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I’ll admit up front that I’m a cynic when it comes to the abortion issue. My entire life, I’ve heard Republicans vow to do something about abortion. The wins have been incremental at best and the losses have been devastating. As Planned Parenthood stands funded by the government despite repeated promised by Republicans and a majority to get something done for two years, I’m always skeptical when someone says they’re going to do something about abortion.
Last night, President Trump said he would urge Congress to take action against late-term abortion. It was the only reference made to an issue directly pointed towards evangelicals, and that’s okay as long as it gets done. Other fights, such as religious freedoms, are battles that must be fought by the people, but abortion is the main issue that has both political and cultural fronts on which the battle must be fought. We’ll keep fighting on the cultural front. Will Republicans in Washington DC finally fight on the political front?
If we give him the benefit of the doubt instead of my instant cynical perspective that this was just a vote-securing statement, what would it look like? Does Congress even have the power to mandate against states on this issue? I’m no Constitutional expert, but my gut says it would have to be fought all the way to the Supreme Court for it to actually work, and once there even the so-called “conservative” lean of the bench is unlikely to uphold it. Once again, the case against late-term abortion must be different from the case against abortion itself, and that would force us to run into Constitutional issues.
Here’s the problem with the statement and any attempts made by Congress. Currently, the sentiment against late-term abortions is on our side, but that can change quickly if DC attempts to subvert Roe v. Wade in any manner. Pro-abortion groups will paint this as an example of politicians trying to stand between a woman and her right to choose. Most Americans believe it should be illegal today, but part of that is because it isn’t illegal. If there’s one way to shift sentiment on an issue, side with what the people want today. Invariably, many will change their tune once action is actually taken.
By no means am I suggesting they shouldn’t take a shot at it, but they cannot miss. The worst-case scenario is that they try to ban late-term abortions nationwide and lose that battle. During the battle itself, the will of the people will shift. Therefore, if they cannot make it happen, they shouldn’t even try.
For Americans to have better understanding of the abortion issue, they need more information about preborn babies and the realities of their existence. If the GOP can pull off a late-term abortion ban, it will go a long way to helping with the cultural battle as well.
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