WASHINGTON, DC, Aug 15 — A checkerboard nation made up of pro-life and pro-choice states is emerging in the aftermath of the repeal of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade abortion-for-all Supreme Court decision. The Roe decision handed pro-life Americans a victory but it has resulted in a divisive backlash as numerous states take matters into their own hands legitimizing abortions in their jurisdictions.
According to a report by U.S. News, it appears that at least 15 states have enacted or will soon have in place restrictions ranging from absolute bans on unnecessary abortions [9 states] to limitations banning abortions after six weeks [4 states], 15 weeks [one state] and 18 weeks [one state]. The remaining states would allow abortions after 22 weeks, including at least six that have no restrictions.
Meanwhile, a new Gallup Poll shows that the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade may have helped increase the number of citizens who describe themselves as pro-choice. According to Gallup, “Pro-choice sentiment is now the highest Gallup has measured since 1995 when it was 56% — the only other time it has been at the current level or higher — while the 39% identifying as “pro-life” is the lowest since 1996. Similarly, for the first time in Gallup’s trend on the moral acceptability of abortion, originating in 2001, a majority of Americans (52%) consider abortion morally acceptable, while a record-low 38% call it morally wrong.”
No doubt the leak in early May that the Supreme Court was prepared to overturn the Roe-Wade decision gave abortion activists time to plan and execute a well-funded, concerted effort to begin promoting state-based pro-choice initiatives. Kansas was an early target. On the August 2 ballot was a constitutional amendment that would have done away with abortion rights in the state. In the weeks and days leading up to the vote, well-funded choice supporters initiated an intense, deceptive campaign to defeat the amendment. The prognosticators saw the issue as “too close to call.” But, despite the fact that Kansas is considered a conservative state, when the ballots were counted, the measure failed by an astonishing margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.
Mallory Carroll at the Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which had spent $1.4 million in support of the amendment, said that “it came down to chaos, confusion, and lies ruling the day. The pro-abortion movement was very successful at claiming that this vote was going to be a vote to stop all abortions in Kansas and put women’s lives at risk. A lot of people worked really hard; we contacted a lot of voters, but the message that the pro-abortion movement was pushing, that this was going to lead to women literally dying, was more effective and salient. It really raises the stakes for upcoming elections and underscores how important it is that, both as a pro-life movement and individual pro-life candidates, [we] need to be really clear about what it is that we stand for … that we are supporting protections for unborn children and women, and that we‘re not advocating for the criminalization of women or anything that’s going to put moms in jeopardy.”
In her interview with the National Catholic Register, Carroll warned that what happened in Kansas can happen in any pro-life versus pro-choice political confrontation. And, she said, it is inevitable that similar electoral confrontations await in other states. Her advice for supporters of pro-life issues and for pro-life candidates is to go on the offensive; life is a winning issue.
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