Pundits, liberal and conservative, underestimated the impact on the midterms of the reaction to the reversal of Roe v. Wade. In states like Kentucky and Michigan, where abortion was on the ballot, restrictions to abortion were lost, and “protecting access” to abortion won.
In California, voters voted on Proposition 1, a ballot measure to “codify” abortion by placing the right to abortion in the state constitution. Based on the language, one could interpret it as allowing abortion up to a moment before birth and when the mother’s health is not in danger. Gov. Gavin Newsom overwhelmingly won the reelection. Proposition 1 passed by a larger margin than Newsom’s victory percentage. But even in conservative counties, where the Republican candidate won, a majority of voters voted for Proposition 1.
According to The New York Times, in the two months following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, there were 10,000 fewer abortions nationwide than would have been expected pre-reversal over that period. If the price of saving 10,000 lives is Republicans underperforming the midterms, it is, in my opinion, a small price to pay.
At one time, a famous person agreed with me and wrote a personal compelling article that makes the case against abortion. This is what he wrote:
“I was born out of wedlock (and against the advice that my mother received from her doctor) and therefore abortion is a personal issue for me. From my perspective, human life is the highest good, the ‘summum bonum.’ Human life itself is the highest human good and God is the supreme good because He is the giver of life. That is my philosophy. Everything I do proceeds from that religious and philosophical premise.
“Life is the highest good and therefore you fight for life, using means consistent with that end. Life is the highest human good not on its own naturalistic merits, but because life is supernatural, a gift from God. ...
“Some argue, suppose the woman does not want to have the baby. They say the very fact that she does not want the baby means that the psychological damage to the child is reason enough to abort the baby. I disagree. The solution to that problem is not to kill the innocent baby, but to deal with her values and her attitude toward life -- that which has allowed her not to want the baby. Deal with the attitude that would allow her to take away that which she cannot give.
“Some women argue that the man does not have the baby and will not be responsible for the baby after it is born, therefore it is all right to kill the baby. Again the logic is off. The premise is that the man is irresponsible.
“If that is the problem, then deal with making him responsible. Deal with what you are dealing with, not with the weak, innocent, and unprotected baby. ...
“There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of a higher order than the right to life. I do not share that view. I believe that life is not private, but rather it is public and universal. If one accepts the position that life is private, and therefore you have the right to do with it as one pleases, one must also accept the conclusion of that logic. That was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside of your right to be concerned. ...
“It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mindset about the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth.”
The author is the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He wrote this in 1977. Seven years later, he ran for president as a Democrat and described abortion as a “freedom of choice” matter. What changed?
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.