

Many of our followers know by now that SPL is run by three atheist women: Monica the conservative, Kelsey the independent, and me (Terrisa), the flaming liberal. Naturally, when Democrats for Life of America cleverly sought out a secular speaker for their national conference in Lansing, Michigan, I was happy to fulfill the role!

I work full-time in the pro-life movement and have been to countless pro-life conferences. The first thing that is noticeably different about the DFLA National Conference is just how much resistance it inspires from pro-choice groups. This year, a local groups took out three (yes three!) expensive billboards with the MSU specific message “Go Green, Go White, Go Home Dems for Life!” Little did they know that DFLA Executive Director, Kristen Day, is MSU alumna! In addition, they dropped off flyers at the conference venue in the days leading up to the event. Similarly, last year at the 2018 conference in Denver, Colorado, a billboard was taken out exalting that “Abortion access is a Progressive Value” and NARAL hosted a press conference outside the venue to address the event!

I find these efforts kind of shocking considering what a relatively small pro-life effort we are. I’ve rarely if ever encountered anything similar at a more traditionally conservative event. Pro-life Dems are often referred to as unicorns, like we’re so rare were a myth. But it’s this effort to counter us that reminds me: Democrats who want to see abortion more restricted than it is today-contrary to the party platform-are actually in the majority. The abortion industry almost exclusively maintains political power through the financial relationship they have with our party. Pro-life Dems pose a unique threat to the future of that relationship.

The conference was lively, fun, diverse, and welcoming. Sure, it skewed a little older and more religious, but the topics and speakers were timely and engaged with topics relevant to us left-leaning types like protecting the life and dignity of immigrants, those who are incarcerated, death row inmates, the LGBT community, enemy combatants, and so much more. It’s pretty cool to be in a room full of people who align so closely in ideology to your own. Especially since being a pro-life activist alone can be so isolating.

I presented a talk that Kelsey, Monica, and I developed together earlier this year, discussing the relationship between millennials, secularists, and leftists, why it matters, and what we can do about it to effectively win hearts and minds for life! Due to the nature of the conference it has a bit more of a left take on the concept but be assured, SPL is nonpartisan and welcome to all! Check it out here.

Then on Tuesday, DFLA hosted a press conference outside the Democratic Presidential debate in nearby Detroit, Michigan. They have created a political action committee to compel a qualified pro-life Democratic candidate to come forward and run for President of the United States in 2020! I spoke about the need for someone to represent the majority of Democrats and even Millennials by supporting abortion restrictions. Kristen Day urged the party not to ignore the 1 in 3 Democrats who are pro-life.

It’s an interesting time for being a pro-life Dem. Our party platform is as extreme as it gets, even calling for an end to the Hyde Amendment, which has saved more than 2 million lives. If you’re left-leaning and pro-life, now’s the time to be heard! Pro-life Dems are uniquely equipped to reach the next generation and replace the abortion influence with a culture of life. And together with our right leaning pro-life fam, we can end the abortion regime in America forever.

Does the pro-life cause have the wrong allies?

[Today’s post is by Robert Christian, a progressive Catholic.  It is a response to last week’s “Election Reflection” blog post.  It was originally posted at Millennial and is reprinted with permission.]

A recent blog post at Secular Pro-Life addresses the question of whether or not the pro-life movement has the wrong allies.  It does.

The post notes, “When the pro-life movement is allied with fiscal conservatives, who are inclined to cut social programs, it’s all too easy
for abortion supporters to accuse us of not caring about people after
they are born.”  Conversely, “The Democratic Party, with its historic
concern for those who cannot speak for themselves, would seem to be a
better fit– in theory.”

The Democratic Party is a much better fit, both theoretically and
practically.  Pro-life progressivism is based on a far more coherent
political philosophy in terms of its understanding of the role of
government and the protection of human life and dignity.  In fact, in
the 1970s, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to oppose
abortion, and Congress was filled with pro-life Democrats.

It was only in the mid- to late 1980s that abortion became strongly
associated with party identification, according to scholars Robert
Putnam and David Campbell.  This is a relatively recent development, and
it is not irreversible.

In the post, the argument is made that the Democratic Party is
“married to abortion.”  That’s true if one focuses exclusively on party
leaders and activists.  Overall, however, one third of the Democratic
Party is pro-life.  Pro-life Democrats are elected at state and local
levels across the country, even in deep blue states like Connecticut and
Massachusetts.  These numbers would be considerably higher if so many
pro-lifers who oppose economic libertarianism had not left the party
over the past 40 years.

