Reviews | The Pro-Life Movement Must Move Carefully Through Purple States


The New York Times blames Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) for not doing more to restrict abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. “Culture Warrior Shuts Up: DeSantis Avoids Questions About Abortion Plans” headline yelled. “While other Republican leaders have pledged to move forward with new restrictions — or near-total bans,” the article said, “DeSantis offered only a vague promise to ‘work to expand pro-life protections.”

It doesn’t matter, apparently, that DeSantis signed into law a state ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — similar to Mississippi law, Supreme Court confirmed in June. DeSantis is in a political bind, the story suggests, because “some on the right currently view a 15-week ban as insufficient,” but further restricting abortion could jeopardize his re-election campaign and presidential aspirations.

This is absurd. Florida’s 15-week ban — which DeSantis signed two months before the Supreme Court declared those laws constitutional — saves unborn lives. Left-wing activists continued in state court, accusing the law of violating the right to privacy in Florida’s constitution. DeSantis is fighting to enforce it, and the outcome of this legal battle will determine what other protections for unborn life are possible. In a swing state like Florida, it does more than enough.

Marc Thiessen: For the Fall of Roe c. Wade, thank you Donald Trump

When the pro-life movement fought to overthrow roe deer, and defer abortion policy decisions to the states, most recognized that the result would be different sets of restrictions. In deep-red states with large pro-life majorities, leaders would enact more restrictive laws. And in dark blue states, abortion would unfortunately continue to be permitted with few limits. But in purple states — where public opinion is divided — pro-life leaders must tread carefully and ensure that the laws they propose reflect political reality.

In Virginia, for example, Governor Glenn Youngkin (right) announced he would seek to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In a state that last year elected its first Republican governor since 2009, that makes sense. A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 72% of Americans – including 60% of Democrats – want to limit abortion to 15 weeks of pregnancy or earlier, or allow it only in cases of rape and incest. Youngkin’s approach puts pressure on Virginia Democrats, who control the state Senate: if they oppose the restrictions he supports, they will disagree with most voters. But if he fights for a stricter ban, he risks letting them off the hook.

After nearly five decades of legal abortion – which ended approximately 63.5 million unborn lives – there is an understandable desire to save as many lives as possible. But the pro-life movement must resist the urge to rush through the most restrictive rules in every state and focus instead on enacting lasting restrictions on abortion – while working to persuade more Americans of the sanctity of unborn life.

Many Americans are persuaded. According to the Harvard-Harris poll, 49 percent believe that abortion should be limited to the sixth week of pregnancy or earlier (12%), or only in cases of rape and incest (37%). If Florida Republicans successfully defend their 15-week ban and people see that the world is not over, then, over time, a majority could support further restrictions. But if Republicans push too far, too fast, their efforts could backfire. It is very easy to change state representatives. Pushing for restrictions beyond what the public supports could lead to the election of politicians who want to expand, not restrict, abortion.

Winning hearts and minds also requires increased support for mothers and children after birth. DeSantis understands that. In his State of the State address in January, he Noted that “the protection of life does not stop at the unborn child. It must also include ongoing efforts to promote adoption and foster care so that all Floridians have a fair chance in life. In April he sign a law increasing monthly payments for caregivers, increasing the monthly child care subsidy, and strengthening tuition and fee waiver programs to help adoptive children attend state colleges and programs workforce training.

We need to do more. As my Post colleague Alyssa Rosenberg has pointed out, this is a particularly difficult time for poor parents – with a shortage of formula, high inflation that has driven up the cost of diapers and food, and thousands of daycare centers closed by the pandemic. . The time has come for the pro-life movement to rally around a family-friendly policy platform, such as: expanding refundable tax credits for adoption and reforming the child tax credit to include pregnant women; strengthen child support enforcement; increase nutritional assistance to poor mothers and children; making nappies tax-free and eligible for purchase through health savings accounts; prevent employers from discriminating against pregnant women; allow new parents to use their acquired social security benefits for family leave; adding flexibility to federal block grant programs so that states can find innovative ways to support parents; and improving public education by expanding charter schools and voucher programs.

Michele L. Norris: Republicans roar against abortion. Then they abandon the children.

If Americans see the pro-life movement building a culture of life, a culture that supports women and children after birth, they will be more likely to support the efforts of swing state leaders such as DeSantis to also expand protections for unborn life.

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