Why? Because if it weren't for the infamous decision of Mr. Burger's court handed down in 1973 -- Roe v. Wade -- it overwhelming likelihood is that Al Gore would have won Florida and hence the Presidency in 2000. And the same realities are bound to impact this November's election, although events right now (which, it must of course be said, hardly guarantee what they will be in early November0 indicate that things won't be 2000-close.
Nonetheless, it remains true that from a purely realpolitik perspective, abortion has been harder on Democrats than Republicans (NB: abortion is, of course, hardest on its victims: the child that is killed and the woman that is victimized, even if the victimization is consensual). What's my evidence for that claim? Exhibit A has to be an article which many of you readers are already familiar: Larry Eastland's article, "The Empty Cradle Will Rock," which appeared at OpinionJournal in June. Mr. Eastland crunches the numbers, and concludes that were abortion illegal, Al Gore probably would have won Florida by some 45,000 votes.
A number of Mr. Eastland's conclusions are worth citing directly:
- Abortion has caused missing Democrats--and missing liberals. For advocates so fundamentally committed to changing the face of conservative America, liberals have been remarkably blind to the fact that every day the abortions they advocate dramatically decrease their power to do so. Imagine the number of followers that their abortion policies eliminate who, over the next several decades, would have emerged as the new liberal thinkers, voters, adherents, fund-raisers and workers for their cause.
• Six out of 10 Americans call themselves conservatives. Only a quarter of them are having abortions.
• A little more than one-third of Americans call themselves liberals. More than four in 10 are having abortions.
• This means that liberals are having one third more abortions than conservatives.As liberals and Democrats fervently seek new voters and supporters through events, fund-raisers, direct mail and every other form of communication available, they achieve results minuscule in comparison to the loss of voters they suffer from their own abortion policies. It is a grim irony lost on them, for which they will pay dearly in elections to come.
- If Gore's America (and presumably John Kerry's) is reproducing at a slower pace than Bush's America, what does this imply for the future? Well, as the comedian Dick Cavett remarked, "If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either." When secular-minded Americans decide to have few if any children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide. Sure, some children who grow up in fundamentalist families will become secularists, and vice versa. But most people, particularly if they have children, wind up with pretty much the same religious and political orientations as their parents. If "Metros" don't start having more children, America's future is "Retro."
I strongly believe that we need two viable political parties in our country. Perhaps after the Democrats finish aborting themselves out of existence (unless Democrats for Life can make some headway in their party), a new party -- also pro-life -- can be formed out of the debris, which would balance those elements of the GOP which are less than palatable to the Catholic worldview.
It would be easier if Democrats woke up and remembered that they champion themselves as the party that stands up for the oppressed and defends the defenseless and started advocating the respect of all humans' rights, including both mothers and their children. Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are currently slim to none.