I am surprised by the views expressed by “pro-life” individuals in this survey and interviews in the New York Times.
What is striking is how flexible these individuals are about when abortion should be legal and when not. Years ago, Right to Live declared that the minute a sperm fertilizes an egg, you have a human life that is entitled to the full protection of the law, even in cases of rape or incest. They still declare that, but real people– real Republicans– don’t believe it. They seem to be open to the idea that there should be “reasonable” limits– even up to 12 weeks. And they believe that abortions should be allowed in cases of rape.
They are also under the mistaken belief that a mother’s life is more at risk of death or serious injury in an abortion than she is in child birth. That is flatly not true. Stunningly, even the pro-choice panel the New York Times convened for the same purpose believed it. That messaging from Right to Life has taken hold.
How stupid are the Republicans? Well, I bet Mitch McConnell understands that the Republicans need to embrace a “safety-valve” on the issue: tolerate some flexibility and some exceptions so they can say they haven’t banned all abortions. But other hot-heads in the party seem determined to take a hard line, even when it comes to that 10-year-old girl (perhaps, one commentator asserted, she doesn’t appreciate the blessings of being a mother).
What remains to be determined is just how much of a factor this might be in the coming mid-term elections. Probably, the economy will matter more, even when the perception that the economy is in a mess is wrong. Inflation is a problem, but employment, consumer spending and confidence, hiring, and productivity are all favorable. Nobody cares: they want to believe that Biden is a feeble old man who is out of his depth, so they insist that the economy is a disaster.