Friday, April 21, 2006

Abortion in a Post-Roe World

What will a post-Roe v. Wade world look like politically? It's become fairly standard for pundits to suggest that the overturning of Roe will be paradoxically bad for Republicans. Rather than simply repeating cliches or generalities about the value of human life (as, for example, President Bush tends to do on this issue), Republicans would either have to support abortion bans (alienating the centrists) or reject abortion bans (alienating the conversative base).

Ramesh Ponnuru, writing in The New Republic (free registration required), disagrees. His thesis is basically summed up in his closing lines: "The theory that pro-lifers would be dealt a stunning setback by the realization of their fondest goal is interestingly counterintuitive, and it has become a shibboleth for sophisticated pundits. But it's probably wrong." He gives a thoughtful analysis of where the country is on this issue and what is likely to happen in a post-Roe world.

Also, in case you missed it, USA Today ran a cover story on Monday on the issue of what states would do if Roe were to be overturned
: "Ultimately, that would depend on factors ranging from who was governor to where public opinion stood. Even so, there are clues from what state legislatures have chosen to do already and what they're considering doing next." They provide a map that rates the likely actions of state legislatures, broken down into (1) states considered likely to enact significant additional restrictions on abortion; (2) states in the middle; and (3) states considered most likely to protect access to abortion.

I pray that God would speed the crucial day when the issue is returned to the states. That's not the end of the battle, of course--but it's a key step.