With control of the Senate at stake, no surprise both Democrats and Republicans are deploying expansive ground games and hundreds of millions of dollars for ads supporting their candidates – while engaging in some good old-fashioned fear-mongering. For example, Ossoff’s opponent in the upcoming Georgia U.S. Senate run-off, Incumbent Senator David Perdue (R) claims Ossoff (D) is a socialist. That charge earns a “pants on fire rating” from Politifact (meaning it’s clearly a lie).
Regardless of your position on abortion, a woman’s right to choose is still the law of the land in America…or so we thought. The abortion wars between pro-life and pro-choice forces continue unabated. According to mediamatters.org, “anti-choice trends that began in 2019 have shown no signs of waning.”
Now the COVID-19 crisis is providing new ammunition for pro-life proponents.
In several states with conservative leadership, including Texas, Ohio, Alabama, and Oklahoma, lawmakers seized the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to halt access to safe, legal abortions — by deeming them non-essential services. In response, pro-choice proponents and civil-liberties defenders, including Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU, and the Lawyering Project have filed lawsuits.
While the courts decide this latest skirmish in the abortion wars, the clock is ticking for women suddenly forced to travel to another state to exercise their legal right to choose, when most people are worried about leaving home.
Despite vocal minorities on both sides of this issue, polls have consistently shown a majority of Americans believe abortion, with reasonable restrictions, should be legal and safe, allowing women to decide whether to have one – a Moderate position. For example, “Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States,” according to a 2019 NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.
Even then, pro-life Republicans have been winning the abortion wars in recent years, curtailing women’s rights to access the procedure. Steadily capturing state legislatures and governors’ mansions, they have enacted tighter restrictions in many states.
These restrictions are another example of a vocal minority gaining more power over lawmakers than the majority who elected them. Whether the issue is sensible gun legislation or the right to choose, polls consistently show the will of the majority of Americans (including Moderates) hijacked by right-wing legislators and governors pandering to their base.
Since childhood, I’ve often protested to my mother about numerous things that don’t seem fair to me. Many years later, that habit continues. But protesting to my mother isn’t enough anymore. I feel the need now to protest to more people than just her.
For example, it’s not fair that the will of the majority of Americans is not heard, nor acted on, by conservative politicians. It’s not fair they insist government has the deciding voice in one of the most painful decisions a woman will ever make – even while claiming they want less government power. It’s not fair that the vocal pro-life minority demands everyone conform to their belief system, and claims those who are pro-choice do not value life as much as they do.
Women, accustomed to decades of safe, legal abortions as a right they could count on, have seen that right undermined – until it may be too late, someday soon, to exercise it.
Moderates wanting women to retain the right to safe, legal abortions, with reasonable restrictions, would be wise to support moderate solutions and vote for candidates at all levels who will approve them. I know I will.
By Laurentine Nicoletto
The Modern Moderate Staff
Born and raised in the Midwest, Laurentine was taught to be honest, responsible, hard-working and willing to help a neighbor in need. She has two courageous, beautiful stepdaughters and four energetic grandchildren. Politically speaking, she advocates for justice, fairness, fiscal responsibility, and political leaders working together to represent the will of all Americans who elected them.
Photograph: José Luis Magaña/AP