RMC Responds: The Anti-Choice AgendaPosted: March 28, 2014
Recently, one astute commenter gets to the heart of the current anti-choice agenda: “I think all these bills will eventually be found unconstitutional… [it] will take time though.”Across the country, anti-choice legislators are proposing hundreds of bills that are blatantly unconstitutional, all in the hope that they will be able to undermine Roe v. Wade, and make abortion illegal in all cases. The strategy is subtle, and it’s designed to be, because without the support of the public or the law, anti-choice extremists have to be calculating about how they impose their views.
Sadly, though, this appearance of innocuousness is just a front, and it’s truly important that Americans understand the real anti-choice agenda, because it is just that: a misleading strategy. In the last few years, anti-choice leaders have put together a careful plan to undermine abortion law and close women’s healthcare clinics with as little controversy as possible. They have organized well, they worked around the edges on seemingly unobtrusive changes, and if we don’t act now our rights and our medical choices will be gone before many realize what is happening.
Anti-choice activists have forwarded increasingly extreme abortion bans specifically designed to slowly chip away at Roe. While such legislation is being deemed unconstitutional in courts across the country, this is just one part of the approach; anti-choice leaders have also worked to push back on individual rights through other outlets. One of the most successful new tactics is to target clinics that provide abortion with needless over-regulation, while misleadingly claiming they care about “safety”.
This is perhaps the most dangerous component of the anti-choice agenda because it really doesn’t seem that dangerous at all. Some clinic regulations here, a few twenty-week bans there – it all seems so harmless and sensible.
It is important to note that anti-choice leaders really are working to end access to abortion, not just to end abortion itself. They are well organized and well funded and happy to force legislatures and courts to expend millions of taxpayer dollars creating these unconstitutional laws and then attempting to defend them in court. For all of this energy and expense what is truly being accomplished? The answer, frankly, is nothing safe or productive. It’s been said many times before, and it absolutely warrants repeating here: ending access to abortion will not end abortion itself, it will only make the procedure unsafe.
If anti-choice activists actually want to reduce the number of abortions, their time and money would be far better spend preventing the need for abortion in the first place. Imagine, for a moment, that instead of spending the projected $1-$4 million defending a clearly unconstitutional anti-choice law, the state of South Dakota allocated that money for comprehensive age appropriate sex education that included the benefits of abstinence or increased access to birth control. The effect of an effort like that would be entirely tangible and positive for everyone; the alternative, wasting that money on a law that will eventually be struck down, benefits absolutely no one.