Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mississippi or South Dakota? [Serge]

drr states in the comments here:

Proposed legislation, on the other hand, that would ban all abortions without exception directly confronts the abortion mentality that the right to life is negotiable. Such legislation may not pass at first, but it helps to educate the public about the truth of the inalienable right to life and bring about a cultural change in people's attitude toward abortion, and that cultural change is absolutely necessary for the legal prohibition of abortion.
We have some examples to work with here. South Dakota passed a law in the State legislature similar to the one that drr suggested. Before it even made it to the courts, the electorate, which is one of the more conservative states in the country, rejected the law by a twelve point margin last November. There is no evidence whatsoever that this law had even the potential to stop one abortion in the one abortion clinic operating in South Dakota, nor is there evidence that South Dakota is a more pro-life state after this law was defeated. In fact, Judie Brown stated that the vote was a was a " runaway for the culture of death."

On the other hand, Mississippi has used the so-called (and badly named) incrementalist strategy. Mississippi used to have 7 abortion clinics - they now have one. Here is an interview with Americans United for Life President Peter Samuelson regarding the situation there:

We've called it the "Mississippi Miracle" because they've been so successful in achieving a 59 percent reduction in the number of abortions since Casey and in having six out of their seven abortion clinics close. We think that's a wonderful thing. We think that shows that Mississippi as a state, that the population there has really come to understand that abortion is not the right choice for women.

And over a period of years -- this isn't just one law in one year; this is over 12 years now, 13 years now -- the politicians have gone over and over again to the electorate and said: "We are doing this. We are restricting abortion. We are regulating abortion." And the population has responded by having fewer abortions.

And we know that women are just choosing fewer abortions in Mississippi, which is wonderful. It's not merely that the women are crossing the state lines to [have abortions in] other states. If there were lots of women seeking abortions, there would be more abortion clinics in Mississippi. We just know that many women in Mississippi are choosing not to have abortions. That's why we call it the "Mississippi Miracle."

Reducing abortions 59%. Closing six abortion clinics. Readying legislation that will continue to place pressure the one remaining clinic and preparing for an eventual overturning of Roe V Wade. Read the whole interview, and also read what the pro-abortion choicers are saying about this strategy.

Which strategy is the one that is failing?

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