11 June 2012

GOP Tries Another Faux Issue & Fails

By Ted McLauglin

The issue that will probably determine the upcoming election will most likely be the economy (and jobs), but the Republicans can't compete on that. They still support the same old trickle-down economics that cost this nation millions of jobs, created a vast gap of wealth and income, and threw the country into recession. And they are far too invested in party ideology to alter those views.

That's why they are doing their best to change the electoral narrative to take the public's mind off of the economy and on to social issues, like same-sex marriage. Their latest effort has been to dredge up an old, but lasting issue -- abortion. They know they can't outright ban abortion (thanks to the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade), so they are once again trying to chip away at the edges of current abortion law.

This time it was a bill introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona), pictured above. Franks bill would have outlawed a woman having an abortion because of the sex of the fetus. The bill got 246 votes, but failed because it was brought to the House floor under an expedited process -- which limited debate on the issue, but required a two-thirds majority for passage.

I'm sure the Republicans will now try to sell the idea that Democrats are in favor of allowing abortions solely because of the sex of the fetus. Of course that is ridiculous. Most Democrats simply believe a woman should have control over her own body. It's a fake issue anyway, for a couple of reasons.

The idea was that women would abort a female fetus because boys are favored. That may be true in some other countries (like China, where there is a limit on the amount of children a woman can have), but there is no evidence of selective abortion in this country. In fact, the evidence shows just the opposite of that. Back in 1983 there were 1,053 boys born for every 1,000 girls. In 2009, that had shrunk to 1,048 boys for every 1,000 girls. The ratio of boys to girls has gone down instead of climbing (as it would have if selective abortion was a problem).

In addition, at least 92% of all abortions are performed before the sex of the fetus can even be determined.  Obviously this was a bill with little meaning or purpose, other than to try and change the electoral debate -- and increase the Republican's war on women.

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