Among the left, there is now talk of "Roe fatigue," as one blogger put it at the Talking Points Memo Cafe this November. Abortion rights stalwarts like law professor and author Susan Estrich and columnist Katha Pollitt feel obliged to ask, as Pollitt put it in The Nation last August, "Should Roe Go?" "With the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor, more people are asking that question. Democratic Party insiders quietly wonder if abandoning abortion rights would win back white Catholics and evangelicals. A chorus of pundits ... argue that Roe's unforeseen consequences exact too high a price: on democracy, on public discourse, even, paradoxically, on abortion rights."
By most analyses, the end of Roe would benefit Democrats, not Republicans: "Overnight," Estrich (who, like Pollitt, supports Roe anyway) asserted, "every election, for every state office, would become a referendum" on "whether regular old middle-class adult women could get first-trimester abortions. When you think about it that way, you have to ask: What could be better for Democrats?"
Maybe so. But what could be better for this country than an honest debate about what we think about abortion and how the law should treat it? Let the political chips fall where they may.
Whether Republicans or Democrats will benefit, with Alito's confirmation one thing will be clear: The days of Roe v. Wade are numbered.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.