Kansas Republicans are trying to make abortion illegal. It won’t work.
My home state of Kansas is never one to miss an opportunity to humiliate itself on the national stage. After an eight year wrath of terror brought about by the likes of Sam Brownback, we finally have a governor who has some common sense and understands that you can’t fund road construction if you don’t have the taxes to pay for it.
Of course Kansas, never one to disappoint, elected post-Capital insurrection Trump apologists Roger Marshall and Jake La Turner to Congress. Marshall, fortunately, had the good sense to retreat from his stance. LaTurner; however, has not. Granted, LaTurner is in a precarious damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. 40% of Kansas is democratic. The blue voters are threatening to kill him if he continues to support Trump, the red voters threaten to kill him if he doesn’t.
It’s a difficult time to be a freshman Republican representative with no real political experience outside of a short tenure as state treasurer.
The Republicans, intent on tying themselves to a sinking ship, basically handed the Democrats the power of the Federal government. As a Democrat who is terribly concerned about the state of our economy, I am excited that there are finally people in charge who are not afraid to do what needs to be done to help the working class. Ironically, in Kansas though, you have a large majority of working class citizens who still don’t recognize the correlation between taxation and public services.
So, the Republicans in Kansas who are reacting to Federal politics, but feel emboldened by our conservative Supreme Court, apparently feel like this is the appropriate time to bring up the abortion issue again.
The problem is that it’s not going to work.
The measure has been passed to put the issue of whether to outlaw abortion on the 2022 election ballot . Let’s say the vote passes. In that instance, it will be contested and will be shot down, because we have decided federally that states cannot pass a measure outlawing abortion.
Ironically, Ruth Bader Ginsberg was hestitant in her concurring opinion over Roe v. Wade because she was concerned that it set a precedent of giving the federal government too much power over the state. Even though she agreed with the ruling of the court, she actually believed that abortion should be a state legislative matter.
Unfortunately, that precedent was set and is now law. If, for some reason, the matter did get to the Supreme Court, it is unlikely to have much effect. The issue that makes abortion such a sticky subject is that the Roe ruling effectively says that the state cannot violate a person’s right to privacy. Or in other words, the state is not allowed to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.
In order for abortion to be susceptible to outlawing, the Supreme Court would have to roll back that ruling and decide that actually, it is okay for the state to violate a person’s right to privacy. And I don’t see how that could ever possibly happen.
Liberals are terrified of Amy Coney Barrett and her Catholicism and her 8 kids and her admiration of Antonin Scalia, but she has never publicly stated her views on abortion. She claims to be more interested in what the law states rather than deciding the law herself.
Based on the rulings I’ve seen from Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, these so-called conservative members seem much more libertarian than conservative. I would be very surprised if they disavowed their libertarian viewpoints when it comes to abortion.
But for fun let’s assume they do. What if an abortion measure reaches the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court rolls back Roe v. Wade and allows states to make abortion illegal? What happens next.
Something along the lines of 67% of America is progressive. America in general is much more liberal and progressive that it used to be. America’s youth is incredibly progressive as well. I don’t think that people would stand for this. If we thought the “Joe Biden stole the election” riot was bad, I think the “Government now controls our bodies” riots would be even worse.
Republicans don’t care about abortion
The truth though is that Republicans don’t actually care about abortion. Republicans care about low taxes for the rich and deregulation. That’s it. They claim to be conservative but the only reason they do that is to acquire conservative voters.
In the US, we have had a conservative court for most of the last 50 years. During that time we have had Republican presidents. We have had Republican presidents with a Republican congress. A Republican president, a Republican congress, and a conservative Supreme Court. And not a single thing changed about abortion.
Need I say more?
Republicans don’t want abortion to be outlawed. They need the abortion issue to retain their conservative voters. One of the ways Republicans can get elected is by talking about how they will fight for the unborn’s rights. Single issue voters on abortion will continue to vote Republican if they think it will someday help them accomplish their goals.
At the same time, the country is becoming more progressive, healthcare is becoming better and more accessible, and there are better ways to put an end to unwanted pregnancies aside from just making abortion illegal.
Abortion critics should vote Democrat
It has become relatively common knowledge that Nixon’s so-called ‘War on Drugs’ is an epic failure. All it did was create a huge black market, sent millions of innocent people (mostly men, and mostly black men) to jail. We now know that drug use and addiction is a public health issue and should be treated through education, support, and compassion.
Abortion is no different. Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions. It will only cause women, and people in general, to leave the states within which abortion is illegal. States like Tennessee, Alabama, and Kansas; which have long suffered from Republican policies would only fall deeper in to their own hole as their already declining populations hitch up and skip town at an even faster rate.
Furthermore, Democratic policies do a much more effective job at ending unwanted pregnancies. Republicans say, “We’re don’t want you getting abortions, but we are not going to give you easy access to healthcare, we are not going to give you contraceptives, we won’t give you any financial support, and we don’t want to allow any public funding for family planning services.”
The data shows abortion rates have dropped much more significantly in Democrat controlled areas than in Republican ones; and that is because the women in those areas get the support they need in order to not feel like they can’t afford to have a child or they just never get pregnant in the first place.
And of course, one of the problems is that the legal, logistical and financial barriers to abortion are growing, and these burdens are largely born by low-income individuals, people of color, and young people.
So I don’t mean to give the wrong impression and insinuate that the abortion issue is something that we don’t need to worry about. It definitely, obviously is; but more importantly, rather than wasting time and energy on legal battles that will get neither side anywhere on the abortion debate, we should focus on getting people the help they need, which might actually achieve the goals of both sides, rather than this silly cat-and-mouse game which has proven to be getting us nowhere and just pisses people off in the process.
Chase is a freelance writer based out of Kansas City. He writes mostly about technology, business, and culture. Follow him on twitter @ChaseBAnderson.