In an editorial that joins the Republican lynch mob asking Todd Akin to leave the Missouri Senate race, National Review takes Democrats to task for pretending that Akin’s views on abortion are anything but a laughable fringe. Sure, Akin wants to ban abortion in cases of rape, but no one else does. Why, not a single state would ever do that. “Everyone knows this,” says NR airly.
Dave Weigel points out today that not only is this not ridiculous, several states have already done it:
I needled a couple of National Review writers about this point yesterday (on Twitter, of course). Ramesh Ponnuru, one of the best writers in the country on life issues, was skeptical that the bans could “succeed” and be “read in court as barring abortions in cases of rape.” I’m not as sure. Imagine that it’s 2015, and Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz has joined a 5-4 majority striking down Roe. How soon are you going to get majorities in Louisiana and North Dakota to undo their abortion bans? Are we betting on more liberal lower courts to do it for them?
Weigel is right. If Roe is overturned and states have the authority to regulate abortion as they please, of course some of them will ban abortion completely. And if abortion is murder — which it would be under the human life laws that virtually all Republicans now support — on what grounds could the courts overturn them? They couldn’t. Everyone know this, and it’s sophistry of the tawdriest and most cowardly kind to pretend otherwise.