Monday, August 31, 2015

Republicans Lose Abortion Issue if Public Debate is About Rape and Incest Exceptions

I ran across an article written by Jeff Greenfield a few days ago titled "How the GOP Loses the Abortion Debate."   I read it expecting to vehemently disagree with Greenfield and instead found myself concurring with his thoughts.

The premise of the article is that the Democrats are out of step with majority opinion on pressing abortion on demand for six if not nine months, paid for with public dollars no less but that Republicans let them off the hook when they demand an absolutist position on abortion to secure the nomination:
But this year , that distancing [from an absolutist position that does not include the rape and incest exceptions] may not come cost free. In the March “SEC primaries,” eight Southern states will cast their votes, and candidates will face a GOP electorate where a significant majority declare themselves “born-again” Christians. Back in 2012, Santorum won 11 primaries, running as a social conservative opposed to virtually all abortions. For
those Republicans with more nuanced positions—Jeb Bush, John Kasich—this could be a major problem. But for those embracing the “no exceptions” approach, what aids them in Dixie in March could be fatal nationwide in November.   
What about the Democrats? Their platform has embraced the essentials of the “pro-choice” position for the better part of four decades. (Back in 1992, Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey was barred from even addressing the Democratic convention to argue for a pro-life position.) But up until 2012, it framed the issue the way Bill Clinton had: that abortion should be “safe, legal—and rare.” 
In Charlotte, that last caveat  was erased. As it now stands, the platform simply asserts that “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” 
Read literally, this would permit abortions—paid for with public funds if necessary—for any abortion at any time for any reason. This is a view that the great majority of Americans reject. 
In another time, a Republican candidate with a position like the one George W. Bush held might find some room to press the Democrat—OK, let’s assume it’s Clinton—on her views. “I disagree with my party’s platform, I favor exceptions,” this theoretical candidate could say. “Do you agree with your party that abortion should be permitted at any time for any reason? You’ve called those Planned Parenthood videos ‘disturbing.’ I find them disturbing too, for the casual way they deal with what you’ve called ‘potential human life.’” 
But with the Republicans more and more embracing the most rigid possible position on the pro-life side of the divide, the more it will relieve the Democratic nominee of the need to defend the absolutist posture on her side.
Greenfield is exactly right on how the politics and media coverage will play out.   Historically the GOP has gained a lot politically because of its pro-life position.  In recent years though that has become more problematic as Republican presidential candidates have been forced to eliminate the rape/incest exceptions from their pro-life positions at the demand of an increasingly hard-line GOP electorate.  That results in the media, urged by Democratic opponents, focusing on those exceptions deflecting focus from the very unpopular and out of the mainstream support of abortion on demand at any time, for any reason, position of the Democratic Party.

I understand the unborn child is a child regardless of how the baby originates.  Got it.  But it is also terribly important to me that we Republicans win the abortion issue.  Only 1% of abortions are due to rape or incest.  ONE PERCENT.    Do we really want to completely throw away winning the abortion issue over 1%?    Please, my fellow pro-life Republicans, let's not be that foolish.


Anonymous said...

"In 2011, 730,322 legal induced abortions were reported to the CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate was 13.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years and the abortion ratio was 219 abortions per 1,000 live births."

Clearly a lot of women need abortions (for a whole long list of reasons that are none of anyone else's business).

Note that there have been abortions as long as there have been pregnancies. They were considered "women's business" until the professionalization of medical training in the late 1800s transferred childbirth from (female) midwives to (male) physicians.

Now that abortion is "safe, legal and rare" in the post-Roe v Wade era, it is illogical to continue to campaign to make abortion illegal again -- let alone outlaw contraception (as some of the ill-informed would prefer).

It beggars belief that (male) Republicans (such as you, Paul) think you have the right to control women's bodies.

A "limited government" that Republicans profess to prefer does not threaten to "call out the National Guard" to prevent abortions.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 5:04, if you could convince me that abortion just involves what a woman does with her own body, I'd support abortion 100%. The problem is medical science has proven that position to be completely false...there's another human life involved in the abortion decision. The problem is your position has no scientific basis. Science has developed considerably since even Roe v. Wade in 1973. The argument we're just talking a blob of cells is refuted by ultrasounds and prenatal medical advances. Maybe it would be better to approach the issue as a weighing of two interests in the abortion decision, the woman's and the unborn child? In light of medical science advances, it might be time to update your position on abortion.