It is true that wealthy pro-choice liberals have disproportionate
control over the party’s agenda.  This can only be countered by
organizing a large grassroots network of pro-life Democrats.  Every time
another frustrated pro-lifer flees the party, given the reality of
campaign finance rules and closed primary elections, they make this more
difficult.

And they hurt the cause by joining a party married to anti-government
rhetoric, whose top priority is minimizing taxes on the wealthiest
Americans.  It’s not a myth that many self-identified pro-lifers are not
that interested in protecting life from threats other than abortion. 
Some critics want to say that pro-lifers are really pro-birth or
pro-baby.  That’s a bit charitable.  You can’t oppose access to
affordable, quality healthcare for pregnant women and deserve the label
“pro-birth. “  You cannot be completely indifferent to infant mortality
rates and be reasonably identified as “pro-baby.”  And the basic
incoherence of this type of worldview rightfully exposes many pro-lifers
to the charge of being hypocrites or insincere in their commitment to
defending innocent human life.

Framing the pro-life cause around the themes of equality and human
rights and backing up this rhetoric with a commitment to policies that
reflect these values, for both the born and unborn, is a far better
strategy.  This rhetoric and worldview is also far more appealing to
Millennials, many of whom are not affiliated with an organized religion,
yet still have a strong belief in social justice and other values.  The
pro-gay marriage movement has found the right formula to appeal to
Millennials and its support has grown rapidly.  The pro-life movement
cannot keep relying on the extremism of the pro-choice movement and its
continued use of hyper-individualistic rhetoric to prevent the
pro-choice cause from making similar inroads.

The devotion of the pro-life movement to the Republican Party has led
to the endorsement of candidates that have embarrassed and discredited
the movement.  This includes candidates whose understanding of women’s bodies and pregnancy is as sophisticated as the theory of where babies come from put forward by Maude Apatow’s character in Knocked Up
It also includes Scott Desjarlais who opposes abortion, except in the
cases where he pressures his wife and mistress to abort his own
children.  Numerous pro-lifers stood by these ridiculous and repulsive
candidates until the very end.

But is there hope for a new Republican party?  The post argues:

Rather than the usual dry talk of waste, balanced budgets, and so on, they have shifted their messaging to focus on the debt we are leaving to our children. In short, they’re saying that they do care very much about people who are already born, and using that as a basis for their fiscal conservatism. That could be a harmonious fit with the pro-life position.

Repackaging existing policies designed to aid the wealthiest
Americans is not going to fool Millennials or anyone else who sees
pro-life conservatism as incoherent or hypocritical.  Further, the
elected Republicans using this rhetoric were not serious about debt
reduction.  A balanced-budget plan that starts with large tax cuts for
multimillionaires and billionaires and ends with no projected balanced
budget for decades is more properly called a tax cut plan.  The argument
that we must slash essential programs that help the neediest Americans
so that we will not be in a position where we might have to slash
essential programs that help the poor in the future is patently
ridiculous.

It is not impossible to envision a Republican Party that is more open
to those with a whole life perspective.  In the wake of Mitt Romney’s
loss, many are arguing the party needs to move in a more moderate
direction.  If the party does shift in this direction, three options
appear most likely.  First, it could moderate its position on
immigration and eliminate its hateful, divisive rhetoric (the 47%,
makers v. takers, etc.), while basically maintaining its current
understanding of social, economic, and foreign policy conservatism. 
Second, it could moderate its position on social issues like gay
marriage and abortion, weakening its commitment to both, while
reaffirming its commitment to its current economic agenda.  Finally, it
could develop an economic agenda that actually addresses the concerns
and needs of working and middle-class Americans and/or one that tackles
the budget deficit, while maintaining its opposition to abortion.

While the third might seem to be the best way to expand its electoral
appeal, the first two are more appealing to the wealthy supporters of
the party.   They would rather see the party move in the direction of a
Marco Rubio or Bobby Jindal or a real life Arnold Vinick (of the West
Wing) than see a genuine compassionate conservative or tax-raising
budget balancer alter the direction of the party.  And over the past
decades, these supporters have been the most powerful in the party.  As
Jonathan Chait notes,
“The Republican Party has been organized around defending the material
interests of the very rich — largely by defending low top tax rates as
its maximal policy goal.”  Change is always possible after a loss like
Romney’s, but it is not clear that this organizing principle will
change.

The pro-life movement’s devotion to the Republican Party has not just
led to the endorsement of fools, but to coordinated campaigns to
eradicate pro-life Democrats.  It is difficult to overstate how
counterproductive this is.  Any movement that requires one party
reaching and maintaining a durable supermajority to achieve its goals is
doomed to failure.  The two-party system is not an endangered species
in America.  Bipartisanship is necessary for success.  Gaining equal
ground in the Democratic Party will be a challenge, but it is a fight
worth undertaking. 

