Trust the Voters on Abortion?


The defeat of South Dakota's abortion ban by a substantial 10-point margin suggests that fears about the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade are overblown. Voters in a conservative state decisively rejected a ban that would not have taken effect even if its opponents had stayed home. Presumably the opposition would have been even stronger if there were no Supreme Court–imposed obstacles to the law's implementation. Testing Roe, of course, was the goal of the law's backers. In stopping that from happening, abortion rights supporters won a short-term victory, but at the cost of less credibility the next time they portray the horrors of a post-Roe America.

Addendum: The 58-to-42 defeat of the vocally pro-life Kansas Attorney General Phil Kline, in a race where his harassment of abortion clinics was a major issue, provides further evidence that voters in fly-over country are more supportive of abortion rights than is commonly thought.