It's Time for Roe To Go

Political posturing is an art from that many politicians master in a very short time. If you want to get elected to office, you had better learn how to check the prevailing winds and ride with them. What every politician hopes for is a jet stream that allows them to sail to office without much effort.

Republicans have a tremendous jet stream that they use and it is the gift that keeps on giving. Roe vs. Wade is a hot button issue unlike any other. It is a battlefield where many Americans muddle in the middle but politicians use to create stark dividing lines. To many opponents of abortion, it is the defining issue that trumps all others. Republicans know this and many posture for the cameras knowing that not much else is required of them except to proclaim their opposition. That is because the fight is in the courts and not in the halls where debating legislation takes place. They do not have to qualify their opposition.

I have no doubt that many in the anti-abortion movement are sincere about their stance. I believe that most Americans share their sentiment that abortion should no be used as a contraceptive. But many Americans believe that the reproductive rights rest with the individual and the not with the government. There are those that believe that some limits are appropriate and a clause that protects the mother in a medical emergency is necessary in any abortion bill. There are many different opinions but again, most of us wander in the murky middle of the debate.

But it is time to put the political posturing by politicians to an end. Some Republican politicians use this issue as a means to garner support and deflect debate from other position on other issues they may hold. They garner the passion of one issue voters and that is generally enough to get them elected, especially if they represent a conservative district.

This is one of the reasons that it is time for Roe to go. Let the issue go back to the states and have those states that support abortion rights allow it and those that don’t, ban it. It is time for politicians to decide if they want to criminalize abortion and to what extent. Think about the cowardice of the South Dakota ban on abortion. They criminalize it for the doctors but not the woman. What other crime only punishes one party involved in a crime but not the other? It is as illegal to sell drugs as it is to purchase them. The police have every right to arrest the prostitute as they the “John”. Only with abortion do they allow the initiator of the “crime” to walk free. It’s politics and with the end of Roe vs. Wade, no longer will state legislators create bills that they know will never go into effect.

Once this happens, I suspect that people will find that the gray area isn’t so bad and the stark black and whit picture that conservatives paint will not jive with reality. It’s time to qualify the ‘I’m pro-life’ statement with a vote that matters. Let’s stop this ‘chipping away’ strategy and let conservative states draft their draconian laws and let other states that support the right to abortion create laws protecting it with whatever limits they deem appropriate.

Republicans have avoided the outright ban on abortion because they fear that they could energize the left and heard the muddled-middle of Americans to the left. Polls show that most Americans believe in abortion rights with limitations. But many don’t press the issue because women have the right and Americans trust those women to make the best decisions for themselves and leave the consequences of that between the woman and God. But a full ban on abortion would wake the meandering middle and Republicans do not want that to happen.

But it’s time to chart a new course in this debate and take the winds out of the sails of those Republicans that enjoy their one hit wonder issue. I say, go ahead and overturn Roe vs. Wade. Energize the left in the country. It’s a fight I’m ready to see take place.

 

11 Responses to It's Time for Roe To Go

  1. Timmer Says:
    I completely agree, and this is the one issue I am quite conservative on...I would like to see Roe go so it might be made a state issue.

    James, you hit the nail directly when you wrote "It’s time to qualify the ‘I’m pro-life’ statement with a vote that matters." At a federal level, the issue seems more to be a political red-herring that Republicans ride on like a surfboard to victory (I heard that NPR interview too). This is quite insensitive and offensive, but I'll say it anyway; how can an issue that truly has no practical or measurable effect on this nation's foreign relations, economy, or security (among others) be so divisive at a federal level? I realize that utilitarianism is a cop-out, and abortion is a symbolic moral issue that many people feel strongly about. But let them feel strongly about it on a platform that can actually make a difference!! At the state level!

    I'm done. Fire away.
  2. James Manning Says:
    Timmer,

    There are too many red-herrings in politics. Affirmitive Action is another one. But abortion is a gimme to the Republican Party and you can tell just by they way many conservatives are reacting to the South Dakota law that they are a little uncomfortable making drastic moves on the issue. So I say, let's let them have their way and see what the political fallout will be.
  3. Rell Says:
    interesting -- I'm not sure who I feel about it. At some level I think it's the state's rights to decide but at the same time there is so much grey area that comes with that territory.
  4. jan brauner Says:
    I just wanted you guys to see this because it is coming up for a decision.
    http://www.operationrescue.org/?p=338
  5. Timmer Says:
    That's a good thought James...perhaps if they do get there way it will galvanized Democrats into real action and a much needed political shift will take place. However, this is also a scary proposition because the issue might then become and even more polarizing force and the movements for pro-life Democrats and pro-choice Republicans will disappear. Wow...it is a tough one, isn't it?
  6. Anonymous Says:
    Women survived prior to Roe v. Wade. They can survive after, I suppose.... This article does a pretty good job explaining how they handled it prior to the ruling.

    http://www.cbctrust.com/nochoice/begin.html
  7. Mr. Grey Ghost Says:
    James

    Still surprised at your stance on this, but well said! I dont agree that Republicans have made Roe more of an issue than the Left has, esp. in light of the recent tactics used by leftist politicians over the Supreme Court nominations of both Roberts and Alito. But yes, Roe was a bad decision in the first place and its an issue that should be decided by each individual state and its constituents, not the courts.
  8. C Says:
    JuSt surfin' in and I spotted your pic of Dorothy Dandrisge and Harry Belefonte. I just wacthed this movie for the first time will visinting fam and friends in D.C. what an amazing movie! Unofrtunately, I saw the Carmen Hip-Hopera on MTV first...what a disappointment. I am glad to see that others out there appreciate true cinema experiences.
    -C
  9. DP Says:
    Your logic is indisputable, but I have an issue with using reproductive rights as a game of political chicken.

    It is true that the issue is demogogued to death by both sides.

    I am going to have to think about this for a while. Love your blog...

    DJ Diva sented me.
  10. Rashid Muhammad Says:
    There is also the fact that Roe v. Wade is a crappy decision. Even the most Liberal lawyers will tell you that if you get a few drinks in them.

    Also, abortion has a tremendous effect on the economy. Not only for the people who perform them, but for the costs of raising children that are either paid by the parent or the state.

    There is also the cost of delivering babies that wouldn't normnally be delivered. A site that I came across says that babies cost $5000 - $12000 to deliver these days. Even if a small percentage of the annual number of abortions performed turn into deliveries, that could have a non-trivial impact on health insurance. Not even counting the costs of prenatal care and complications.

    Let's also not forget all of the protesters and activists who would have to get real jobs.
  11. Sharon Says:
    Wow James, you make some very good points here and from a political standpoint I absolutely agree. Though Roe v. Wade may not have been the best decision possible [as is evidenced by the mountains of legal activity aimed at overturning it over the years], at the time it was the best we could hope for and in my opinion, absolutely necessary to bring the issue of abortion rights into the mainstream and to move abortion itself out of the dirty basements, back rooms, and warehouses in which they were previously performed, thus saving the lives of God only knows how many women.

    Like DP, I need to think a bit more on this issue, but at this point I personally am not afraid of the potential impact of overturning RvW and allowing the political climate to change in my opinion for the better as politicians should be openly voting on any topic of law that they spend as much time posturing around as Roe v Wade [both Democrats and Republicans]. I have no concern for the safety of women at this point in a world where RvW is overturned b/c there is no going back and we can take care of ourselves I'm sure...still, I'm not so sure that the politicians currently in power have been so honest in their disclosures that I would truly trust them with the reproductive futures of women at large...