The biggest reason why the pro-life movement needs progressive allies
is because the Republican strategy, which relies on the appointment of
enough conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and
return the issue of abortion to the states, would neither result in the
legal protection of unborn life nationwide nor address the underlying
causes of abortion.  Only a comprehensive approach that guarantees
constitutional protection for unborn lives and addresses the economic
and social needs of pregnant women and children, born and unborn, can be
fully successful.

The biggest obstacle to the pro-life movement finding its natural
allies is that many important pro-life activists are highly partisan and
would be devoted to the Republican Party regardless of its position on
abortion.  The pro-life movement is filled with people who think food,
healthcare, and other basic needs are privileges to be earned, not
rights based on human worth and dignity.  I have seen pro-life leaders
who are Ayn Rand devotees.  Others spread the prosperity gospel.  If the
pro-life movement wants to be successful, it does not just need new
allies, it needs new leaders.

Today’s briefs

Kristi Brown of Live Action News dissects a recent Planned Parenthood rally for Obama.  The highlights:  Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s outrageous claim that pro-lifers cannot love women (“Thank you, Mayor Booker, for being ever-present in my life, at every moment, and assuring me that my brothers, father, and husband do not truly love me”), and tacky anti-GOP condoms (“[C]learly there is nothing wrong with condoms or with responsible adults acquiring
them. However, condoms have nothing to do with either Romney’s or Ryan’s
policies and serve only to demonstrate Planned Parenthood’s obsession with all
things sexual”).

Planning to watch Obama’s speech tonight?  You should– especially if you live in Charlotte.  Jill Stanek reports that the Susan B. Anthony list is airing a hard-hitting anti-Obama ad tonight in the Charlotte market, featuring abortion survivor Melissa Ohden.  While I’m not thrilled by her comment that she’s alive today “by the grace of God” (where was that grace for the other babies aborted that day?), the ad does a great job in getting extremely important information to the voting public: President Obama had the opportunity to protect infants born alive after abortion, and chose not to.

An “I Vote Pro-Life First” webcast, hosted by a coalition of pro-life organizations including Students for Life of America and Pro-Life Action League, takes place tonight at 9pm Eastern.

American Ambivalence

The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby points out that most Americans’ views on abortion don’t fully align with either Republican or Democratic party platforms:

Only about 1 in 5 [Americans] ever say that abortion should always be illegal. When asked directly whether abortion should be permitted if a pregnancy results from rape or incest, huge majorities — usually around 75 percent — say yes.
Moreover, only a minority of Americans favors amending the Constitution to end legalized abortion or overturn Roe v. Wade. In poll after poll, about 6 in 10 Americans express support for Roe. A GOP platform that endorses a human life amendment conferring on the unborn “a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed” — essentially a call to ban abortion, period — thus embraces a position that significant majorities of the public do indeed reject.
So Republicans are the extremists on abortion? Not so fast.
If you’re like most Americans, you believe that abortion is morally wrong. You oppose abortion on demand. You think abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances. Even then you favor restrictions on its use, including 24-hour waiting periods, parental consent in the case of a minor, and requiring a married woman to notify her husband before she gets an abortion. You want late-term abortions to be prohibited, and you reject using public funds to pay for anyone’s abortion.  

Does the Democratic Party uphold these mainstream positions? On the contrary: It rejects every one of them. 

Jacoby draws these conclusions from a “compilation of decades of polling data” entitled “Attitudes on Abortion.”  The report’s summary states,

Although opinion about abortion is stable, it is also deeply ambivalent. Americans are at once pro-life and pro-choice. On the one hand, substantial numbers tell the pollsters that abortion is an act of murder. On the other, they say that the decision to have an abortion should be a personal choice. Those two views are fundamentally contradictory, yet many Americans hold them within themselves. They see no reason to resolve the tensions in their own positions. They believe in the sanctity of life and in the importance of individual choice.

How is it possible for so many people to essentially believe that an act of murder should be a personal choice?

Perhaps it’s because, as the report explains, some 90% of Americans have never been active in the abortion debate.  Those of us who have argued about this ad nauseum have been pushed to look further into legal precedents, philosophical perspectives, and so on.  Hopefully we’ve also been compelled to consider the inevitably complicated ramifications of abortion policy proposals (whether to restrict abortion or maintain the status quo).  In contrast, I imagine the topic of abortion–much less all the details it can involve–come up relatively rarely for most people.

