NARAL demands lawmakers commit to forcing states to allow abortion post-Roe
July 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In the abortion lobby’s latest bit of preparation for a world without Roe v. Wade, NARAL announced an initiative on Thursday to get lawmakers to commit to federal legislation forcing states to accept abortion-on-demand.
Specifically, the pro-abortion group wants both incumbents and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives to sign a statement declaring, “If the Senate confirms this or any Supreme Court Justice who will end Roe v Wade, criminalize abortion, and abolish the ACA, I commit to support legislation that will make abortion available in all 50 states.”
In fact, overturning Roe would not “criminalize abortion,” except in the handful of states which have either left their unenforced pre-Roe pro-life laws on the books, or have passed more recent legislation meant to take effect after Roe. Every state would regain the power to pass or repeal whatever abortion laws they chose (depending on the prevailing interpretations of their state Constitutions).
The group said its latest push was motivated by President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring, pro-abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. While some pro-lifers have mixed feelings on Kavanaugh’s handling of abortion-related cases, both sides point to a 2017 speech suggesting that Roe was a “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights” as the biggest clue to how he would vote.
“If Kavanaugh is approved, abortion very well could become illegal in many states,” NARAL Political Director Nicole Brener-Schmitz said. “Members of Congress will be the last line of defense to pass legislation and ensure women’s fundamental freedom to make our own personal decisions and to access to reproductive healthcare.”
“Polling shows that overturning Roe is widely unpopular across the nation, with 7 in 10 Americans who believe in keeping abortion legal and accessible from red states to blue states and purple states in between,” NARAL claims.
A variety of polls do show more than 60 percent of Americans support upholding Roe, though pro-life advocates note that such polls sometimes misstate the ruling’s actual legal effects, and that there is widespread public ignorance about the case. As for abortion itself, NARAL’s findings are a dramatic outlier from a wide variety of polling that consistently shows a majority of Americans would either ban abortion entirely or limit it to rape, incest, or saving a mother’s life.
Regardless, the commitment NARAL seeks is already the official position of the Democratic Party.
In 2016, the Democratic National Convention adopted a platform affirming that the party not only opposes but “seek[s] to overturn” state as well as federal laws limiting “access” to abortion. Though they have yet to receive significant legislative action, prominent Democrat leaders have previously endorsed legislation such as the Freedom of Choice Act and Women’s Health Protection Act, which would federally nullify a broad range of state pro-life measures.