Q&A Friday #31: Are Republicans Serious About Stopping Abortion?

Question: Dear John,

Recently a question was purposed in another forum: What have Republicans done to stop abortion? His (the author) main thesis was that Republicans use the Pro-Life label to get elected and then do relatively nothing to defend it. Is this the case? Could you please cite to me specific examples?

Thank you, Dane Davis

by Dane

Answer: There are plenty of places you can ding Republicans for talking the talk, but not walking the walk — like spending and illegal immigration, just to name two. But, in my opinion, abortion isn’t one of them.

First of all, Republicans can’t ban abortion outright because of Roe v. Wade. We could try for a constitutional amendment to get around that, but it would be futile, because they couldn’t get enough support for it. Until Roe v. Wade is overturned (and we’d need to replace at least one more judge after Alito gets on the court to do it), we’re stuck.

On the other hand, there are some things Republicans can do to nibble at abortion along the edges and we’ve done so when we’ve had the opportunity. For example, Bush signed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban and withheld funds to the UN Fund for Population because it was used for abortions.

Unfortunately, what you have to keep in mind is that until Roe v. Wade is reversed and the abortion issue truly comes back into the democratic arena, Republicans are very limited in the options we have to fight against it.

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