THE COLUMN: On Abortion, Take the Win and Move On

Michael Walsh06 May, 2024 4 Min Read
Fight the battles elsewhere.

In Hollywood, there's an unwritten writers' rule that when you've sold the project "in the room," get up and leave before the execs change their minds. Similarly, a good field commander knows that when you've won the local engagement, stop fighting and transfer your energies and forces to another spot on the battlefield where the conflict is still raging. In other words, once the immediate battle has been won, move on to a different front. 

With its Dobbs V. Jackson decision in June 2022, the Supreme Court did two things that ought to have appeased the Right: in the matter of abortion, it overturned its Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 and it upheld the constitutional structure of federalism. And yet for some in the Stupid Party, that's not good enough. Which delights the Democrats who, saddled with Joe Biden, are desperately seeking an issue around which to rally their troops this fall.

That Roe was wrongly decided had long been a cardinal belief on the Right, both as a matter of law and of principle; Roe was promulgated during the Warren Burger court, and the gaseous, soft-headed opinion (which built on the "emanations" and "penumbras" cited in Earl Warren court's 1965 decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, which had to do with contraception) was written by the other member of the "Minnesota twins," Harry Blackmun. It was absurd on its face, and it handed a destructive social-policy win to the Left, whose totalitarian impulse is always to nationalize every issue and, literally, make everything a federal case. Having made "states' rights" into a phrase of obloquy by attaching it to even the principled opponents of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, they proceeded to do the same with abortion, pivoting from "abortion advocacy" to "a woman's right to choose" and thus laying the onus on those who opposed baby murder.

What about his choice?

Still, there was the matter of the pesky Tenth Amendment, the last of the Bill of Rights, which reads in plain English: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” And nowhere in the constitution was to be found the word "abortion." Accordingly, the practice had been left up to the several states, which could either outlaw it completely or extend it to the moment of birth, as they chose. The Left, however, is never content to live and let die when it can force its desires on the entire body politic, and so the battle was fought for nearly half a century. And then, suddenly, it was won:

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A smart political party would celebrate its win and move on. But no: malcontents on the Right -- including senator Lindsey Graham, whose chances of impregnating a woman are near-zero -- immediately began pushing to severely restrict the practice nationally: 

The South Carolina senator chose a uniquely tense moment to unveil his party’s first bill limiting abortion access since this summer’s watershed reversal of Roe v. Wade. It was designed as a nod to anti-abortion activists who have never felt more emboldened. Yet Graham’s bill also attempted to skate past a Republican Party that’s divided over whether Congress should even be legislating on abortion after the Supreme Court struck down a nationwide right to terminate pregnancies.

There are many arguments to be made against abortion, both moral and practical. Pro-life forces generally make the former argument, which pleases their base but falls upon indifferent ears otherwise. In the words of Barack Obama, there is, post-sexual revolution, a sizable continent of hedonists who don't want to be "punished with a baby" as an entirely predictable consequence of their actions.

The practical gets less attention. But in case you haven't noticed, birth rates across the developed world have been sinking for decades, especially in western Europe. As well, liberal abortion policies almost always correlate with declining fertility rates and a population drop, a result that delights the big-government Left, which can then advocate for increased immigration from the Third World, especially sub-Saharan Africa and the benighted lands of central Asia. The immigrants noticeably alter the character of the places into which they are directed, some pushback occurs, which in turns engenders shouts of "racism" from the very folks upending formerly stable societies in the first place. It's a vicious cycle, and by design.

The world is approaching a low-fertility future. Although by 2100 more than 97% of countries and territories will have fertility rates below what is necessary to sustain population size over time, comparatively high fertility rates in numerous low-income countries, predominantly in Western and Eastern sub-Saharan Africa, will continue to drive population increases in these locations throughout the century. This “demographically divided world” will have enormous consequences for economies and societies, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

The new study also predicts huge shifts in the global pattern of livebirths from higher- to lower-income countries. In 2021, 29% of the world’s babies were born in sub-Saharan Africa; by 2100, this is projected to rise to over half (54%) of all babies, emphasizing the urgency for improvements in access to modern contraception and female education in these countries.

Rescued by NGOs, heading for Italy.

Too late have Western countries figured out the Faustian bargain they have made with the inhuman abortion lobby, which postures as defenders of invented "rights" while pursuing its deadly mission of civilizational deconstruction. What do each of these things have in common: abortion, "climate change," net-zero, asylum, Islamic cosplay on campuses, electric vehicles, DEI? Every one of them is meant to make your life more expensive, harder, meaner, less productive, and less free -- and to make you feel guilty. Societies that aren't growing are dying, and only one side in this argument seems to understand that -- and it's not the good side.

At the same time, however, conservatives need to understand that handing the abortion club back to the Left is political suicide. They should instead be celebrating their Dobbs win, the partial restoration of the Tenth Amendment, and the option to put their morals where their mouths are and fight for their beliefs at the state level, as the Constitution intends -- especially in a fraught national election year. To lose the White House over an issue that's already been constitutionally decided is lunacy. So take the win and move on to the next battlefield. There's no shortage of them. 

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and a foreign correspondent for Time Magazine. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints, and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace and its sequel, The Fiery Angel. Last Stands, a study of military history from the Greeks to the present, was published by St. Martin's Press in December 2019. He is also the editor of Against the Great Reset: 18 Theses Contra the New World Order, published on Oct. 18, 2022, and of the forthcoming Against the Corporate Media. Follow him on Twitter: @theAmanuensis


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6 comments on “THE COLUMN: On Abortion, Take the Win and Move On”

  1. “…including senator Lindsey Graham, whose chances of impregnating a woman are near-zero…”
    Was it the pink tie that tipped you off?

  2. Scott Jensen lost his gubernatorial campaign in 2022 precisely because he stood on a zero tolerance stance regarding baby killing when that is impossible to defend: you cannot tell a woman she needs to die giving birth. There are always exceptions whether we like it or not.

    The argument should start with talking about 3rd trimester baby killing...

  3. Abortion isn't about abortion. It's about telling other people what to do because you are smarter, and more moral and ethical than they are. The left says don't listen to those rightwing people, do what we want you to do. The Right says don't listen to those leftwing people, do what we want you to do. Neither side really cares about woman or fetus\child. The most important thing to both isn't that they win, it's the other side looses.
    RvW was based on Harry Blackmun's ego that he was the smartest guy in the room and this would solve the "problem" (debate) once and for all. The public would recognize his genius and everyone would be happy. After all he was a Justice of the Supreme Court and they weren't Didn't quite work out that way. In overturning it the Court went back to let the people decide. Graham and others now think they are the smartest people in the room and should get to decide what other people do. Graham isn't the smartest person in the room when he's the only person in the room.

  4. There are many women that cherish the idea of abortion and will vote to preserve it. These female single-issue voters can swing the election - or it is at least the hope of Democrats. The left has no other issue to run on ("we hate Trump" isn't going to work for them this time).

    The "Stupid" Party will, of course, proceed to alienate these voters through taking a purity position on abortion, forgetting that these voters are easily motivated by the threat of losing their ability to terminate a pregnancy. Take the W, indeed.

  5. Most conservatives would be very happy to see Lindsey Graham just go away. Beyond his questionable bona fides, he is just a loose cannon.

    Given the Left's desire to nationalize the issue, it is unclear how conservatives stop this. They have clearly out-mobilized us at the state level (no surprise) even in red states but they are not satisfied with that and wish to restore Roe by any means necessary.
    Trump has the right idea which is to make it a state-level issue but use the bully pulpit to encourage activism. His 15 week proposal is well within the mainstream for regulation in developed countries but no one here is buying it.

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