How Abortion Became the Conservative Hill-to-Die-On

At earlier points in our political history, women’s reproductive choice has not been the hill-to-die-on issue it is today, with some compromise possible under the rubric that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”. I’ve been wondering why the transformation, why the intensity of the culture wars around controlling women’s bodies.

Michael Wear, writing for the Atlantic, has an opinion piece that is well worth reading. His explanation is encapsulated for me in this opening paragraph:

Abortion politics in 2019 is a morality play about what happens when one side has all the political power, yet feels culturally embattled. In this atmosphere, victories are not satisfying if they leave the other side with a foothold, a vestige of respectability. Cataclysmic discord lies ahead.”

Curiously I read another piece this morning, about Mitch McConnell saying with a smirk on his face that of course he’d fill a Supreme Court seat in the final year of Trump’s first term, even though McConnell prevented President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, from even being considered.
The short answer is that both abortion and seating conservative justices is now all about exercising power and dominance.
The problem I see for our democracy is that these ultra-conservative positions do not reflect the will of the majority. What happens, over time, when these fringe positions are enforced upon all of us?
Cataclysmic discord, Wear thinks.
 

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