By: John M. Grondelski, American Thinker Contributer
Originally published in American Thinker November 1 , 2023
Twenty twenty-three is the second election since the Supreme Court’s historic Dobbs ruling, overturning the license, suggested in Roe v. Wade and drawn out in its companion ruling Doe v. Bolton, for abortion on demand through nine months of pregnancy for any reason. Democrats hope to ride that issue to victory, believing that their support for unlimited abortion will overcome voters’ opposition to their economic, immigration, and criminal catastrophes.
What makes 2023 particularly appealing to the pro-abortion side is that it’s an off-year election. Very few states are holding elections this year, and of that handful, even fewer have outcomes that matter to the pro-abortion side. In fact, there are just three. In an off-year election with such limited targets, they can be laser-focused in pouring out-of-state money and resources into those races.
What are the three? Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky.
In Virginia, the state Legislature is up for re-election at the midpoint in Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s terms. It’s currently split: Republicans now hold the House of Delegates (the lower chamber) 48-46 (with 6 vacancies), while Democrats used their 22-18 control of the Senate to block Youngkin and all pro-life measures. With razor-thin rule in each chamber, Democrats absolutely must keep the Senate and would love to take the House. The current status quo enables them to stymie pro-life legislation; a takeover of the House would allow them to pass pro-abortion bills. And while regular legislation might be vetoed by Youngkin, the Democrats’ goal is more permanent: write abortion-on-demand into the state constitution through a constitutional amendment. Doing that does not require the governor. All it requires is for two successive legislatures to pass the amendment and put it on the ballot. Democrats calculate they can pass the amendment the first time in a new session they control, then take back the governorship and finish the job. Their slogan is, make sure Virginia remains the only Southern state where abortion-on-demand remains legal.
A constitutional amendment is directly the order of business in Ohio. Pro-abortionists used initiative-and-referendum (I&R), a process whereby gathering a fixed number of signatures from voters allows putting legislation up to vote by referendum, bypassing the Legislature. In this case, pro-abortionists are pushing an extreme “Proposition 1” that would enshrine abortion on demand in the Ohio state constitution. The amendment is indeed radical. It makes any abortion restrictions unconstitutional at any time prior to birth. (Sure, it pays lip service to limits after “viability” but then writes into the amendment exceptions for maternal “life” and undefined maternal “health” — all of which is to be determined by the person performing the abortion — that render the “restrictions” are meaningless). It would eliminate any parental consent or even notification involving a minor’s abortion. It would cut one’s spouse or partner out of the abortion decision. It would permit abortion for eugenic reasons — e.g., if the baby is disabled, or even the “wrong” sex. (Abortions have been used to eliminate unborn children who are the “wrong” sex, which usually means a daughter when one wants a son — so much for “women’s empowerment.”) The amendment would also require the state to pay for abortions. Its language is crafted in such a way that it is also likely to open the door for legalized surrogacy and state-supported artificial reproduction in the Buckeye State.
Abortionists see Ohio as the bulwark of the Midwest. If they can win in Ohio, bypassing its generally pro-life Legislature, they can couple last year’s Michigan win and the pro-abortion orientation of Illinois to plow through the Midwest. And in Ohio, it wouldn’t be hard: unlike constitutional amendments passed by the Legislature, which require a 3/5 majority to be adopted, an I&R-initiated amendment goes through with an absolute simple majority: one more vote “yes” than “no.” That’s a powerful incentive for out-of-state money to win that one.
The I&R in Ohio is also a dress rehearsal: abortionists are already planning for similar pushes in 2024 in Arizona and possibly South Dakota, Nebraska, and Florida. One win at the ballot box wipes out years of hard pro-life legislative coalition-building. They’re also hoping abortion may be a turnout mechanism for Joe Biden and Democrats, who are especially vulnerable by the math to losing the U.S. Senate next year.
Finally, in Kentucky, incumbent pro-abortion Democrat Andy Beshear is seeking re-election for governor, running against pro-life Republican Daniel Cameron, the state’s attorney general. Beshear would like to dissemble that he is not pro-abortion, but merely wants to enact “moderate” policies, but he’s been a reliable advocate for abortion at every turn since Dobbs. Cameron has called him out on this and pledged to enact pro-life policies in the commonwealth if elected. This is an easy choice: voters need not be fooled by the voice of Jacob but the hands of Esau, the voice of “moderation” but the hands of abortion extremism.
New Jersey also elects its Legislature this year. While Governor Phil Murphy has been a dedicated pro-abortion extremist and most observers think deep blue New Jersey remains in Democrats’ hands, voter dissatisfaction with the country’s overall direction as well as backlash at Murphy’s shoveling money to Planned Parenthood while pushing abortion could produce some surprises. After all, last time, the Democrat state Senate president was sent packing by a trucker who spent barely $200 to throw Steve Sweeney out of office.
Because it’s an off-year election, pro-abortionists hope that general low turnout and voter disinterest will allow them to multiply their efforts and win these elections. Pro-life voters in those states need to show that that isn’t going to happen, and pro-life advocates in other states need to make sure there’s a sufficient infusion of resources in these last days to carry the unborn to victory. If you know people in these states, urge them to get out and vote!