Abortion and the 2018 midterms
What’s the problem?
Many are familiar with Roe v. Wade as the case that legalizes abortion nationwide, but it encompasses more than just the issue of law.
Roe v. Wade was decided 45 years ago on the right of privacy and the personal freedom that is “a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” In 1973, it was a crime in nearly all U.S. states for a person to terminate their pregnancy unless it was within the restricted allowances: to preserve the person’s health, in instances of rape or incest or if there was fetal anomaly.
In the case of Roe v. Wade, however, the Court recognized that there were several psychological, mental and physical detriments that would be imposed upon pregnant women by denying them autonomy over their own bodies. As such, the former ruling outlawing abortion nationwide was overturned and found unconstitutional, allowing safer and more accessible abortion services for Americans.
In 2014, nearly 790 abortion clinics were available throughout the nation. With the increase in hostility toward clinics practitioners as well as obstructive laws being made, however, many of those clinics have shut down in recent years.
More Americans are self-identifying as ‘pro-abortion rights,’ or ‘pro-choice,’ which is agreeing that the choice of abortion should be left to the person who is pregnant rather than having laws that may force choices upon individuals.
Where Democrats stand
Generally, the majority of registered Democrats and Democratic candidates in the U.S. House and Senate identify as pro-abortion rights and support keeping abortion clinics open as safe and accessible options for people, emphasizing the need for reproductive rights.
Where Republicans stand
Republican’s conservative ‘anti-abortion rights,’ or ‘pro-life’ stance has become increasingly pronounce as the years pass. On a political spectrum, the right favors phrases such as “rights of the unborn” whereas the left favors phrases such as “a woman’s right to choice.”
The recent inauguration of Brett Kavanaugh as the new Supreme Court justice increases the chances that Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Kavanaugh, who has a right-leaning political ideology, had not explicitly stated his opinion on abortion rights, but his right-leaning political ideology and past actions make it highly likely that he will be a deciding vote in overturning Roe v. Wade.