Anonymous said...


You're delusional.

No "medical science" can "prove" that an embryo or a fetus is a "human being".

That's a legal term, and it applies to live-born children.

Abortion has existed as long as pregnancies have occurred. It will not be halted by your magical thinking.

Anonymous said...

No: Republicans will lose the abortion battle because they're on the wrong side.

Pete Boggs said...

No- Anon 5:04! Women (and men) need to take possession of their minds, engage their faculty of conscience & direct themselves to abort irresponsible behavior; not compound it with another bad decision (murder).

Asserting that the bodies of other people are responsible to labor & pay for that which they know is wrong (murder)- is compounded insanity! No pretense of "good intent" gives anyone the right to enslave others in service to their decisions, good or bad.

Susan McKee said...

Pope Francis To Allow Priests To Forgive Women Who Had Abortions.


First, the pope; next, Republicans?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 9:17, Republicans have been winning the abortion issue at the polls since 1973. That's why there are plenty of pro-life Democrats and very few pro-choice Republicans.

Anon 9:01, not "magical thinking." It's science. Read up on pre-natal development and what happens during an abortion.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Susan, forgiveness has been part of Catholic theology since Paul found the Church. I'm surprised you'd think otherwise. This announcement isn't exactly news to Catholics.

Anonymous said...

Pete Boggs writes: "No pretense of 'good intent' gives anyone the right to enslave others in service to their decisions, good or bad."

Yet, he wants to enslave women into continuing pregnancies they wish to abort.

And, Paul, most Americans are pro-choice (as is the law of the land).

Methinks men should stay out of women's issues, since they're so ill-informed on the topic.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that abortion will continue even if you succeed in making it illegal again, don't you?

Find a new cause: reducing gun violence, for example, or malaria prevention or refugee relief, perhaps.

Pete Boggs said...

What's up with the Pope; as he rightly / biblically suggests we love the sinner while ignoring the imperative to hate the sin?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 7:55, you don't think abortion involves "violence?" Have you watched the PP videos. Why not just agree with me that second trimester abortions are abhorrent and support outlawing them? The overwhelming majority of Americans do not support second trimester abortions.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 5:01, better take another look at those polls. A majority of Americans only support abortion IF you include in the question the three exceptions of rape, incest and life/health of the mother. If you ask about abortion on demand, for any reason, for six months (which is the actual holding of Roe v. Wade) and up to nine months for the health of the mother (the Doe decision), a majority of Americans certainly don't support that.

Certainly can't you at least agree on the obvious - that we need to draw more reasonable lines (like 20 weeks) for limits on abortion? That's what other countries have done...countries which didn't have the issue usurped by the judicial branch. The argument that abortion just involves a woman and her body is obviously false. We're talking about where to draw that the fetus has developed sufficiently that it is deserving of legal protection.

Anonymous said...

What other countries have limited abortion to just the first 20 weeks?

Many fetal abnormalities cannot be determined that early (heck, some women don't even realize they're pregnant that early). Unexpected complications impacting the mother's health can arise after that.

Yes, most abortions occur in the first trimester, but there is absolutely NO reason to criminalize those taking place later. In fact, 61% of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks.

And, quit referencing the bogus PP videos (which clearly have been manipulated for political ends).

You guys need to put on your big boy pants and work on improving what happens to children after they're born. Indiana's decision to eliminate a whole bunch of food stamps, for example, increases hunger. Our substandard schools. Our imperfect healthcare system. There's much work to be done and you're being dazzled by shiny objects dangled by charlatans.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Don't have time to do the research for you Anon 5:48. There is this thing that's called Google though. You'll find plenty of countries have come to the conclusion that having the deadline at 6-9 months is too late and leads to gruesome events like those depicted on the PP videos. I'll write about it more when I get a chance. The US's abortion laws are very liberal compared to most countries.

Exactly how have the PP videos been "manipulated?" Were there actors portraying PP officials? No. Did they somehow alter what was said? No. Some have been edited, but TV news is edited too. Does that make the news invalid? But unlike the news, the ENTIRE PP videos are available on-line. You should watch them. They don't acquit PP. Not even close.

As far as fetal abnormalities, so if an unborn baby is missing a leg or arm or is Down's Syndrome, that person's life is worth less? I don't think most people will agree.

As far as the last paragraph, you want me to just ASSUME that welfare programs actually work. They clearly don't. Nonetheless, that doesn't really justify terminating human life before birth. If it did, it would justify terminating human life after birth.

