The leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft majority opinion overturning Roe vs. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) earlier this month gave Democrats a glimmer of hope.
Following 16 months of unremitting bad news for the Biden administration, five of the high court’s conservative justices seemed poised to hand down a ruling at odds with the views of most Americans.
Enshrined by the left as a sacrosanct lodestone of liberalism for nearly half a century, Roe has become highly emotional shorthand for the autonomy of the body, separation of church and state, consequence-free sex, feminism as a concept, and for many other things it is not, but that the left wishes it would be.
Nevertheless, nearly a half century of flogging the flawed decision in Roe, which was derived from supposed privacy rights within the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause that went unnoticed from the Founding until 1973, has informed the public to the point where 63% of Americans say they oppose overturning it.
Case closed, the hopeful left concluded — finally there seemed to be at least one issue on which their position was supported by a decisive majority of Americans who might think twice before pulling the proverbial lever for Republican office seekers in the midterm elections.
A deeper analysis, however, proves them wrong.
Despite Roe’s favorability ratings, the issue now before the court, in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, has to do with a Mississippi law restricting legal abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy
Upholding Roe in this case could overrule that law as unconstitutional and maintain the status quo. Overturning Roe, which the Supreme Court appears to have decided to do, would uphold the Mississippi law and effectively return purview over abortion legislation to individual state governments.
Unhappily for Democrats, a recent poll in The Wall Street Journal records a 48 percent plurality of Americans agreeing with the substance of the Mississippi law — legal abortion up to 15 weeks — while 43% oppose it.
Worse, an NBC News survey conducted last week found that only 37% of Americans agree with the Democratic Party’s position that abortion should always be legal (i.e. up to birth, including for unborn children capable of living outside the womb), while 63% favor at least some restrictions.
No amount of regime media seems able to alter these opinions, regardless of how hysterically leftist journalists bray about the issue on the now sparsely viewed CNN or MSNBC.
A Democratically-sponsored congressional bill to create federal abortion protections failed to pass the Senate by even a simple majority.
Nor has leftist aggression betrayed much skill in the gentle art of persuasion.
Fearful of losing what they believe to be a constitutional right, threatening mobs have gathered outside the homes of several conservative justices, often with the brazenly stated purpose of bullying them into changing their minds before the ruling is formally issued.
On a daily basis, leftist politicos try in vain to delegitimize the Supreme Court as an institution, a constitutional coup that few Americans support, with some renewing calls to "pack" the Court with new liberal justices expressly to dispose of undesirable rulings.
Street demonstrations include hysterical declamations like that of a screaming activist who inelegantly told a cheering group of women protestors, "If you get pregnant, run on down to the abortion clinic and get that little b*****d sucked right out."
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a "call to arms" for a "fight to victory," language that could have gotten her prosecuted as an insurrectionist if she belonged to the opposing political party.
Comedienne Laurie Kilmartin said to giggling MSNBC commentators that she would "make sweet love" to the leaker of the draft ruling, gruesomely adding "if the leaker is a Republican, and if I get pregnant during our lovemaking, I will joyfully abort our fetus, and let [him] know."
This is a far cry from the utilitarian argument that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," which moderate Democrats of a generation ago advanced with a whiff of respectability.
Not even the European social democracies so mistakenly admired by the American left support its views on abortion.
Legally, almost all of those countries are closer to Mississippi than to Massachusetts. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Greece, and Switzerland, among others, outlaw abortion after the first 12 to 15 weeks of pregnancy unless the health of the mother or unborn child is gravely endangered, and in other rare and highly adverse circumstances.
Progressive Denmark cuts off a woman’s "right to choose" at 12 weeks. Sweden and Finland are more permissive, but impose the same restriction at 18 and 20 weeks, respectively.
Under Roe, prior Supreme Court rulings still generally prohibited abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Even if a majority of Americans embraced what the minority progressive left and the Democratic Party demand — abortion at any time, for any reason — it would still make little difference in November.
After the leak, President Biden’s approval rating remains consistently under 40% in virtually all polls, while a depressing 75% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.
The economy — a broad range of issues where the Democrats lose decisively--- remains the paramount voting issue for voters.
Most importantly, after the leak more Americans continue to favor Republican control of Congress than not.
And that is a problem the Democrats cannot just get rid of.
Paul du Quenoy is president of the Palm Beach Freedom Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Georgetown University. Read more — Here.
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