Less dramatic and less reported was the effect of the election on the controversial issue of abortion.
This week’s mid-term elections in the United States were a resounding victory for the Republican Party. It controls the Senate for the first time since 2006 and increased its majority in the House of Representatives. Less dramatic and less reported was the effect of the election on the controversial issue of abortion.
In Colorado and North Dakota, abortion opponents supported personhood amendments to the state constitution. These would have defined a foetus as a person and therefore a human being entitled to constitutional right, above all the right to life. Colorado’s amendment would have included the unborn under the definition of “person” and “child” in the state’s criminal code. North Dakota would have conferred an “inalienable right to life” at every stage of human development. But in Colorado the amendment sank by a margin of 65 to 35, and in North Dakota by 64 to 36.
“The personhood movement has fought honorably and maintained the standard of the sanctity of life, but it is time to switch up the strategy,” says one of the strategists of the personhood movement, Gualberto Garcia Jones.
However, the tactic of pushing “personhood” was controversial even within the pro-life movement. Incremental legislative change combined with the growing pro-life sentiment among younger voters may prove to be a more workable strategy. The battle over abortion rights in the US is far from over.
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