Voting for Democrats is soft anti-abortion politics
The logic is completely straightforward and it's time for voters to put their money where their mouth is.
I don’t expect this to be a popular post among people who’ve decided that there is no level of failure or betrayal that could ever justify withholding even a single vote from the Democratic Party. If you care about outcomes, however, the argument is very simple.
The “vote blue” strategy for saving Roe has failed. You can’t say we didn’t try it; it has been the dominant approach of pro-choice activists for nearly fifty years. Ultimately however it was unable to save Roe, and it failed for the exact reasons the critics said it would. It failed because it relied on unrealistic levels of buy-in from voters: not just enough to win any particular election, but enough to win every election for the foreseeable future. And it failed because it could only enable the rightward slide of the Democratic Party, culminating in the election of the most anti-abortion Democratic president in my lifetime.
Lip service to choice cannot justify voting in a way that predictably ends it. When a Republican says “I deplore racism, but yeah I voted for Donald Trump,” progressives have no problem recognizing the problem here: in politics, nominal positioning isn’t what matters. At the end of the day, what matters is what you do, and if you are saying one thing but voting in a way that advances the opposite outcome, you effectively support that outcome. It’s just a trivial extension of this reasoning to accept that putting #SaveRoe in your Instagram bio and loudly declaring “grrr I’m really mad at the Democrats this time!” means absolutely nothing if, in less than four months, you turn around and vote for them once again.
We should expect pro-choice activists to understand all of this by now. If you want to defend reproductive rights, you have had decades to notice that party-line Democrat voting wasn’t working. And that loudly championing choice wasn’t offsetting that. There is zero reason I should even have to write a post like this in 2022 because the points I am making here should just be conventional wisdom among pro-choice activists at this point.
If you like, you can make silly little semantic distinctions between Democrats and Republicans on this; we call Democrats who ostensibly care about climate change but won’t adequate measures to stop it “soft climate deniers,” so perhaps “soft anti-abortionists” is in order for Joe Biden and the voters who support him. I’ll leave that question to people who see abortion politics as a mostly semantic and symbolic issue, revolving around how you talk about it rather than what you actually do.