Somehow I got signed up on a Newsweek subscribers-only mailing list even though I’ve never subscribed to Newsweek. (If someone subscribed to it for me, I’ve never gotten an issue!) Anyway, two significant articles contain the same point: Republicans are nervous about too large a victory on abortion restrictions. First, there’s Mississippi’s plan to outlaw abortion “except in cases of rape, incest or a life-threatening condition for the mother.” Whoa, hold on there, say the pro-life groups, like Pro-Life Mississippi. “‘At this point, it’s a little bit of a runaway train,’ says Terri Herring, president of Pro-Life Mississippi, who fears that the ban could backfireóand lead to a reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade.” Perhaps a valid fear. I’ve never been against incremental restrictions, because that’s simply the way politics works. On the other hand, if states like South Dakota and Mississippi can get laws passed, let’s do it and see how far we can go. If we’ve argued for years that most of America is pro-life to some degree or another, what are we afraid of?
The other article [note: one or both of the articles may require a subscription like I don’t have] is specifically on the GOP and their concern, or at least lack of outright support, for the South Dakota law. The author of the article closes with
After the Democrats enforced pro-choice orthodoxy at their 1984 convention in San Francisco, they were branded as “San Francisco Democrats,” code for culturally out of step with the mainstream. Republicans may not want to be called “South Dakota Republicans.”
Probably not. How should this issue, which I do not view as political although it has political implications, be decided? The temptation exists to call such politicians cowards and turncoats. Is their concern totally political, or does some vestige of morality still exist? How cynical shall we be about politicians who, by vote or party at least, support the issues we support?
I don’t know. But a victory is a victory, and I’m not afraid to claim it. (Of course, I’m not running for office either.)