It always seems insufficient to describe abortion as a “political issue”.
We’re not talking about replacing the Brent Spence Bridge, how best to fund public schools, or how militarily involved we should be in Ukraine.
Abortion transcends differences in political philosophies. There is a great difference of difference between two sets of firmly held beliefs.
Do you believe that abortion is the immoral killing of an innocent unborn child, or that abortion is a deeply personal and private decision a woman must make about her own body and future?
Still, here we are again.
The US Supreme Court’s decision in June overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling that upheld abortion access for the past five decades brought abortion back to the forefront of politics with the election mid-term close to November. In addition to the United States Senate and Governor, there are other statewide offices, congressional, state and judicial seats in Ohio.
It’s shaping up to be a tough election year for Democrats, with President Joe Biden’s poll numbers slipping amid inflation and still-high gas prices, Republican Donald Trump twice leading eased the former state of presidential turnover and Republicans dominating most state races.
But voters, especially suburban women with abortion rights weighing heavily on their minds, could make some changes.
Mark Weaver, a veteran Republican attorney and consultant in Ohio, has seen Democratic appeals to abortion rights voters fall short in the past.
“Ohio is a red state and 2022 is going to be a red wave year,” Weaver said.
“That said, I expect Democrats to try to politically exploit the Supreme Court ruling that returns the issue of abortion to the states. “An August 2 vote in the red state of Kansas to defend abortion rights it added to Democrats’ hopes elsewhere that the issue would help them politically, but it was a one-issue vote compared to all the other issues that will influence voters as they choose office… headlines this fall.
“The vast majority of Ohio voters are focused on economic issues, not abortion. I don’t expect abortion policy to be a big factor in November,” Weaver said.
I wouldn’t argue with that in general, except for a few races that look really tight so far. Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan could get additional support from abortion rights activists, who will likely have to hold off anti-abortion Republican JD Vance for the open U.S. Senate seat.
However, you can expect some outside spending to remind voters that Ryan is a late convert to abortion rights, just as millions were spent to remind Vance that he was a late convert to supporting Trump.
Closer to home, the 27th House District race between Democrat Rachel Baker and Republican anti-abortion activist Jenn Giroux is among those where abortion could be a deciding issue, one way or another. another.
The anti-abortion movement tends to want to look at abortion from only one point of view: that it is always wrong.
Some Republicans in Ohio may realize in the coming months that they needed to add more common sense and compassion for mothers to their legislation. Not providing exceptions for rape or incest while making an exception to protect the life of the very difficult mother might seem increasingly bad as time goes on.
It didn’t take long for a shocking national case to highlight their short-sightedness, when the Indianapolis Star and its partners, including The Enquirer, reported on a 10-year-old Columbus rape victim brought to Indiana for a abortion
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost initially decided to become the media’s chief critic in the case rather than the state’s chief legal officer. His claim that the girl’s abortion would have been legal under Ohio law was disputed by some who helped draft the legislation.
Some opponents of abortion admitted that they did not even know a girl so young that she could become pregnant; it depends on when menstruation starts, which can be as early as age 8.
Even if, as Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt of Loveland said in April, having a rapist’s baby could be an “opportunity” for a hypothetical 13-year-old girl, what about the psychological trauma and possible physical trauma that the state would record? the girl at
The misnamed “heartbeat law” adds further vagueness, an effort by lawmakers to play God by ruling that life begins with the “fetal heartbeat,” even though no heart has ever formed in which is still an embryo at the six-week period to which it refers. supporters of the law.
I can see arguments that abortion should be legal until the fetus is viable outside the womb at 23-24 weeks or to argue that life begins at conception. Both make more sense than the heartbeat law.
Now facing criminal penalties for violating a law that is imprecise in multiple situations, doctors are already shying away from procedures that could preserve women’s health.
Yost has said there is an exception for ectopic pregnancies, which occur outside the woman’s uterus and are not viable, but some critics of the bill say it could be interpreted differently.
An untreated condition, usually undetectable in a fetus until well after six weeks, is anencephaly, in which the baby would be born without parts of the brain and skull and face certain death.
And then there is this gray area of early detection of other serious birth defects in fetuses, with girls or pregnant women who may not be psychologically or practically capable of carrying and raising babies with such special needs given no decision.
Abortion and politics do not mix well. Proceed with caution.
Weekly Enquirer columnist Dan Sewell can be reached at his personal email, email@example.com.