Monday, April 21, 2008
The Philosophical Divide Among Anti-Choice Advocates
Wall Street Journal: Antiabortion Initiatives Divide Movement, by T.W. Farnam:
Abortion opponents are pushing ballot measures in five states this year. But the campaigns show as much division as unity in the antiabortion movement.
In California, an initiative would add that state to the long list that currently requires doctors to notify parents before giving abortions to minors. In Missouri, abortion foes are trying to require psychological examination to show the woman isn't acting under duress. State officials say the law as written would be tantamount to a ban, but advocates dispute that.
In South Dakota, activists have revived a measure defeated two years ago that directly outlaws abortion. They have modified the proposal to try to boost support, adding new exceptions for the health of the mother and cases of rape or incest. In Colorado and Montana, abortion opponents are taking a newly popular tack, promoting constitutional amendments that give legal rights to human embryos.
Behind the varying measures is a philosophical split among antiabortion groups. Some want to promote measures that ban abortion outright, directly challenging the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Others prefer to chip away at abortion rights by limiting the types of procedures allowed, or finding other ways to limit access.