The Real Reason Democrats so Mad About Dobbs, Roe, and Abortion

The Real Reason Democrats so Mad About Dobbs, Roe, and Abortion
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On Friday, the Supreme Court handed down its biggest decision in decades when it ruled in Dobbs v. Jacksons Women’s Health that there was no constitutional right to an abortion. The resulting backlash from the media and the Democrats, as well as violent and chaotic protests, was to be expected.

But amid all the anger and fervor in the protests, the Democrats have let it slip that this is not just about Roe v. Wade and the right to their most holiest of sacraments, abortion.

With Dobbs the Court held that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” The “right” to an abortion does not exist in the Constitution, in other words, and the matter should be left up to the states and, in particular, the voters.

But, when you look at the Democrats’ track record since the Obama years, you realize that the Democratic party has seen a pretty major collapse at the state level across the country. The New York Times’  has a breakdown of the states that currently have abortion bans and those that soon will. In total, it’s 21 states – nine with bans that had trigger laws in place banning abortion upon the overturning of Roe and 12 more that have laws on the way. The Times has also pointed out nine more states that have lawmakers who are interested in abortion restrictions.

So there are 30 total states restricting abortion or working on it, and Republicans have partial or total control over all of them. That’s over half the country, and there are some states, the Times graphic shows, that Republicans have full or partial control over that aren’t pursuing abortion restrictions.

In my state, Louisiana, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed a full abortion ban, citing his pro-life stance. Meanwhile, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for any Democrat who is not pro-choice to be expelled from the party and public office.

Edwards likely would not have won the governor’s mansion is deep red Louisiana if he had not run on some conservative values like being pro-life. But Ocasio-Cortez does not think that he should be in elected office because of his stance.

But that’s where the Democrats are struggling, and most of them who are angry about the Dobbs decision are angry because they know that, as much as their prospects at the federal level are fading, they are struggling to win elections at the state level. To chase out those who have been successful in purple and red states is political suicide.

In the weeks leading up to the Dobbs ruling, Chuck Schumer twice put an extreme abortion bill up for a vote. That bill, which would have codified Roe and legalized abortion up to the child fully exiting the birth canal, goes far beyond what most polling shows where public opinion on abortion actually is.

The Democrats like to point to polls that show a majority of Americans support access to abortion. But what they fail time after time to tell you is that when you dig into the data, the vast majority of those voters only support it early in the pregnancy. Beyond the first trimester, support drops significantly, and late-term abortion support is almost negligible.

But while voters have routinely shown that they don’t support extreme politics and policy, the Democrats have doubled down on the extremes. They are either voting to kill a fully developed child as late as during delivery or they, like Stacey Abrams, are refusing to say anything, afraid to let voters know they support it so late in the pregnancy.

It’s because they are so scared of crossing the very loud activists in the base, who they listen to more than regular, less-online voters. But as they continue to embrace the farthest of the far left in their rhetoric, they push the rest of the voters towards the middle and make it more likely that those voters switch to the Republican Party.

The Democrats are furious because of a position they have put themselves in. Even in elections where they’ve made gains, they haven’t made any gains significant enough to start making headway against the Republican Party. In 2018, their wave was more of a ripple, and while they were fairly successful at the federal level, they still lost at the state level in Florida and Georgia – two states they were certain they would flip.

This isn’t about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, though that’s what they’ll claim. They don’t like that abortion is now a state issue because they are absolutely floundering at the state level. And they will continue to do so as long as they keep embracing the extremes and ignore/reject the more moderate positions a lot of their voters and most independent voters are looking for.

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