I’m curious to know the average American’s “abortion literacy.” What do people believe our current abortion laws permit and restrict?  How often do they believe the hard cases (i.e. life-threatening pregnancies or pregnancies resulting from rape) occur?  What resources do they think are available to women with unplanned pregnancies?  Why do they think women choose abortion?

How close are the average American’s expectations to reality?  If most people were as informed as those active in the abortion debate, how would that affect popular perspective on abortion?

Democratic Platform ProLife?


Currently the democratic platform’s party states its unequivocal support for Roe v. Wade and says, “we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” However, some democrats in the party have recently suggested, at a committee meeting, that the language should be changed to allow some diversity of opinion on the issue within the party.

Part of the reason for allowing the open stance on life is out of fear of losing more of the House and the Senate in the 2012 election. Members of the party believe it would be advantageous, especially considering a recent Gallup poll where 44% of democrats shockingly said they thought abortion should only be legal “in a few circumstances”.

The efforts to acknowledge respect for human life to the party platform have been shut down for the most part; however, it will be interesting to see what the party decides down the road since ultimately they are politicians who need the votes and if society continues the trend of becoming more pro-life this may have a significant impact on the party. In the meantime President of NARAL Nancy Keenan, who is on the committee discussing the proposed changes to the party platform, has been quick to push for maintaining the unwavering pro-abortion position for the democratic party.

Stay tuned . . .

For the
Dignity of the Born and Unborn,
Timmerie

The ACA, Abortion, and the Election

The Washington Times reports on reactions to the Affordable Care Act in terms of the abortion debate:

“Defeat Obama, elect Mitt Romney and repeal Obamacare,” David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), said in response to the high court’s 5-4 decision Thursday, which found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional under the taxation powers of the federal government.
“We have saved the Affordable Care Act … but the gains of women for 40 years are at stake,” Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority, said Friday in Baltimore at the annual conference of the National Organization for Women. “We cannot lose this election … We must get out the vote,” she told her cheering audience.

Unsurprisingly, pro-lifers are associated with electing Mitt Romney, defeating Obama, and repealing the ACA.  Pro-choicers are associated with the opposite.  Gallup finds Americans are split on the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the ACA (46% agree, 46% disagree), but these views skew heavily along party lines (79% of Democrats agree, 83% of Republicans disagree).

However, Gallup also finds that, of those who want to repeal the ACA in some form, 40% only want to repeal parts of the Act, rather than repeal the entire Act.

If the ACA had nothing to do with abortion, would that substantially change your view of the Act?  Would it change your view of the election?

Support for Abortion: Republican Versus Democrat

This post was sent to me by guest blogger Sarah T. – M

When thinking about the abortion issue, most people assume that the respective stances of the two major political parties in the United States are rigidly defined and set in stone. Republicans are pro-life. Democrats are pro-choice. That is all. In reality, however, things are not that clear. While the pro-life position is the official stance of the Republican Party and the pro-choice position is the official stance of the Democratic Party, the opinions of the rank-and-file of Republicans and Democrats do not always line up neatly with their parties’ platforms.

Here are the statistics:

  • If the life/health of the woman is in jeopardy abortion is approved by 90% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans
  • If the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest abortion is approved of by 82% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans
  • If the woman has low income and cannot afford more children abortion is approved by 48% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans
  • If a woman is not married abortion is approved of by 44% of Democrats and 43% of Republicans
  • Abortion for any reason is approved of by 40% of Democrats and 36% of Republicans

So as we see here, there is not a huge difference between the way Republicans and Democrats view abortion. Large majorities support keeping abortion legal in cases where the woman’s life or health is in danger or when she has been raped. However, there are only four percentage points between Democrats and Republicans who approve of abortion for any reason. If a woman is not married, the difference between Republicans’ and Democrats’ opinions is only 1%. This flies in the face of popular belief that Democrats are always pro-choice and Republicans are always pro-life. There are more pro-life Democrats than most people believe. The Democratic Party does not have a dead lock on the pro-choice position.

Pro-life Democrats need to speak out and reclaim our party. 60% of Democrats oppose abortion in at least some circumstances. Currently, in the United States, abortion is legal at any time in pregnancy for any reason. The Supreme Court cases Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton have seen to that. 60% of Democrats feel that this is wrong. This is a majority. The extremist position taken by many Democratic candidates, who say that there should be no restrictions at all on abortion at any time, is not in step with what the people of the party actually believe. Planned Parenthood and NARAL do not speak for the majority of Democrats.



Source: James A. Davis, Tom W. Smith, and Peter V. Marsden “General Social Surveys, 1972- 2004 (Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, 2008)