Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Abortion Memo

From a Democrat at The New York Times:
Roe v. Wade polarized American politics in ways that have been fundamentally bad for Democrats. If you don’t believe me, compare the size of the elected Democratic majorities in 1974 to the size of the Republican majorities in 2018. Without Roe v. Wade the landscape would shift.

We need to acknowledge our vulnerability here. Democrats support the right to choose throughout the 40 weeks of pregnancy. But babies are now viable outside the womb at 22 weeks. As Emma Green wrote in The Atlantic, scientific advances “fundamentally shift the moral intuition around abortion.” Parents can see their babies’ faces earlier and earlier.

We’re learning how cognitively active fetuses are. A researcher from Britain recently found that fetuses prefer to look at face-like images while in the womb. Early in the pregnancy they can recognize and distinguish between tastes. Late in the term they can recognize words, tunes, languages. They seem to begin crying, for example, by the 28th week. It could be that one of the current behaviors that future generations will regard as most barbaric is our treatment of fetuses.
We also shouldn’t take millennial voters for granted. Boomers saw the pro-choice movement as integral to their feminism. Millennials do not. In 1991, 36 percent of young voters thought abortion should be legal in all circumstances; now only 24 percent do. Young voters don’t like the Republican total ban. But they don’t like our position, either. Moreover, young pro-choice voters are much more ambivalent or apathetic than young pro-life ones. (Read more.)

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