Everyone knows by now Missouri Congressman Todd Akin thinks a woman cannot get pregnant by rape, therefore, there’s no need for legislation that exempts aborting a pregnancy as a result of rape. No, seriously…
This has been the talk of the country for days now! Akin has been duly vilified and reprimanded by many in his own party who pleaded with him to drop out of the senate race in time for them to find a suitable replacement (of course, he declined).
Now the talk shifts to where to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan stand with regard to Akin’s position. And while both have distanced themselves from Akin’s comment, and Paul Ryan personally called Akin to drop out of the Senate race, the Republican Party has essentially embraced Akin’s position.
The official party platform, in advance of the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa this week “ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.”
It would appear that Akin’s only transgression was his inelegant use of “legitimate rape;” but it really doesn’t matter to the Republican Party how you get knocked up – rape, incest, divine intervention – that fetus has rights!
I find the whole Akin issue specious – he’s merely voicing a “pro-life” position that is officially in concert with his entire party (oh, with one important exception – the Party’s nominee for president – who still supports abortion in the cases of incest or rape — at least today, check back tomorrow…). In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, a full 20% of the country is against abortion – period! No exceptions. Abortion is the leading single-issue voting concern in the country.
In the 2004 election, Gallup polling on the presidential election found that “19% of likely voters say the abortion issue directs which candidates they are willing to support” and according to CNN and USA Today poll in the same year, “self-identified pro-life voters are nearly three times more likely to describe themselves as single issue voters than those who say they are “pro-choice” on abortion.”
Since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 establishing a woman’s right to determine whether or not to give birth, abortion remains a near constant topic of division, making all other issues appear near-superfluous. If Republicans are successful in their declared legislative agenda in overturning Roe v. Wade, either through the courts or through legislation, it makes me wonder if this won’t be the definitive issue that results in the splintering of the country.
Just as slavery was the elephant in the room during the early days of the Republic, abortion as a dividing issue is only on its 39th year (compared to 84 years on slavery).
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned by the Supreme Court, it does not in and of itself make abortion illegal, it creates a vacuum of uncertainty whereby states (and more importantly, state legislatures) would decide individually whether or not to maintain the legality of a woman’s right to decide.
Unlike the geographic disposition that divided the country during the Civil War, if Red States (in this case, states you can count on for making abortion in all cases illegal) and Blue States (traditional Democratic states that will likely maintain a woman’s right to choose) were to divide in to separate entities based on ideological fallout, we would likely see a splintering effect vice division. While the Coastal West and North Eastern states trend blue, minus a land bridge connecting them, they would likely splinter off in to distinct governing entities — probably the same for the Great Lakes region. The question would be would the Mountain West Red States remain homogenous with Southern Bible Belt?
I know, it sounds farfetched – especially over a single issue; however, this single issue seems to underpin all other divisiveness taking place in America today. In the distilled context, religion is the primary factor. Red States and abortion opponents view each embryo as a human being with a god-given soul. Abortion is nothing short of murder and god cannot, will not, stand idly by while a genocide takes place (unless we’re talking about Africa).
Blue States trend more progressive, or liberal. Overall, they have a higher education, and feature a larger population that is irreligious. While they may not stand outside clinics and cheer each time a fetus is aborted, they’ve grown to accept that abortion is, well, acceptable.
What would this future amalgamation of countries look like in say 50 years? It does not take a Nostradamus to figure it out. Red States will feature a rising baby boom without an adequate education system to prepare young adults to develop into productive, taxpaying citizens (see Mississippi). This combination will invariably lead to higher crime and high unemployment, but the churches will be packed on Sundays! For more information on why making abortion illegal would lead to higher crime, see Freakonomics
Blue States will probably face a declining and aging population (since abortion and same sex marriage will be legalized), will have better schools and significantly better economic opportunities than the Red States. While there will be less religion overall, the prevailing attitudes of liberal Christians will be “there are multiple paths to god,” therefore, less cultural schisms and more tolerance. There will be less need for welfare as the population contracts and economic opportunities abound, but the tax rate will invariably be higher as people will pay for government services.
Of course this forecast is based on a velvet divorce in the Czechoslovakia model. If bullets start flying, all bets are off…