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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Abortion Politics

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 election, pointing out that the Democratic Party has moved to the left, particularly on social issues such as abortion.

AT NYT, Vivian Wang reports on polarization of the abortion issue:
New York’s new law, passed last week, permits abortion after the 24th week of a pregnancy when there is “an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” A bill introduced in Virginia by a Democratic state lawmaker would also have reduced restrictions on late-term abortions to protect the mother’s health, and would have decreased the number of physicians whose opinions were required to approve an abortion, to one from three. The Virginia bill was set aside in committee.
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“It’s going to come into play, quite frankly, in the elections next year. We’re not going to let it go away,” Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life Committee, the country’s largest anti-abortion group, said of New York’s law and Virginia’s defeated proposal.
“You’re going to see articles written and speeches, and our affiliates around the country are going to take it up,” Ms. Tobias added. She singled out a video clip of the Virginia lawmaker, Kathy Tran, earlier this week acknowledging that her bill would allow, in certain circumstances, for a woman to request an abortion when she was about to give birth.
Ms. Tran later clarified that she “misspoke” and that the bill would not allow the prevention of a live birth.
Nonetheless, the clip of her initial comments, already viral, was further amplified when Virginia’s Democratic governor, Ralph Northam, was asked during a radio interview on Wednesday about Ms. Tran’s bill. Mr. Northam, a pediatric surgeon, said late-term abortions would be permissible in cases of severe deformities or nonviable fetuses, and described a situation in which such an infant would be delivered, and then a “discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Conservatives seized upon the answer as proof that Mr. Northam approved of killing an infant even after it was delivered, even as Mr. Northam’s office said the reply was taken out of context and called the idea that he would support such a proposal “disgusting.”
From Gallup:

Line graph. The percentages of Americans who say abortions should be legal under any circumstances, by party, from 1975-2018.