AMAC Exclusive – By Shane Harris
The prevailing media narrative surrounding the leaking of a draft Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade has been that Democrats focusing in on the abortion issue ahead of the midterms will energize the progressive base, turn moderates against Republicans, and stave off electoral disaster in November. But while the liberal outrage machine has certainly shifted into overdrive the past two weeks, elected Democrats and pro-abortion advocates have resorted to a now-familiar pattern of deflection and distraction to avoid talking about the issue of abortion itself. Much like they have with other divisive issues like pushing Critical Race Theory and gender ideology in schools, the left has created an entirely new vocabulary of benign-sounding words and phrases in a desperate attempt to mask the radical nature of their policies.
This phenomenon was on full display just hours after Politico published the leaked Supreme Court ruling in its entirety, as we began hearing the familiar accusations that overturning Roe amounts to a “violation of women’s rights” and “threatens access to health care.”
Both of these claims attempt to skirt the issue of abortion entirely and allow Democrats to turn the debate into one over noncontroversial ideas like women’s rights and health care rather than talking about the actual issue at hand – namely, whether or not society should condone the elective killing of unborn children in the womb, and whether such an act is a right protected under the Constitution or subject to regulation by each state consistent with the wishes of its voters.
The idea that abortion outside of rare cases where the mother’s life is at stake should be considered “health care” is absurd on its face, as abortion, by definition, involves not the taking of someone’s health but the taking of someone’s life. Moreover, abortion often causes lasting emotional and physical damage to the health of the once expectant mother. While abortion advocates are quick to invoke “women’s rights,” they fail to explain why a woman’s right to not give birth to a child they had a role in conceiving outweighs an unborn baby’s right to be born—a baby who had no role in his or her own conception.
Even the very label of “pro-choice” is an example of Democrats’ unwillingness to talk about their actual position on abortion. As the leftist mobs gathered outside the homes of Supreme Court Justices chant “my body, my choice,” nowhere is there any compassion or sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of unborn babies killed every year who don’t have a voice to defend their right to life. The simple truth is that it is not just a woman’s body that is at issue when it comes to abortion – it is also the body of the innocent life growing inside them.
Democrats have made every effort to change the subject to anything but abortion following the leak of the Supreme Court decision. In a speech to a pro-abortion group last week, Vice President Kamala Harris argued that overturning Roe “will be a direct assault on freedom — on the fundamental right of self-determination to which all Americans are entitled.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was more specific in an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation earlier this week, asking, “What’s next? Marriage equality? What’s next, contraception?” without providing any evidence that the Court is in any way looking to review Supreme Court precedents on either subject. Even more preposterously, Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell insisted that overturning Roe means conservatives “want to ban interracial marriage,” apparently forgetting that one of the Justices who signed on to the decision overturning Roe, Clarence Thomas, is in an interracial marriage.
Another big talking point employed by the left on abortion is that most Americans support keeping Roe in place. But this argument is again a shallow attempt to distract from the reality of the matter and willfully ignores several key facts.
First, there is at least some reason to believe that most Americans who say they support Roe aren’t fully aware of what that statement even means. For the better part of five decades, the liberal media has engaged in a full-on disinformation campaign to convince the country that overturning Roe would mean an immediate blanket ban on abortion in all 50 states. The simple fact of the matter is that, for the most ardent abortion supporters (heavily concentrated in liberal states), nothing will change, and abortion up until the moment of birth will still be legal. Overturning Roe simply means that the states will once again be allowed to decide how they want to regulate abortion without interference from the Supreme Court, as was the case for nearly 200 years before Roe.
Second, whether or not most Americans support Roe is completely irrelevant as a matter of law and thus is not a valid argument for keeping Roe in place. While Supreme Court Justices are nominated and confirmed by the political branches, they serve for life precisely because the Founders wished to insulate the institution of the Court from ever-shifting popular opinion. Even if a large majority of Americans suddenly supported sweeping restrictions on free speech, a Supreme Court decision proscribing free speech would not suddenly become correct as a matter of law. In overturning Roe, the Court would be asserting that the 1973 decision was wrongly decided according to the Constitution, not that the decision itself was good or bad policy.
NPR, which, as a reminder, is funded by taxpayer dollars, was also quick to join in pushing misleading narratives by publishing an article entitled “7 persistent claims about abortion, fact-checked.” Among the “myths” the piece claims to “debunk” is the line that “people are getting abortions late in pregnancy.” As “evidence” that this is untrue, the article cites data showing that 90% of abortions occur in the first trimester. But this still means that 10% of abortions occur after the first trimester. According to CDC data, nearly 36,000 abortions occurred in week 13 of pregnancy or later in 2019, a figure that includes 4,882 abortions after 21 weeks, the generally accepted date for when a child has a chance of surviving outside the womb.
So, clearly, tens of thousands of people are getting abortions late in pregnancy. Moreover, this supposed “debunking” again doesn’t even make an attempt to engage with the central conservative argument that no matter when an abortion occurs, it involves terminating an innocent human life. The rest of the article proceeds in similar fashion, tearing down straw men while failing to provide any solid refutation of conservative arguments on abortion.
The left’s purpose in doing all of this is clear: As with every progressive policy, the American people would be horrified if they knew the truth about the radical abortion agenda supported by the vast majority of elected Democrats today. The country got a glimpse into that ugly reality last month when the remains of fully-formed third-trimester aborted babies were recovered at a house in Washington, D.C. Despite the fact that it appeared some of the infants could have been born alive as a result of late-term abortion and then killed, D.C. law enforcement did not conduct an investigation and said all the abortions were performed legally.
In truth, it may turn out that, contrary to the hopes of Democratic strategists and media pundits, it is conservatives who will be energized by the Court overturning Roe. Unlike the left, conservatives are unafraid to engage with abortion head-on, confident that, no matter what polling or the Supreme Court may say, fighting for the right to life for the unborn will always be the morally righteous thing to do. That type of energy is infectious and has the potential to inspire a wave of pro-life Americans to turn out at the polls and elect legislators who will do the same.
Shane Harris is a writer and political consultant from Southwest Ohio. You can follow him on Twitter at @Shane_Harris_
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