Tensions were running high last week in Washington, D.C., as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Democratic lawmakers are scared to death that a more conservative court might limit the practice of child murder, their chief sacred cow. At a virtual event prior to the arguments, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went so far as to threaten the Supreme Court with open rebellion should it dare to uphold the Mississippi law banning abortion after fifteen weeks:
“I hope the Supreme Court is listening to the people of the United States because … I think if you want to see a revolution go ahead, outlaw Roe v. Wade and see what the response is of the public, particularly young people.… Because I think that will not be acceptable to young women or young men.”
If popular support for abortion is as high as Shaheen and her ideological cohorts believe, you would think that these self-styled “champions of democracy” would relish the chance to establish the practice once and for all in state law through truly democratic means. Yet, instead, they are desperate to maintain the flawed precedent imposed by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. Why?
The answer to this question lies in the nature of the support that the pro-abortion radicals have among the American people. The most recent numbers from Gallup do broadly confirm Shaheen’s claims: 80 percent of Americans believe that abortion should remain legal. What’s more, 58 percent of Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned, while a record 47 percent believe that abortion is morally acceptable. From these numbers alone, it would seem that supporters of abortion are justified in their confidence.
The devil of this issue is, as usual, in the details. According to Gallup’s numbers, only 32 percent of abortion supporters believe that abortion should be legal under any circumstances; a slightly higher percentage (33 percent) claim that abortion should be legal in “only a few circumstances.” So, in reality, a slight yet clear majority of Americans (52 percent) favor either declaring abortion illegal or placing strong legal limits upon it.
When you look at satisfaction with abortion policies, the numbers become even starker. A majority of respondents (55 percent) reported being somewhat or very dissatisfied with these policies. Of these, only 17 percent wanted less strict abortion laws; the rest wanted either more strict laws (27 percent) or laws to remain the same (11 percent).
These numbers indicate that while support for legalized abortion remains the norm, those supporters also want the Clinton-era “safe, legal and rare” approach to the issue. The problem is that the Democrats have left this mindset behind to embrace the incredibly vocal “shout your abortion” ideologues. This distinct minority sees any effort to restrict abortion in any fashion as turning the country into a Handmaid’s Tale-style dystopia, so it comes as no surprise that they would rather keep the issue firmly in federal hands; allowing the state legislatures the freedom to make these kinds of decisions on their own would weaken their long-term efforts to normalize abortion at any time for any reason.
For too long, Roe v. Wade and its attendant decision Casey v. Planned Parenthood have allowed Americans to turn a blind eye to the murder of over 62 million unborn children because the matter was stolen out of their hands. If the Supreme Court decides in favor of Mississippi’s law restricting abortion, it will be handing the issue back to the states (and therefore, the people) where it truly belongs.
In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” Such small revolutions are remarkably good at clearing the civic air by forcing citizens to face critical issues head-on and requiring them to make a choice and stand by it. As for Shaheen’s threat of revolution, the pro-life movement should answer with three simple words: “Bring it on.”
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