So what does this mean? Probably that we'll be hearing a whole lot more about abortion in the coming weeks. According to one recent article by Ed Stoddard, both Obama and McCain need the abortion issue to be front and center during the general election, precisely so that they can stir up the type of high-emotions that will prompt party loyalists to come out to vote in November:
"Religious conservatives may not be wildly enthusiastic about McCain but they can point to his pro-life stance as reason to stay on board," said Matthew Wilson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.Stoddard also notes, as we have, that many voters also predict that the next president of the United States will be responsible for nominating a new Supreme Court justice:
...Allen Hertzke, director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, said [Obama's pro-choice stance] could help Obama secure support from some of the white women who voted in droves in the Democratic nominating contests for Sen. Hillary Clinton...
McCain has reiterated that he would appoint [anti-choice] justices; for the Democratic base it is seen as vital that the tide of conservative appointees on the bench be rolled back.However, focusing exclusively on preserving Roe might not be Obama's best tactic, writes
Yes, it's true that replacing John Paul Stevens and/or Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a Republican appointee will be bad for abortion rights, although this is likely to occur by further draining content from Casey rather than overturning Roe outright.So, I ask - how will you be talking to your politically conservative and undecided friends and family in the days to come? If you know any former Clinton supporters who are considering not casting a vote for Obama come November (I've never met one, but they are widely rumored to exist), what arguments will you be using to convince them?
But even when it comes to women's rights, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The enforcement of civil rights protections for women is likely to be much less in a Republican administration, for example. The global gag order will remain firmly in place. And in general, four more years of a tax-cut-supporting, massive-defense-spending GOP president will not only make any kind of serious progressive reform (much of which disproportionately benefits women even if not specifically targeted to do so) virtually impossible for four more years but will also make it more difficult in the future.