Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Signs of hope

South Dakotans are working to put an initiative on the ballot to overturn their states draconian anti-abortion legislation. They have until June 19th to collect over 16,000 signatures. The backers of this initiative were expecting it to be an uphill battle. But after only a couple of weeks they have already reached 1/3 of their goal!

In fact, staunch Republicans are signing the initiative. Why?

Spotting three teenagers with clipboards as he walked up to the Sturgis post office, Jack Hoel, 74, broke into a grin.

"I can't wait to sign," he said. "I was going to go out looking for this petition."

Hoel is a staunch Republican in a county that twice backed President Bush with nearly 75% of the vote. "You have to be, in South Dakota, or you get extradited," he joked.

But Hoel disliked the thought of politicians interfering in a family's most intimate decisions. "It's too personal to be legislated," he said.

The road for the Democrats out of the abortion jungle is paved with questions about the proper role of government in our most personal medical decisions. South Dakota and Terri Shiavo are the poster children for this effort. They demonstrate clearly what the real agenda is: requiring government approval before we can make decisions about birth and death.

As Markos so aptly put it on The Colbert Report the other day, "We have found that the Republicans are really good at telling you when you can be born, they're good at telling you when you can die, but not very good at the stuff in between."

If neither South Dakota or Terri Shiavo had happened it would have been difficult for Democrats to convince voters that this is really what the Republican party stands for. But they have made our case for us.

Thanks guys!

UPDATE

Apparently this question has been polled already in SD and the results look very promising:

Pollsters hired by Focus: South Dakota contacted 630 South Dakota voters by telephone for random interviews from Thursday through Saturday, and 62 percent said the legislation is too extreme, 33 percent said they support the bill and the rest were undecided.

When people were asked if they thought the abortion ban should be put on the November ballot, 72 percent answered yes. Pollsters found that 79 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents, and 65 percent of Republicans favor a statewide vote on the issue.

The people behind this initiative can be found here.

7 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

Why would it be difficult to convince people that the Republican Party is pro-life? It's the part of the party platform.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Why is it difficult to convince people that the Republican Party is pro-life? It's officially part of the party platform.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Chris Andersen said...

It's difficult to convince people that, for the Republican party, being "pro-life" means giving the state the authority to snoop into and interfere with the most private and gut-wrenching medical decisions we will ever have to make.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Does it mean that for pro-life Democrats too or is it only Republicans who snoop and interfere? Put another way, being a pro-life Republican or Democrat means the state believes that the innocent baby shouldn't suffer the death penalty for the poor decision of another. It's a foundational pro-life position. Again though, how can anyone not know what the pro-life position stands for? The platform has always been fairly clear.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Forgive me if I get multiple posts. Every now and then I post but nothing shows up or I get an error only to find later that it posted.

You still haven't answered the question though. Why is it difficult to convince people that being pro-life means severely restricting abortion?

It has always been the platform of the pro-life movement. Also, is it only pro-life Republicans that want to "snoop and interfere" or do pro-life Democrats fit into that bill too?

4:44 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Chris, I just noticed with my last comment that you are screening comments. You might try movng the notice down by the button. Haloscan automatically moves the browser window back down to the last post so unless the poster happens to catch the notice, they won't necessarily know it posted. You could also change the font on the message below the comment box to Red so it stands out more. I've seen the Haloscan comment page often enough that I tend to ignore its text.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Chris Andersen said...

Many people just never think through the natural consequence of a policy that "severely restricts abortions". That consequence is that the government will have to interefere in people's most intimate medical decisions. There is simply no way to avoid this consequence if your goal is to "severely restrict abortions".

Now, many people who want to "severely restrict abortions" do so out of a sincere desire to prevent the destruction of (what they view as) a human life. This is true for most pro-life Republicans AND pro-life Democrats. But that does not mean they want government interfering in people's medical decisions.

People don't like abortions. Even pro-choicers don't like abortions. Yes, I know that may be a shock to people who have been innundated with propaganda that portrays pro-choicers as gleeful baby killers, but it is true. I don't know ANYONE who likes abortion. I think 95%+ of Americans would be in favor of policies that reduce or eliminate abortion as long as they don't require government to interfere in the most personal of medical decisions people will have to make.

Just because you don't like something doesn't mean that stopping it is as simple as passing a law. Would that it were so.

The South Dakota situation puts the cards on the table for the first time, alowing pro-lifers their first real opportunity to comprehend the consequences of their belief. And when confronted with those consequences, I predict a large number of them will, grudgingly, agree that the South Dakota law goes to far.

9:52 PM  

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