Speed Reads

Texas abortion law

Will the Texas GOP abortion law backfire on Republicans?

"It took about a minute and a half between the Supreme Court's decision to let a draconian, constitutionally bizarre abortion law take effect and the widespread conclusion that it would prove a boon to Democratic political hopes even as it provoked their moral outrage," Jeff Greenfield writes at Politico. "There is plausibility to this notion," but scant hard evidence to support it. 

Plenty of Democrats are outraged at the Texas law and its "bounty hunters" enforcement mechanism, and "though some in the GOP are celebrating the moment as a long-sought win for the anti-abortion rights movement, others are minimizing the meaning of the Supreme Court's Wednesday midnight decision that allowed the bill to take effect," The Associated Press reports. "A few are even slamming the court and the law. Or dodging."

"It is going to be a very motivating issue for women who haven't typically been single-issue pro-choice voters," GOP pollster Christine Matthews tells AP. She pointed to suburban women and independents who didn't actually believe Roe v. Wade was in jeopardy and live in areas with competitive congressional and gubernatorial races. 

"Democrats are already having a field day with the Texas law," the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote Thursday night. The Supreme Court was right not to interfere for now, "but this law is a misfire even if you oppose abortion," and it "sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate. Could California allow private citizens to sue individuals for hate speech? Or New York deputize private lawsuits against gun owners?" 

"Texas Republicans have handed Democrats a political grenade to hurt the anti-abortion cause," the Journal editorial continues. "Sometimes we wonder if Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is a progressive plant. His ill-conceived legal attack against ObamaCare backfired on Republicans in last year's election and lost at the Supreme Court. Now he and his Texas mates are leading with their chins on abortion. How about thinking first?" 

Yes, "what Texas and the Supreme Court did with the end run around state responsibility, the 'deputizing' of private citizens to harass and financially ruin abortion providers, may evoke a sense of anger that would indeed change the political landscape," Greenfield writes "But it would be an exercise in overreach to presume that from history."