Although a woman’s right to destroy her fetus for any reason at any time has technically been legal for 47 years, abortion remains America’s defining political issue.
And it seems as though the debate has only gotten more bitter — and the rhetoric more heated — in the last 20 years.
In a 5-4 decision handed down on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that had required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. With 2005 President George W. Bush appointee, Chief Justice John Roberts, voting with the high court’s liberal wing, the majority found law was in violation of legal precedent established by the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Gov. Kristi Noem wasted no time reflecting her disapproval.
“These unborn babies can feel, think, and hear in the womb. Our work doesn’t stop until abortion is eliminated completely,” Noem said.
To say the woman who is the current odds-on favorite to be America’s next vice president disagrees with Noem would be a profound understatement.
“Abortion is a fundamental issue of justice in America and we will never stop fighting for it,” U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., tweeted shortly after the Monday decision.
As I have used this space on more than one occasion to highlight, Harris is the most likely pick to be Democrat Joe Biden’s running mate for the November general election. And if — I emphasize, if — current national and battleground state polls are correct, Biden is on track to not only defeat President Donald Trump, but to defeat him by a landslide margin.
That is how I define Harris as the odds-on favorite to be the next vice president.
Who knows: If Trump plays the wildcard and drops Vice President Mike Pence in favor of Noem (a possibility I also previously discussed in this space), the two women could square off over the issue along the campaign trail.
Be that as it may, I cannot help but notice how strident and absolute the battlelines in the abortion debate are drawn. Even though I am only 42, I have closely observed American politics since my late teens.
If we could go back to about the year 2000, it would not be uncommon to find a pro-life Democrat, or a pro-choice Republican, in Congress. Today, the former is almost unthinkable, while the latter is extraordinarily rare.
I could probably fill this whole A section of the Capital Journal with my opinions as to why this is the case, but what everyone should be able to agree on is that it IS the case.
And to me, this is a terrible shame. This is because I can see the matter from both sides. As a proud Christian, I believe that abortion is murder. However, I do not force my personal beliefs down the throats of those who disagree.
It is just so disheartening to someone who sees so much of our nation’s political discourse consumed by this issue. Instead of trying to figure out how to employ people after computers and robots take most of the jobs, our elected officials continue to drag us through this. It is the ultimate political football.
The fierce debate shows few signs of subsiding, however.
“The fight for life is unquestionably the right one. Every child is a gift from God,” Noem added in her Monday comments.
“While the Court reached the right result today, we must nonetheless keep up the fight to protect access to abortion,” Harris countered on Monday.