Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Why the GOP *Needs* Roe

Yeah, we all know that overturning Roe v. Wade is so firmly anchored in the GOP platform by now, the party's edifice would collapse without it.

But here are three reasons why the Republicans desperately need Roe to remain in force:

1. Legal abortion mobilizes the Religious Right like perhaps no other single issue. It forges activists and brings voters to the polls. (Gay marriage has served them well, too, but it doesn't resonate as well with young evangelicals, who are more inclined than their elders to live and let live.)

2. If Roe were overturned, you'd see a backlash against the backlash. Suddenly most American women (and many of the men) would recoil against stories of 12-year-olds forced to carry to term or women bleeding out after taking RU-486 without supervision. They might also realize that Roe protected their own right to self-determination and didn't just enable the loose morals of that slut down the street.

3. Without Roe, the 'wingers couldn't crow about the morals of conservative women like Sarah Palin who "choose life" or "decide not to abort." Oodles of commentators have noted the hypocrisy of this. If choice were illegal, the opportunity to show one's superior virtue would evaporate.

I'm not foolhardy enough to say "bring it on" - the short-term human costs of overturning Roe would be unacceptable. I'm just saying that the Republicans benefit from a synergy that relies on abortion remaining legal, safe - and not especially rare.


Laura said...

Keen observaton, and agree.

Sungold said...

Thanks, Laura. I'm thinking now that I should've done more to develop that last phrase, "not especially rare." Because the large number of abortions (circa one million per year) rightly shocks even those of us who are quite staunchly pro-choice. It's a potent political weapon.