This weekend’s question taps into the re-percolating immediatist vs. incrementalist debate.
In its pro-abortion way, ThinkProgress.org, gets much of the controversy right:
Over the past several years, state legislatures have enacted a record-breaking number of abortion restrictions. That pace hasn’t abated during this year’s legislative sessions, as lawmakers are rushing to pass measures to shut down abortion clinics and create additional red tape for women seeking abortions. But even though the assault on reproductive rights has been steadily gaining ground, there’s one type of restriction that hasn’t been able to win enough support, even among some anti-choice Republicans.
So-called “fetal heartbeat bills,” a radical proposal to cut off legal abortion services at just six weeks — before many women even realize they’re pregnant — are failing in states across the country. Although the far-right abortion opponents who push six-week bans claim that the procedure should be outlawed after a fetal heartbeat can first be detected, they can’t always get their other colleagues to sign onto the effort….
In general, abortion opponents haven’t decided whether it’s better to continue gradually chipping away Roe v. Wade piece by piece, or whether it’s necessary to take a bold stance to ban nearly all abortions….
But so far, anti-choice lawmakers have actually had more success with the first, incremental strategy. That’s largely because radical restrictions like six-week bans, which are obviously extreme on their face, tend to capture headlines and spark outrage — while more subtle efforts to undermine abortion rights are able to slip under the radar.
Yes, there is the problem of political cold feet, such as in Colorado, where Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner is backing away from a state personhood ballot initiative similar to those he previously supported.
But there is also the question of strategy. Some pro-lifers believe the U.S. Supreme Court at this point would reject personhood measures or six-week bans. The numbers aren’t there.
Other pro-lifers believe we must step out in faith, and if we do the number of strict constitutionalists on the Supreme Court will pleasantly surprise us if and when such a case lands.
These pro-lifers also say the six- and 12-week bans, and personhood initiatives, educate and persuade the public about the youngest of humans.
And there are yet others, like me, who think we should throw everything at them but the kitchen sink.
What do you think?