In an increasingly polarized nation, there may be one thing Americans from all walks of life agree on: Roe v. Wade should remain the law of the land. Republicans are no exception. The Supreme Court’s plan to ignore precedent and reverse 5 decades of jurisprudence is an attack on democracy.
A 2018 survey found that just 23% of Americans felt Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Even 79% of self-identified “Never Hillary” independents supported choice rights.
A 2019 survey found broad abortion support even among Republicans. Eighty-four percent said abortion should be legal in at least some cases. A mere 25% of evangelical protestants supported bands on abortion, and just 22% of Republicans said abortion should be banned in all cases.
More recent data paints a similar picture, with about 20% of Republicans supporting widespread abortion bans.
Digging deeper into the data, it becomes clear that American views on abortion are nuanced. First trimester abortion enjoys wider support than second trimester abortion. And many Americans believe some forms of abortion are more justifiable than others.
We have a word for someone who is skeptical of some abortions but not of others.
Here’s why: when women and their doctors no longer have a right to make abortion decisions in private, those decisions get outsourced to politicians. And those politicians may then decide that, well actually, women don't deserve to survive pregnancy, and 9-year-old rape victims should have to give birth to (and potentially die for) their rapist’s baby.
If you support abortion in any context at all, you’re pro-Roe. Because if Roe falls, we outsource decision-making to maniacs who couldn’t define a uterus, and who may never have seen a clitoris.
An Associated Press/NORC poll found the widest support for abortion when the life of the mother is in danger. Eighty-seven percent felt abortion should be legal in this circumstance. The Supreme Court has decided to ignore this majority, ignore the humanity of more than half the population, and instead rule in favor of the deranged 13%--100% of whom would change their minds if it was their life in danger.
I’ve written here for years about what happens when abortion is illegal. It doesn’t go away. It may even become more frequent. And it certainly becomes less safe.
Criminalizing abortion makes every woman a suspect. It makes every miscarriage a potential crime, and turns mothers of stillborn babies into potential criminals. We’ve already witnessed a surge of prosecutions of women whose babies died, or whose pregnancies ended. Republicans believe in turning grieving mothers into inmates, consequences be damned. Because the cruelty is the point.
The goal has always been to punish women. Not just unmarried women. Not just women who don’t want their pregnancies.
Any woman. Any person who can get pregnant. An end to abortion has the power to affect us all.
I believe that the Supreme Court has overplayed its hand, and that the backlash should be swift—especially as we approach the midterm elections. I’ve said before that Democrats could learn a lot from the vocal minority of anti-choice zealots. It’s time to make clear that there is no room in our party for those who would let women die of pregnancy, for those who think abortion decisions belong anywhere but with women and their doctors.
Full humanity for women, full stop. It’s that, or burn the party down and start over with something better. For women, and for those who care about us, there’s absolutely zero incentive to stick with a party that is anything less than militantly in favor of our full humanity.