If You Care About Abortion Rights, Hope That Mitch McConnell Loses.

half all U.S. voters
say that abortion is “one of many
important factors” they think about when deciding how to vote.
About one in five voters says a candidate must share the voter’s
views on abortion. In its latest poll on abortion, Gallup finds
that 50 percent of Americans agree abortion should be “legal only
under some circumstances,” 28 percent believe it should “be legal
under any circumstances,” and 21 percent think it should be
“illegal in all circumstances.”

If you live in Kentucky and care about abortion, here’s what
Sen. Mitch McConnell just told
a Louisville audience

“I’m proud of my record and defense of life,” he said. “If I was
majority leader, we’d already have had a vote on it in the Senate.
It’s long past time for us to join the ranks of most other
civilized nations to protect children past 20 weeks in the

Despite virtually unchanged levels in attitudes toward the legal
status of abortion since the mid-1970s, McConnell insists that
there is a “growing
” for banning abortion. As it stands, the Supreme Court
has guaranteed the rights of women to have abortions in the first
trimester of pregnancy.

I’m generally pro-abortion rights
and I understand that the
issue is a divisive one. Yet if Mitch McConnell thinks that
foregrounding abortion in his tough election campaign is going to
make the prospects of a GOP majority more attractive to most
voters, he’s an idiot. The economy, taxes, budget deficits,
are foremost in voters’ minds
. Raising social issues will serve
only to spook the 75 percent of voters who already don’t consider
themselves Republican while doing next to nothing to goose turnout
by the GOP faithful.

But hey, McConnell must know what he’s doing, right? He’s been
in Congress for like a thousand years and has never been dumb
to let principle
get in the way of his voting record when it
comes to reducing the size, scope, and spending of the

A number of states such as Texas and Virginia have tried to
limit access abortion via the patently false argument that patients
at abortion clinics have high rates of complications. That may be
good political strategy but it puts mostly conservative Republicans
in the compromised position of pushing regulations they would
denounce in any other circumstance (it does the flip to Dems, of
course, too). In Virginia, state data show just three deaths since
1974 among women receiving abortions at outpatient clinics. Watch
Reason TV’s “Abortion Rights vs. Women’s Safety” for more:

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