Abortion In America To Face Supreme Court Test In Midterm Election Year


The high-wire political act being demanded of each political party in the 2022 midterms will be filled with enough bombast without adding more to the red meat container. As if the tribal politics of the country were not already strained comes a very important abortion case before the Supreme Court.

At issue is what is termed viability, whether states can ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb. In shorthand that means a potentially and dramatically altered landscape for abortion, the likes we have not seen for nearly 50 years.

Mississippi, which is asking to be allowed to enforce an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy, is not asking the court to overrule the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision confirming a woman’s right to an abortion, or a decision 19 years later that reaffirmed it. But what it is seeking is a stark attack on abortion rights since there is no way the Court can agree to the law from the Deep South and at the same time not severely harm the principal protections of Roe v. Wade.

What is feared, of course, is even with a ruling, narrow as it might be handed down, is anything that creates an opening for more men in legislative bodies around the country to keep adding cumbersome restrictions on the right of women to make their own healthy choices.

While I have a personal disdain for abortion, I find it necessary to advocate for the 1973 law that allows women to make their own choices. As such, I find the idea of viability, a tactic used by conservatives to force an economic decision on women who should not have to abide by the moral test of others to be very unjust. From the data that I have read the vast majority of abortions in our nation occur in the early stages of pregnancy. So to add viability to the equation is nothing more than a slick move by some overly zealous men without enough meaningful ways to use their law degrees.

I fully understand the power and punch of religious conservatives and the use of this block by the Republican Party for their partisan ends. Prohibiting abortion is a topic that has been used from the pulpits of churches, and the fundraising arm of the GOP. In, and of itself, those tactics are certainly to be allowed. What we can not, and must not allow, however, is for a religious test to be applied to each woman in this land who might consider an abortion. Because that is, and make no mistake about it, precisely what is being asked of the justices to allow in this case.

Meanwhile, the nation continues to speak in a centrist fashion about the 1973 law.

The nation has a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds 61% of Americans say abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances in the first trimester of a pregnancy. However, 65% said abortion should usually be illegal in the second trimester, and 80% said that about the third trimester.

Still, the poll finds many Americans believe that the procedure should be allowable under at least some circumstances even during the second or third trimesters. For abortions during the second trimester, 34% say they should usually or always be legal, and another 30% say they should be illegal in most but not all cases. In the third trimester, 19% think most or all abortions should be legal, and another 26% say they should be illegal only in most cases.

The issue is going to create a gigantic rhetorical explosion in the nation as the midterms come closer. I suspect there are many, such as myself, who while having problems with abortion itself, are standing with women as we know it is a health choice. It is a choice not for me to make. As an American, I know that is the way it should be.

And must continue to be.