Anonymous said...

Videos altered? Of course!

Just one report of dozens (which YOU could have found on a Google search). : Videos "Contain Intentionally Deceptive Edits, Missing Footage And Inaccurately Transcribed Conversations"

That said: abortion is a messy surgery. It is, however, LEGAL.

Pete Boggs said...

Anon 5:48: "Improving life for children" would be contraceptive conscience & responsibility for one's behavior; not murdering children.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

When are abortions conducted?

Australia: As of 2015, South Australia is the only Australian state or territory to keep reliable abortion statistics. During 2012, 92% of abortions were performed before 14 weeks' gestation, 6% between 14-20 weeks, and 2% (n=96) at a later stage. Of the 96 abortions carried out beyond 20 weeks, 53 were due to actual or probable foetal abnormality.
Canada: During the year 2009, 29% of induced abortions were performed before 8 weeks, 41% at 9 to 12 weeks, 7% at 13 to 16 weeks and 2% over 21 weeks.
England and Wales: In 2005, 9% of abortions occurred between 13 and 19 weeks, while 1% occurred at or over 20 weeks.
New Zealand: In 2003, 2.03% of induced abortions were done between weeks 16 and 19, and 0.56% were done over 20 weeks.
Norway: In 2005, 2.28% of induced abortions were performed between 13 and 16 weeks, 1.24% of abortions between 17 and 20 weeks, and 0.20% over 21 weeks.
Scotland: In 2005, 6.1% of abortions were done between 14 and 17 weeks, while 1.6% were performed over 18 weeks.
Sweden: In 2005, 5.6% of abortions were carried out between 12 and 17 weeks, and 0.8% at or greater than 18 weeks.
United States: In 2003, from data collected in those areas that sufficiently reported gestational age, it was found that 6.2% of abortions were conducted between 13 and 15 weeks, 4.2% between 16 and 20 weeks, and 1.4% at or after 21 weeks.
Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual study on abortion statistics does not calculate the exact gestational age for abortions performed past the 20th week, there are no precise data for the number of abortions performed after viability. In 1997, the Guttmacher Institute estimated the number of abortions in the U.S. past 24 weeks to be 0.08%, or approximately 1,032 per year.

So, Paul, you're tilting at windmills once again. How about devoting your considerable energy to something useful? Getting street lights for Indy, for example.

Susan McKee said...

You, Paul, seek to harm the most vulnerable among us (and I don't mean embryos or fetuses, but women).

Who seeks abortion after 20 weeks?

Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous (never having given birth to a child).

CONCLUSION: Bans on abortion after 20 weeks will disproportionately affect young women and women with limited financial resources.

Foster, Diana (December 2013). "Who Seeks Abortions at or After 20 Weeks?". Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 45 (4): 210–218. doi:10.1363/4521013. Retrieved 9 September 2014.

Paul K. Ogden said...
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Paul K. Ogden said...

HITH, what exactly is your point? know perfectly well how many abortions are done in each trimester. Actually most surveys have it at just less than 90% first trimester, about 10% second and 1% third. Those numbers have been around for a long time.

I do appreciate the stats though. So you'll join me in banning abortion in the second or third trimester?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Susan, your argument that an unborn child has less worth legally after 20 weeks because of problems the mother might face doesn't make a lot of sense. So is a child post-birth worse less if the woman is living in a stressful situation? Your argument justifies post-birth abortion.

You at least have to acknowledge that there is other human life involved in the abortion decision. It is clearly not just what a woman does with her own body.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 5:05, you are completely overlooking the fact that the ENTIRE videos are available on You Tube to anyone who wants to check them out. Every news piece is edited with some of the footage hitting the cutting room floor. So you have a problem with that? Here the Center for Medical Progress though made the ENTIRE videos available so you could check out if context matters. Not sure why you're continuing to spin the nonsense of edited videos when the entire videos are available.

Oh, and saying a procedure is LEGAL in response to a debate over what SHOULD BE LEGAL doesn't make a lot of sense.

Pete Boggs said...

HTH: The idea that street lights somehow supersede the importance of human life is insane.

SM: The "most vulnerable" aren't the decision makers who procreate but those created & impacted by those decisions.

At some time or another, everyone gets it wrong- but how wrong are you deliberately or willing to be? What you two pose as "logic" is murderously dehumanizing- cavalier tripe!