Abortion: The Holy Grail of leftist politics
Without abortion, Democrats have nothing to offer their most fanatic followers: women.
Here’s a question for you: What is behind the Democrat party’s unswerving fealty to abortion? I’ve been reminded of it recently because my travels took me to Wisconsin. I wrote about it here, so I’ll repeat only one part of that post:
Because I was still working for part of my trip, I was hunting up appropriate YouTube videos while on a local server. Unlike the situation here in South Carolina, where I almost never see political ads on YouTube (and, no, I don’t know why not), my Wisconsin YouTube feed was overrun with political ads.
It became apparent very quickly what arguments the campaigns were using to sway voters. Without exception, every single Democrat ad I saw attacked the opposing candidate for wanting to ban abortions. That was it. As far as urban and suburban Democrats in Wisconsin are concerned, that is the only winning issue they have.
Meanwhile, the Republican ads hit two themes: The economy and violence. They had a lot of material to work with, too.
Why abortion? In my experience, it’s because there are a lot of women who are truly single-issue voters and that issue is abortion. That is their religion. Nothing else matters to them, and they matter a great deal to the Democrat party.
According to a Pew poll in 2020, women are more likely to vote than men, and women are more likely to be Democrat party voters than men are:
Pew Research Center survey data going back more than two decades shows a growing gender gap in partisan affiliation. In 2018 and 2019, the Democratic Party held a wide advantage with women: 56% of female registered voters identified as Democrats or leaned toward the Democratic Party, while 38% identified as Republicans or leaned toward the GOP. This stands in contrast to men, among whom 50% were Republicans or GOP leaners and 42% identified as or leaned Democratic. This gender gap has been slowly growing wider since 2014.
I believe the theory holding that women, despite their feminist credentials, want to be cared for. This makes sense at an evolutionary level because feminism does not do away with the fact that, biologically, women will be at significant disadvantages during their lives. They’re less strong than men, they lose blood regularly (which, in a primeval world, weakened some and led predators to all), and pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare leave them vulnerable to predators and less able to obtain food for themselves and the child. Because feminism and leftism have marginalized and demoralized American men, American women are increasingly dependent on the government, creating a vicious cycle that further destroys men and their roles.
That’s at a deep, visceral level. At a more “front of the brain” level, women vote Democrat because they want abortion, which they claim is a necessity. To give Margaret Sanger some credit, more than 100 years ago, one could make a credible (not a moral, but a practical, credible) argument for abortion: Without easily available birth control, economic opportunities for women were limited, and marriage was the best path to financial security. Marriage, however, brought sex with it, and that was true whether the woman wanted sex or not.
In an era when birth control was actually or practically unavailable, women got pregnant over and over. Some women embraced and loved the experience of pregnancy. For others, it was a devastating physical blow. (I fell into the latter category. If not for modern medicine, I would have suffered Charlotte Bronte’s fate except that, unlike Bronte, I didn’t even get to the refeeding point in my pregnancy.)
Childbirth during the premodern age was incredibly risky for women. It was better than it had been before Ignaz Semmelweis figured out germ theory, especially as it related to childbirth, but it was still dangerous.
As for unmarried women — well, we all know about the stigma. I don’t need to go into detail.
Today, though, all of those things are negligible issues. Birth control is readily available, maternal mortality is incredibly low, and increasing numbers of babies are born out of wedlock.
So why is abortion such a big issue?
Because leftists don’t want babies; they want abortions. They tell young women that babies will destroy the earth and ruin their lives. At the same time, they steadfastly oppose Republican suggestions that, to lower the abortion rate, birth control pills should be sold over the counter. Why do they have this quixotic approach?
Because women who have been told that they shouldn’t want babies but who lack easy access to the most reliable form of birth control will need abortions. And these women, as Democrats have discovered, will always vote for the Democrat party if abortion is on the ballot.
And yes, Planned Parenthood and Big Pharma benefit from both abortions and expensive birth control but they’ll find other ways to make money. Indeed, they already are doing so when it comes to sex issues because both are at the forefront of the so-called “transgender” movement.
In sum, abortion is all about votes, and Democrats will always do what needs to be done to keep abortion on the ballot.
On another point, my apologies for the extended silence at the Bookworm Room. A combination of traveling and a computer death severely affected my productivity. Regarding the latter, at my son’s urging, I bought my first Mac since my last Mac — and I bought the last Mac in 1985. I have to admit that my son was correct. The Mac is extraordinary. Everything that bedeviled me with the myriad PCs I’ve bought since 1991 hasn’t been a problem: No endless startups, no crashes, no lagging. I’m probably saving an hour a day with this streamlined beauty. Plus, it weighs half what my old laptop weighed. It’s an incredible piece of computer engineering.
Image: Pro-abortion protest after the Dobbs decision by Ted Eytan (cropped). CC BY-SA 2.0.