Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The "No Longer Silent" Majority

Late last week, we discussed the continuing struggle for women's reproductive rights despite 40 years of Roe v. Wade. Yet today, we've found some interesting news. Believe it or not, most Americans have had enough of "TEH CUL'CHUR WARZZZ!!!", the War on Women, and the protracted battles over women's health care.

As the 40 th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision takes place on Tuesday, a majority of Americans – for the first time – believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

What’s more, seven in 10 respondents oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned, which is the highest percentage on this question since 1989.

“These are profound changes,” says Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted this survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart and his colleagues.

McInturff adds that the abortion-related events and rhetoric over the past year –which included controversial remarks on abortion and rape by two Republican Senate candidates, as well as a highly charged debate over contraception – helped shaped these changing poll numbers.

“The dialogue we have had in the last year has contributed … to inform and shift attitudes.”

According to the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 54% of Americans now support safe, legal, and broad access to abortion services. And a whopping 70% oppose any overturn of the landmark Roe US Supreme Court decision that guaranteed nationwide legal abortion access 40 years ago today. So can anyone say "Culture War FAIL"?

Yet despite this, the radical right persists in its quest to end safe, legal access to abortion. So expect more "zygote personhood" bills, "fetal pain" bills,.extreme clinic restrictions, and attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. In short: They're not giving up.

However, progressives shouldn't give up, either. And especially now that the American people are firmly in favor of women'a health care and women's reproductive rights, it's time for progressives to call out this nonsense.

Here in Nevada, the zygote "personhood initiative" is no more. And the G-O-TEA attacks on women's health helped keep Nevada as a Blue State. So there's clearly a pro-choice, pro-women's health majority here in Nevada. And everyone should remember that.

And at the federal level, Republicans really should take a closer look at both this poll and the last round of election results. Do they really want to be known as the "clothes hanger party"? Do they want to continue to have the reputation of a party that's hellbent on taking away women's rights? Do they really want to be seen as caring more about extreme "tea party" ideology than sound health care policy?

In the 40 years since Roe, women have still been struggling to access the reproductive health care they need. But now, there's new opportunity to change that. As the radical right has overreached on the "culture wars", America is ready for change. And America's women are ready to secure their equal rights once and for all.

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