Abortion

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Thank goodness I don’t think this is going to be a big issue during this election.  With the country as screwed up as it is and with as many people who think it’s heading way off in the wrong direction, there just isn’t any room for the traditional wedge issues.  If you really, really don’t like abortion, you’re probably going to vote Republican anyway and if you really, really want to make sure that women can have abortions, you’re almost definitely voting Democratic.

Therefore, the candidates can focus on the folks who are just meh when it comes to terminating pregnancies.

That’s not to say that abortion isn’t an “interesting” issue.  There’s been so much debate over it and how it is or is not a litmus test for Supreme Court candidates that it’s worth learning as much information as we can.

Most folks can probably agree that all things considered, it’s a medical procedure that they probably wouldn’t want to go through nor would they want any of their loved ones to go through it.

Ana Marie Cox and Karen Tumulty at Time Magazine’s Swampland blog posit a good way to gauge one’s support of abortion rights in discussing Obama’s position on late term abortions.

How late? Only about 10 percent of all abortions take place after the first trimester. according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization whose statistics are considered reliable by both sides of the debate. About 1 percent–that’s more than 10,000 a year– take place after 20 weeks gestation, which becomes uncomfortably close to viability.

Tumulty wrote a piece about late term abortions that sought to reveal a little about the circumstances under which these admittedly very unpleasant procedures sought:

These were, by and large, not the tragic cases of fetal abnormality that were so often cited by pro-choice groups; nor were these decisions made as casually as the anti-abortion forces suggested. By and large, according to the women I talked to and to the people who saw cases like theirs every day, women seeking abortion at later stages were doing it either because they were young or they were poor.

So once again, when politicians, many of whom are not poor, young women, spend energy trying to ban late term abortions, that’s energy they could be using to figure out how to prevent those young, poor women from getting into the situation in which they need a late term abortion.

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