Roe v. Wade poisoned our politics
New York Post
Today’s “partisan chaos” is a direct result of Roe v. Wade, said Michael Barone. The all-out war over Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court would not be so heated if people on both sides didn’t think Roe might be at stake. In 1973, 16 states with 41 percent of the nation’s population had already liberalized their abortion laws, and America would have had different laws in different regions, depending on the democratic process. But then seven justices delivered “an unusually sweeping” ruling that made abortion legal in almost all circumstances—and the country’s defining wedge issue. While public opinion on cultural issues like same-sex marriage has shifted markedly this century, “opinion on abortion has scarcely budged.” It’s hard to win converts on such a fundamentally moral issue about “the way people live their lives”: Pro-choicers, who are largely secular, think their “personal autonomy” is at stake, whereas pro-lifers, who are mostly religious, believe abortion amounts to “extinguishing human lives.” Rather than settle the abortion debate, Roe inflamed it because neither side believes it can afford any compromise. As a direct result, every Supreme Court nominee battle has literally become a matter of life and death.