Abortion: The impact of the next president
Finally: An “unapologetic defense of abortion rights” from a Democratic presidential candidate, said Adrienne LaFrance in TheAtlantic.com. Until Hillary Clinton became the party’s first woman nominee, Democrats supported the divisive issue of abortion rights with “carefully hedged language.” But in last week’s final presidential debate, Clinton said flatly, “I will defend Roe v. Wade, and I will defend women’s rights to make their own health-care decisions.” Period. Republican Donald Trump, meanwhile, attacked Clinton’s support of late-term abortions with graphic, inaccurate language suggesting women callously have healthy babies “ripped from their wombs” days before birth. In fact, partial-birth abortion has been illegal since 2003. To date, 43 states have restrictions on late-term terminations, and studies show that just 1.3 percent of all abortions take place after 21 weeks. Most of them are wanted pregnancies in which the fetus has a major birth defect, or the mother’s health is at risk.
Actually, Trump used “simple, forceful language” to expose Clinton’s support of “infanticide,” said Daniel Payne in TheFederalist.com. She has opposed all abortion restrictions, and if she had her way, “it would be entirely legal to rip the baby out of the womb” just prior to birth. Besides, the “health of the mother” excuse has been broadened to absurdity, to include “physical, emotional, psychological, familial health.” Dismissing late-term abortions as rare is specious, said Ramesh Ponnuru in NationalReview.com. Even if that 1.3 percent figure is correct, it means there are more than 15,000 abortions after the 20th week, which “exceeds the number of gun deaths in the U.S. last year,” excluding suicides. In that context, does it still seem like an insignificant number?
Clinton notwithstanding, “things are looking good for the anti-abortion movement,” said Charles Camosy in The Washington Post. Some 20 million Democrats identify as pro-life, many of them people of color, and a 2015 poll found that 52 percent of Millennials identified as pro-life. Anti-abortion groups are springing up on college campuses. But a Trump presidency could seriously halt this momentum. He’s loathed by the minorities and young people now joining the pro-life cause. If a misogynist with a history of denigrating and assaulting women becomes the angry, intolerant face of the anti-abortion movement, it will only play into “deeply held stereotypes” about oppressive males denying women their rights.
■68% of voters want the loser of the presidential election to accept the results. 14% say the losing candidate should challenge the results.
■76% of Americans say they have “a great deal” of respect for the police in their area, up from 64% last year. Only 7% say they don’t have any respect for police. Among people of color, 67% say they have a great deal of respect for police.