"Safe, legal, and rare!"
Sign me up for ENOUGH for ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE RIGHT NOW. The controversy over how to address the issue of abortion rights politically concerns differing untested beliefs, unexamined assumptions, and being lost without an accurate map from here to there, and that's a crap shoot. Does the way we hold the dice and throw them predictably influence which numbers are on top when they come to rest? Are we more likely to throw winning numbers if we talk to the dice or kiss them? How about standing in a certain pose? Throwing them behind our backs? Warming them in our hands before throwing? Should we let our "gut feelings" tell us to bet our whole stash on one throw if our guts have guts or faint-heartedly withdraw from the game if not?
I wish I could know before throwing.
I can't. It's impossible. But throw I must. Might lose it all! On one throw! Even that might be preferable in the long run to the current painful rotting and falling away bit by bit beneath the radar of public awareness.
I have no way of knowing with any certainty, but I believe abortion rights are still secure enough among the electorate, if not in the current Supreme Court nor in many legislative bodies, which is amazing in view of the prodigious extent to which abortion rights have been attacked while being so meekly defended and attests to the tenacity of their acceptance by most voters. Some of our strongest allies and advocates are to be found among the millions of women who were "pro-life" until they, or their daughters or sisters or wives or mothers or best friends, got pregnant. But available and accessible abortion care is not a top issue with many voters, especially in such times as these, and I believe that makes it a safe topic to forcefully endorse.
I just do not believe that a politician who would campaign on assertively and loudly telling the truth about abortion rights and abortion care would be taking as big a risk as they all seem to assume, if any.
What is the truth? Let’s briefly review what so-called "pro-life" politicians stand for:
The World Health Organization has estimated that in those parts of the world in which abortion is illegal, about 70,000 thinking, feeling, often desperate women and teenage girls die every year from illegal attempts to abort unwanted pregnancies. That is more than one every 10 minutes dead because they are prohibited by law from accessing safe, legal, professional abortion care. Many times that number are seriously injured and maimed for life.
In addition, every minute, night and day, no holidays or weekends off, around the world
one woman dies of complications of pregnancy and childbirth (every minute),
ten teenage girls undergo unsafe illegal abortions (every minute),
thirteen infants under twelve months old die (every minute),
fifty seven people contract an STD (every minute),
eleven people are infected with HIV (every minute),
and the already-burgeoned-beyond-the-planet's-capacity-to-sustain human population increases by one hundred fifty more people (every minute),
all sanctioned, encouraged, and even enforced by our callous right-wing-dominated government through international interference with and withholding of funding from worldwide reproductive health and sex education programs. all with the vigorous support and reinforcement of the Roman Catholic Church.
Let's not forget the women brutalized and incarcerated by law enforcement in those countries in which the Roman Catholic Church has pushed for and won the criminalization of abortion and achieved that cruel piece of what they believe to be "God's will on Earth be done." In countries such as Chile and El Salvador women having not only induced abortions, but spontaneous abortions (miscarriages), are routinely subjected to police investigations and interrogation, arrested, and incarcerated. Many women having natural miscarriages are so afraid of such persecution and prosecution that they avoid seeking medical care in such situations, and some (many I would think) die.
Abortions are quite "rare" in those countries. Safe, professional abortion care is virtually non-existent and exists only underground in those countries, where finding and accessing it among the confused array of perilous incompetents is a crap shoot for life and health that women regularly and in great numbers lose. That is what so-called "pro-life" voters and politicians stand for. Have our values and compassion sunk so low that we can't oppose that? They won't stop until they succeed in creating conditions in this country mirroring those in the Third World and in nations such as Chile and El Salvador. Or until we stop them at the polls.
I defy anyone to define "rare." Well, on second thought, I'll define it in its current political usage. MY definition is: rare: a transparently manipulative, completely relative and subjective adjective used by politicians as a weasel-word to evade meaningfully addressing the subject while pretending to be "moral" and a "good Christian" (two other concepts that defy definition). It's even worse (and less honest) than, "I support a woman's right to choose, but I'm personally against abortion." The latter statement is at least not as easily interpreted to be supportive of medically absurd TRAP laws and other restrictions that are right now leaving a great many women and teenage girls out in the cold and blowing snow, more and more each day knocking at death's door.
Abortion rights are not even regarded as a "top issue." I think people just tend to forget, or just find it easy to ignore and deny, or for some reason just don't realize, just how big this issue is in importance, if not popularity. If we lose even parts of it, as we have been of late by the imposition of medically absurd restrictions that have put abortion care beyond the reach of many women (especially, of course, the economically disadvantaged, as always, but now also more and more those women who just can't jump the hurdles of inappropriate state-mandated restrictions), the results are unconscionably cruel. Women (each of whom is someone's mother, daughter, wife, or sister), right now, are sick and dying who don't need to be, the numbers of such women are growing as these TRAP laws are passed by more states, and Roe vs. Wade is hanging by a thread at the mercy of a SCOTUS already composed of a majority of anti-abortion Roman Catholics.
Of course, I could just be a wishful thinker, but I believe that abortion rights, IF only a strong message were delivered of the importance of abortion rights and of the extreme cruelty of the "pro-life" agenda, could be a winning issue. That, of course, would mean making it a "top issue." It would mean LEADING - doing what reality and human compassion demand: the right thing.
The democrats, I think, would profit by taking on this issue head-on with balls. By being loudly and unapologetically pro-reproductive freedom and saying why in clear and certain terms without following it with a disclaimer. By saying proudly "I am pro-choice and here's why . . . !!!" Not "I'm pro-choice, (weasel, weasel) but I'm personally opposed to abortion," or "Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." ("And I DO mean RARE," as Hillary said recently.)
I don’t care how many abortions there are. I just want there to be enough to meet the needs of women and teenage girls not to be forced into carrying unwanted pregnancies to term against their wills and despite possible devastation of their lives, their health, their hopes and dreams, their employment and careers, their families, and their general well-being.
I strongly believe that defending abortion rights and other issues targeted so irrationally and callously by religious extremists are  issues of far too heavy import to ignore or whisper about and  winning issues politically if addressed rationally and assertively.
And any politician would certainly improve his/her image as a leader in that manner as compared to ducking and running every time abortion rights are mentioned.
Toss the damned dice!