The kind of pundits who think that overruling Roe would send the issue BACK TO THE STATES (LOL) also absolutely love second-trimester abortion bans, erroneously believing that implementing them would make American abortion policy resemble most of Europe (something that requires ignoring many salient differences between the healthcare systems of these countries.) But this obsession has always been nonsensical. If you actually care abortion abortion policy, though, it should be obvious that what happened in Florida (where a temporary 15-week ban was quickly replaced with a 6-week one) carries an obvious lesson. Second trimester abortion bans are wholly arbitrary — the next person to come up with a coherent reason for why any select group of pre-viability abortions should be banned will be the first — and hence are an unstable equilibrium. Supporters of reproductive rights won’t support them because they’re nonsense that stop some women from getting medically necessary abortions for no defensible reason, and opponents of legal aboriton won’t be able to live with a rule that keeps most abortions legal. The 15 week “compromise” is just wishful thinking from people who delude themselves that abortion will stop becoming an important political issue if only Roe v. Wade was overruled.
The good news is that the public is increasingly grasping this:
This is what October 2023 polls in Virginia were showing on 15-weeks. There was not majority support. Nationally we see similar trends. A July NYT/Siena poll found even a third of Republican voters oppose the 15-week idea pic.twitter.com/C6QAK2Vjgj— Rachel Cohen (@rmc031) November 8, 2023
There’s a reason that anti-abortion reactionaries are desperately trying to sell the idiotic idea that some bans on abortion aren’t actually bans. When the rubber hits the road, when the public hears that Republicans want to ban abortion they generally don’t like it, and you would have to be a Grade A moron to think that Republicans would be willing to settle for a 15-week ban in even the medium term.
I agree with JMM that this is a case of Dobbs having a radicalizing effect on public opinion by taking questions about when states can ban pre-viability abortions out of the realm of the abstract:
Always remember that there’s a substantial overlap between pundits who think that arbitrary 15-week bans are the permanent solution to the abortion issue and pundits who thought that the Supreme Court would never overrule Roe in the first place.