Inspired by S.E. Cupp (H/T: Hot Air Headlines), I agree with her that conservatives need to continue to talk about abortion, doing so in a way to turn the argument to our favor. Pro-abortion fanatics like Barack Obama, other Democrat politicians, and their supporters have lied for decades about abortion and have pretty much gotten away with it because they are never asked the pointed questions about abortion they need to answer. Unfortunately, conservatives have been asked pointed questions and as is often the case, their answers, to be charitable, have been found wanting; to be blunt, stupid (cases in point: Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock).
But it need not be this way. As Cupp says:
That means we have to talk about life in compelling, compassionate ways that resonate.
We have to stand up for life without standing against women.
This includes both conservative men and women running for office. Here's how.
When abortion is mentioned, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision from 1973. Contrary to what pro-abortion zealots say, abortion was not illegal when the decision came out, and abortion wouldn't be against the law if it is ever overturned. I believe eighteen of the 50 states had legalized abortion in one form or another at the time. If the Supreme Court repealed it next week, abortion would still be legal in all 50 states (as far as I know, not having read each state's laws on the books). From a legal point of view, Roe did two things: it rendered certain human beings from having any rights; and, it violated federalism. Now, you may think I'm being too wonkish. But, these things can be explained simply.
As far as I'm concerned, Roe v. Wade is as bad a Supreme Court decision as the 1857 Scott v. Sandford decision, also known as the Dred Scott decision. Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Democrat, wrote the majority opinion, an opinion that should make today's conservatives shudder. In a nutshell the decision was chock full of garbage about how blacks were inferior human beings as compared to whites. In effect, Roe did the same thing, something science can refute. As Cupp says:
“Stick to science” is another frequent invocation. When it comes to Akin, who believed babies conceived from rape magically disappear, that credo is a good one.
But the pro-life argument is based on sound science.
In the DNA of a fertilized embryo is the complete design of a human being, mapping eye color and other hereditary traits. Within weeks, the human embryo meets all the criteria needed to count as living: metabolism, reaction to stimuli, reproduction.
By ignoring this reality, Roe has rendered certain humans as inferior beings, inhuman things that can be killed at a moment's notice, which is what Scott did regarding blacks, slavery, and their rights in 1857. I've used this argument against pro-abortion members of my family and while I don't believe it changed their mind, it did give them something to think about.
In addition, the conservative can turn this argument on fanatical pro-abortion Democrats like Obama. Pro-abortion progressives often try to make it appear that a fertilized embryo is somehow a different species. In this case, the phrase "the science is settled" can be used; under no circumstances will a human embryo develop into some other form of life, and any progressive who says otherwise can be viewed as anti-science.
The other problem with Roe is that not only did the court create a right out of whole cloth, a power the Constitution does not allow, it is a complete violation of federalism, the right of the people of each state to decide the law for each state and the federal government. With Roe, the only way for the people to get rid of it is to offer up an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, something that isn't going to happen, or to elect a President who would appoint enough Supreme Court Justices to get Roe overturned, a much more likely occurance, albeit made more difficult by Obama's re-election. The point is, Roe is not settled law; nothing is. Scott was settled law until it wasn't; Plessy v. Ferguson was settled law until it wasn't; there's no reason to believe Roe is forever.
It's very important to remember that with Roe, the decision is anti-science in that it makes inferior a certain group of the human species, the species we all are; and, the decision stole the rights of the people to decide how their states deal with abortion.
Inevitably, the Democrat media will attempt to trap a conservative just as it happened to Akin and Mourdock. As I quoted from Cupp, any conversation must avoid looking like it is insulting to women. The answer is simple: conservatives support state ballot initiatives introduced outside of state legislatures to allow the people to decide how far they want to go when making abortion laws. Since I don't believe abortion is a federal issue, nor do many or most conservatives, this is a perfectly reasonable 10th Amendment argument. Since in many states initiatives can be introduced outside of the realm of the states' legislatures, the conservative Republican can avoid having their name on an initiative that may or may not go too far; I realize this is extremely cynical, but that's where we are. It also allows the conservative Republican to say that as a citizen of a state with such an initiative on the ballot, they don't have to say how they will vote on it; as a bonus, the conservative Republican politician can say it is up to the will of the people to make the determination regarding abortion; considering how rotten Obama and his surrogates were during this campaign, being wary of questions from the Democrat media makes sense. If a state doesn't allow for such initiatives, then conservative Republicans can work on getting such legislation passed in the states. As can be seen, nothing said here can even be remotely spun by Democrats to make it look like the conservative is anti-women, while at the same time, the conservative promotes freedom.
A byproduct of Roe is how zealous pro-abortion Democrat politicians, judges, Justices, and activists have tried to claim abortion is part of the reproductive rights women solely have, with a specious claim that it is part of the Equal Protection Clause. This is a load of crap. As mentioned by Cupp:
Another thought is that men don’t belong in this debate. Even the President rang that bell, saying, “This is exactly why you don’t want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions.”
Putting aside the fact that he is perfectly comfortable making decisions about our health care, discussing abortion is the job of politicians, and we do want a bunch of them advocating for the policies we prefer. Citizens don’t write laws themselves.
And men do belong in the debate.
I'd take it further. The Democrat idea of the Equal Protection Clause is that certain Democrat constituencies receive special rights while denying them to others; this defies logic, but too many Democrat judges and Justices have gone along with this travesty.
