No other public policy has divided the people of the United States for so long and so deeply. Abortion is America’s second civil war.
. . . Across the 40 post-Roe years, the idea of a deeply personal decision, or choice, has taken a back seat to the hard face of public politics. The partisans in the abortion battles will deny they have demoted personal concerns, and that may be true. But when every nominee to the Supreme Court must run the abortion gauntlet, when every presidential convention must include strict nightly commitments to “choice” or “life,” when bishops battle politicians, and “litmus test” means only one thing, then abortion’s public politics have overwhelmed its human tragedies. After 40 years, we still have too much of both.
Can the Gosnell case change that? If it doesn’t, we’re in trouble.
What do you think? Is the abortion conflict on par with the Civil War? It has certainly pitted “brother against brother.”
He also offers some speculation on how this civil war will end:
Where this column is heading is not to a cri de coeur that the
Gosnell case proves abortion should be banned in America. It should be.
But that’s not going to happen. About a quarter of the country wants a
ban, a quarter wants no limits, and half want something in between. The
chance of a total ban is zero. Abortion in some degree will be legal in
the U.S. But to what degree?
Here I part ways with the author. The road to ending abortion will be a long one, undoubtedly. But public opinion today is not necessarily the public opinion of tomorrow. The American public once accepted any number of ideologies that are utterly rejected today. I am confident that America’s “abortion era” will be condemned in the history books of the future.