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John Boehner Abortion Comments: The GOP's Unrealistic Abortion Crusade Continues

What were to happen if Roe v. Wade were overturned? Well, according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), making abortion a “relic of the past” will be “one of our most fundamental goals this year.”

This goal is certainly unrealistic when put in the context of state’s rights, women’s rights and the fact that we live in the 21st century. The GOP operates inconsistently, on a platform that elevates the beliefs of the Catholic Church. How does making abortion illegal contribute to the downsizing of government or the respect the citizens’ right to privacy? Perhaps more importantly, will appealing the Roe v. Wade decision create jobs? Will it cause the GOP to regain the women’s vote? No, unlikely unless you are in the clothing hanger industry and certainly not.

The GOP is wrong on abortion and their stance will continue to guarantee their low standing amongst female voters and disenchant more moderate voters who are seeking more emphasis on issues that haven’t been closed since 1973.

But wait, overturning Roe v. Wade will not outlaw abortion nationwide; it will delegate the decision to the individual states. Granted, a number of states would outlaw abortion under this new system, particularly in the South. If this were to happen, I can imagine we would see further polarization of the country and flows of women traveling into legalized states to have abortions. Those who can’t afford to travel might resort to more dangerous techniques. 

Consider this: A Republican lawmaker in New Mexico introduced a bill on Wednesday that would legally require victims of rape to carry their pregnancies to term, as the fetus would be used as evidence for a sexual assault trial. New Mexico House Bill 206 would charge a rape victim with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence.” Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R) said in a statement the following day that she introduced the bill with the goal of punishing the person who commits incest or rape and then procures or facilitates an abortion to destroy the evidence of the crime. 

Some pro-lifers are even becoming disillusioned with their own cause. Anti-abortion activists marched in Washington yesterday, protesting the court ruling that made abortion legal 40 years ago, claiming that opposition to legal abortion is rising. But consider this statement, by pro-life protestor Brad Basinger, 56 of Manassas, Virginia:

“The moral fabric of our nation is starting to slip. This won’t happen in my lifetime,” said Basinger, who was attending his seventh consecutive March for Life.

Today, there has been much debate on news sites and social media platforms, where pro-choice pundits say that making abortion illegal is not so much about saving unwanted children as it is controlling women and overriding their right to make choices concerning their body. 

Eric Fehrnstorm, who was senior campaign adviser for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said last Saturday that issues pertaining to women’s reproductive rights, such as abortion and birth control, were “shiny objects” used to divert voter attention from the real issues i.e. Obama’s performance on the economy. “This is not a social issues election,” Fehrnstorm said. 

Democrats also think that the comments are nothing more than a diversionary tactic — but by the Republican Party. They warn that this is a tactic designed to get everyone to look away from what the Republicans are really doing — rolling back the clock hundreds of years to get back to the war on women, diverting attention from the real problems that the country faces — like jobs (or lack thereof).

The Republican Party lost the women’s vote last election by a significant margin, so it doesn’t make sense that they continue to focus on undermining women’s rights. In response to comments made by Boehner of president Obama’s plans to “annihilate the Republican Party,” Democrats say that the Republicans are doing a fine job of annihilating themselves. 

Boehner’s plans make permanent the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions except in cases of rape or incest. 

“In accordance with the will of the people,” Boehner said, “we will work again to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, formally codifying the Hyde Amendment.”

The key clause in that quote is “in accordance with the will of the people.” Usually, setting goals begins with choosing a realistic goal, and for many, overturning the Roe v. Wade decision just isn’t realistic. The truth is that most women don’t want an abortion, but some do not have a choice. The truth is that a woman’s body doesn’t belong to the state — it belongs to her. What a woman decides to do with her life is her will. 

At last Friday’s March for Life anti-abortion protest in Washington, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a sermon that called for a "spiritual cleansing."

"Our nation is adrift, adrift in a wilderness where right and wrong have become subservient to a hedonism of the moment," Paul said. "I believe our country is in need of a spiritual cleansing."

The problem with that is that the United States is a secular state and preaching should be reserved for Church’s and not Congress. So much of the GOP’s social ideology is based upon unyielding religious principles, but the role of religious and moral views in the political sphere is irrelevant.

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