In the case of abortion, the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood decision took away any reproductive rights men have; it stated categorically that a wife has a right not to even tell her husband when she is going to abort a child they conceived (the one thing Casey did right was to say states can enact laws allowing parents to be notified if their minor daughter is seeking an abortion). Other than Jesus Christ, every other human being has required a man to be involved in the human's conception. Obviously, a woman having to carry a child in her womb for nine months can be a burden no man understands (not even me), nor ever will. However, that is how the human species is set up; the male does the fertilization while the female ovulates and carries. At this point, science hasn't come up with a way to change things so that a male can carry a child, nor has it come up with a way for a conception to occur without a man. Denying these scientific facts while at the same time denying men any reproductive rights requires, as Hillary Clinton put it, "a willing suspension of disbelief." Democrats who believe only women have reproductive rights can be shown to be anti-science and against freedom. To top it off, the Obama contraception/abortifacient mandate is the latest example of this travesty, along with being a complete violation of the Free Exercise Clause.
The last thing I want to mention about abortion are two other lies spread by zealous pro-abortion fanatics: repealing Roe would take the country back to the days of back-alley, coat hanger abortions, and pro-abortion zealots like Obama want abortions to be safe, rare, and legal. Starting with Roe and continuing with pro-abortion officials and activists, all that has happened is that abortions are legal; in no way are they rare, and too often safety is ignored.
In the five years between 2006 and 2010, Planned Parenthood alone performed an average of more than 315,000 abortions (see page 9 here, page 6 here, and page 4 here). It has been estimated that perhaps an average of a million Americans per year have been aborted ever since the Roe decision; considering just the numbers from Planned Parenthood, the assertion is believable. To believe anyone from the pro-abortion crowd saying they want abortions to be rare is utterly ridiculous since they aren't rare.
As for abortions being safe? Fuhgedaboudit. Every attempt by conservatives to enact reasonable regulations is met by pro-abortion activists seeking to remove all regulations with the lie that regulations reduce "access" and increase the cost of an abortion. With the latter, Obama and the vast majority of Democrats want our federal tax dollars to pay for abortions, and they want to do so as cheaply and as easily as possible (if they could, they'd dump the Hyde Amendment in a minute to allow it). Yet, these views are not considered extreme; in fact, one of Obama's favorite lawyers, a hack named Dawn Johnsen, has made the extremist, anti-science argument that any pregnancy forced to be taken to term, even by a husband who wants his wife to give birth to their child, is a violation of the 13th Amendment (she claims women would be slaves), even as she adheres to the false idea that no man has any reproductive rights whatsoever.
But it's worse than that. Pro-abortion fanatics working for the Pennsylvania Department of Health purposely ignored doing their jobs regulating abortion clinics for 20 years because it might restrict "access" (this was while pro-abortion Republican Tom Ridge and pro-abortion Democrat Ed Rendell were governors; I don't consider this issue against Republican Mark Schweiker since I don't know if he is pro-abortion or not, and because he wasn't elected and only served out the remainder of Ridge's term after Ridge went on to be the federal DHS Secretary). This included not checking the abortion clinic run by the monstrous Kermit Gosnell. While investigating Gosnell's possible involvement in an illegal prescription medicine scam, police found a house of horrors in Gosnell's abortion mill, with body parts of aborted babies strewn about the facility. As it turns out, an unknown number of women suffered severe complications from Gosnell's "work" and had to be treated at the hospital; yet, the state officials never bothered following up to see what was going on. Tragically, one of Gosnell's "abortion" methods was to deliver babies alive and then kill them outside of the womb. Gosnell was charged with murder of seven of these babies and a woman who died under his care, but there is no way to know how many others died in the same manner. There is also no way to know how many other Gosnells there are out there in the abortion industry.
To wrap up, conservatives can and should make the pro-life case, and can do so smartly. Roe v. Wade turns human embryos into something inhuman, similar to how the Dred Scott decision determined blacks were something inhuman to justify their enslavement. This completely ignores the science of how humans are made. Roe has denied the right of Americans to determine how they want their states to deal with abortion. But, no politician on their own can overturn Roe; that can only be done with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or by the people voting for a President and Senators who would appoint and confirm federal judges and Justices who believe Roe violates the Constitution and must be tossed. If asked if Roe is settled law, say that no law is settled, otherwise racist decisions like Plessy v. Ferguson would still be in force. When asked pointed questions by the Democrat media how a conservative thinks of certain aspects regarding abortion (e.g., rape), all a conservative has to say is they would support a state ballot initiative introduced outside of the legislature regarding abortion that the people could vote on, or to have a state allow for such ballot initiatives to be introduced. The conservative must make the case that Roe and its byproduct, the Casey decision, violates the true meaning of the Equal Protection Clause in that men's reproductive rights have been taken away by pro-abortion politicians and judges. Since it is a scientific fact that every human created requires a man to be a part of the conception, they do have the right to say they may want their children to be born. Attempts by the pro-abortion crowd to say the Equal Protection Clause extends only the reproductive rights of women can be considered against science. And finally, thanks to Roe and the work of pro-abortion activists, the back-alley, coat hanger abortions Roe was supposed to prevent are now legal. Pro-abortion fanatics like Obama who claim they want abortions to be safe, rare, and legal are liars. All they've accomplished is making abortions legal, setting rare and safe to the wayside. And being the extremists they are, Obama and those like him need to be called out for wanting our federal tax dollars being used to pay for cheap and easy abortions.
This can be a winner for conservatives.
Cross-posted at Scipio the Metalcon.