WILL THIS ISSUE CATCH FIRE? – AT 8:51 A.M. ET: Just when the abortion issue seemed to be receding, it has been brought alive. No matter how you feel about it, this is an absolutely fascinating debate, especially as polls show that the nation is moving in the pro-life direction. From The Hill:
Groups opposed to abortion rights are turning charges of a GOP "war on women" against Democrats who are opposed to legislation meant to ban sex-selective abortions.
Democrats hoping to grow a gender gap among female voters tilted toward their party have repeatedly hammered Republicans for engaging in a war on women over issues such as contraception rights.
Now opponents of abortion rights are using the phrase ahead of a House vote Thursday imposing fines or imprisonment on doctors who perform abortions they know are motivated in part by the fetus's gender. The bill would also require medical professionals to tell law enforcement if they suspect an abortion has been performed for that reason.
In a letter Wednesday, Americans United for Life (AUL) urged House members to "stop a real war on women — sex selection abortions" by supporting the legislation from Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).
A Republican echoed that line on the House floor.
"This is the ultimate war on women, Mr. Speaker," Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.) said of sex-selective abortion.
"There can be no rights for women if we do not allow them the right to life."
An AUL spokeswoman said the message aims to take back rhetorical ground that has been occupied by Democrats and abortion-rights groups.
COMMENT: Most observers don't think the proposal has any chance of getting through Congress. Even if it did, Obama would veto it. But this is the kind of issue that could serve as a flashpoint. It's a "mobilizing" issue on both sides.
We'll follow it and see where it goes. The American people are focused on the economy, but some, left or right, still vote on social issues. I don't believe that Romney has taken a stand on the House proposal. He may be pressured to do so.
May 31, 2012