From the Left



The Anti-Abortion Right Is Not Into Compromise

Froma Harrop on

Getting rid of Roe v. Wade was sold as a sensible and mollifying approach to the abortion controversy. It would let each state ban or codify a right to abortion in accordance with local culture.

This assumed that the end of a constitutional right to abortion was the victory after which "pro-life" conservatives could go home. Not so. Anti-abortion activists clearly see Roe's fall as but one stop in a longer journey to outlaw abortion outright.

And why wouldn't they? If you believe that the cell cluster created at conception has the same rights as a 1-year-old, how could you be content letting abortion remain available in California and Massachusetts? You wouldn't be if you really held that abortion is murder.

That's why anti-abortion groups are trying to prohibit distribution abortion pills by mail. But remove the mail, and you still have the pills. Take away the abortion pills, which is being tried, and then you can go after contraception.

After Roe went down, Alabama tried to, in effect, put an end to in vitro fertilization. That move was based on the view that the IVF process results in the destruction of embryos. And that view is correct. It does.

Arizona's Supreme Court just dusted off an ancient law that bans nearly all abortions. The court decided that with Roe gone, those old restrictions could stand.


What made it all seem so bizarre is that the restored law had been passed nearly half a century before Arizona even became a state. Truth be told, though, those restrictions from 1864 aren't very different from those in states that have recently banned abortion.

The overthrow of Roe let 14 states outlaw abortion outright. Several other states have put in "gestational limits" so low they've effectively ended a right to abortion. In the first six weeks, women usually don't know whether they're pregnant or whether their period is late. Florida is about to join Georgia and South Carolina in forbidding abortion after six weeks.

But to staunch foes of abortion, that leaves 28 states where abortion remains very legal, in addition to the wishy-washy ones. With Roe out of the way, they must continue the fight. Most other Americans see it creating chaos for their families and for no logical reason.

Ah, the politics of it.


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