Abortion rights and anti-abortion rights demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS) Here’s a striking conundrum: Why, in the world’s essential democracy, do we Americans tolerate such a large gap between what we want and what we actually get? We could illustrate this in several ways. For example, we could note the remarkable discrepancy between Americans’ attitudes toward gun control and our actual gun laws. Or we could consider the issue of abortion. A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Nov. 7-10 found that 60% of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Seventy-five percent said that the question of abortion should be decided by a woman and her doctor. Only 20% said that the government should regulate the procedure. And yet during oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Dec. 1 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, conservative justices signaled clearly their willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade when the court rules on the case next summer. If it does, abortion will become illegal in many states. But there’s no reason for surprise. Candidate Donald Trump, before becoming president, was clear and emphatic in a debate with Hillary Clinton just weeks before the 2016 election: He said that he would nominate to the Supreme Court only justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Aided by political connivance with the Senate, President Trump appointed three justices. If they perform their mission, then, once again, the law will be […]
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