Saturday, September 4, 2021

Fallout From the Texas Abortion Law

Of course, other states will try copycat laws. How far all this gets will depend on how it plays with voters. We can predict that Democrats will use this issue as a wedge issue against the Republicans and base mobilization tool. Will they be successful?
I don't think it's quite the slam dunk many Democrats seem to think but I do believe there's a solid basis for counter-mobilization against this and similar laws, rooted in the structure of public opinion on the issue. Matthew Continetti, an astute conservative analyst, writes in the Washington Free Beacon:
"[T]he fact of the matter is that the Texas heartbeat law cuts against public opinion on abortion. "Most Americans do not want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but they have long supported restrictions on its use, including solid opposition to second and third trimester abortions," wrote my American Enterprise Institute colleague Karlyn Bowman in 2020. The restrictions in the Texas law are imposed during the first trimester. They don't include exemptions in cases of rape or incest. Abortion clinics say they are turning away women for fear of litigation."
And here is Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux on 538:
"On the one hand, a majority of Americans have consistently said that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that established a constitutional right to abortion, should not be overturned. But many also support a wide range of specific restrictions on abortion, some of which contradict the Supreme Court’s standards for when and how states can regulate the procedure. That said, public opinion hasn’t really shifted on the issue even though abortion access has steadily eroded in wide swaths of the country over the past 10 years. But the fact that the Texas law directly attacks abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy — when the procedure is both most supported and most common — could galvanize public outrage in a way that past restrictions have not."
So we'll see what happens. But I don't think this one works for Team Red.

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