Republican Attempts to Ban Abortion Are Bad Policy and Bad Politics
Julie Burkhart, September 11, 2020
This week Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s long-running efforts to ingratiate himself to President Donald Trump were rewarded when Trump put the Senator on his “short list” for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator Cotton promptly tweeted: “It’s time for Roe v. Wade to go.”
Republican attempts to mobilize their political base at the expense of women’s health and well-being are certainly nothing new. And the conventional wisdom has long held that anti-choice policies help motivate Republicans to the polls. Just this week, an attack ad is taking aim at U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier for voting against an abortion ban.
But the evidence is growing that these extremist politicians — by promising to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion entirely — are overplaying their hand.
Seven-in-ten Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, not even a majority of Republicans support completely overturning the landmark decision affirming people’s legal right to abortion.
Among independents, a 2019 survey showed two-thirds were most likely to support state laws that decriminalize abortion and lessen restrictions on care.
Yes, people’s views on abortion are nuanced — but shutting down clinics and categorically denying people the right to make their own medical decisions is not a winning political proposition.
At Trust Women’s clinics in Wichita and Oklahoma City, our patients come from all walks of life and all political persuasions. Most of our patients are already parents, who have decided that an abortion is the best way for them to care for their children and have a healthy, stable family.
Let’s not forget that there are many reproductive health issues on which Americans do agree, and where there is urgent need for action. From expanding access to birth control to combating America’s alarming maternal mortality rate, anti-choice politicians would be far better-served by bringing people together around common-sense (and wildly popular) ways to reduce unintended pregnancies and improve women’s health.
The vast majority of Americans oppose overturning Roe, and all of them are getting ready to vote like their rights depend on them in November.
Attempts to ban abortion are bad politics and bad policy. Anti-choice politicians should call off their crusade to ban abortion for all of our sakes — including their own.