So the big news right now, pushing even Ukraine out of the headlines, is the"leaked" memo from the Supreme Court indicating that the SCOTUS was getting ready to dump the Roe vs. Wade decision -- which would let various states allow or forbid abortion however they want to. Democrats in Congress tried to pass a federal law that would allow abortion everywhere in the US, but it was voted down in the Senate.
Seeing that, the legislatures of various Republican-dominated states thought this was their big chance, and passed assorted laws limiting abortion. This has raised a lot of outrage, since it's not just Democrats who want to keep abortion legal. The latest Pew studies show that more than 63% of Americans, in all states combined, want to keep abortion legal, safe, and cheap. Hopeful Republicans ignore these statistics at their peril.
For the last six months the assorted gaffes of Biden, revelations about Woke school curricula and teachers, the mess in Ukraine, and galloping inflation have soured a lot of voters on the Democrats. There's a large and growing groundswell that practically guarantees the Republicans big wins in the mid-term elections this November. The only policy that could derail this coming win is the more-conservative Republicans' position on abortion.
That position, that an embryo is a human being from the instant of conception, and must be treated as such, is not based on science or logic or even assorted monotheistic bibles but only on emotion.
The Koran and the Hadith claim that a soul doesn't enter a fetus until the 120th day; before that time Muslims consider abortion a sin, but only a minor one which can be expiated with enough prayer. The Jewish/Christian Old Testament gives a prescription ("bitter waters") for obtaining an abortion, which a priest is supposed to apply to any woman accused of adultery in order to "cleanse" her so she can go back to her husband. The Catholic church during the Middle Ages pronounced that a soul does not enter a fetus until at least the 20th week, before which the fetus isn't considered a person. Jewish Talmudic law holds that a fetus doesn't become a separate being from the mother until its head clears her body. Studies by scientists show that a fetus doesn't develop even a nearly complete human brain until the 26th week, and even then a fetus removed from the uterus -- even given the best state-of-the-art care -- has only a 50% chance of survival, and if it survives has a less than 50% of developing normal intelligence, so it's best to draw the line there. This isn't really necessary, since abortion can only be performed safely during the first trimester of pregnancy (he same period during which more than 50% of all fertilized ova are naturally miscarried). After that time, abortion becomes dangerous to the mother, and no doctor of any standing will do it except when the life and health of the mother are threatened or the fetus is so severely deformed that it can't survive birth by more than a few miserable pain-filled hours. Thus there is a natural limit to abortion which falls well before the 26th week.
Why then do otherwise rational people insist that even a single cell, if it's a fertilized ovum, is a "human life"? Their only claim -- "it's alive and has human DNA" -- looks morally and mentally lazy, not to mention superstitious. It's also been challenged by the development of In-Vitro Fertilization: the process of extracting ova from a woman's ovaries, fertilizing them (usually with the woman's husband's sperm) in a petri dish, then freezing the fertilized ova in storage cannisters, and implanting them in the women when conditions are best for the ova to attach. This system is used almost exclusively by fertility clinics, but it raises the question about what to do with the rest of the ova and whether they should be regarded as human beings or not. One Mississippi politician claimed that fertilized ova in a cannister are not human beings because they're not inside a woman. This implies that an embryo is a human being only because it's inside of, and battening off of, a woman's body. That looks blatantly misogynistic and biased.
Consider the other end of life; when a person is old, terminally sick or injured, undeniably dying, we do have rules about just when that person is effectively dead, and we can pull the plug. That definition is when a reading of the brain shows a "flatline" -- no brain activity. If that's true for the end of life, it's equally true for the beginning; no brain activity means it's not -- yet or still -- a human being. Since it's impossible to have brain-waves without a brain, we can soon expect to see the devout anti-abortion crowd trying to redefine "brain". This won't stand up very well against the discoveries of science, and won't make the hard-line anti-abortionists look good.
Worse is the attempt by various state legislatures to reward people who "rat out" their neighbors for obtaining, let alone performing, abortions. Such laws, history has shown, tend to destroy civil unity and inspire long-lasting feuds. Still worse is the attempt by those same states to punish any resident woman who goes to another state -- or country, one assumes -- to get an abortion there. This brings up the specter of the Dred Scott decision, and everything that led to.
And ultimately all these laws are doomed by advancing technology. Already, the majority of legal abortions are done by chemistry rather than mechanics; the "morning after pill" (actually two, used 24 hours apart) is good for up to four days after conception, and the pharmaceutical companies -- never prone to ignore a market demand -- are busy producing pills that will flush out an embryo a week after, or a month after, or even three months after conception. Pills are much more easily smuggled than even small operating rooms, and they'll make their way into every state, regardless of the local laws. Attempts to stop the flow will only make governments look stupid and incompetent.
Altogether, there is no way that pushing hard on anti-abortion laws will improve the public image of the Republicans. Such a course can only cost them voters and break the otherwise inevitable landslide in the November elections. They should back off from the whole question until after the election, and then argue their case in public on something other than biblical or scientific grounds -- but of course, that doesn't leave them much ground to argue from. Perhaps they should back away from the whole subject for the foreseeable future. Opposition to abortion is not worth ruining their chance for victory, and all hope of success for all their other policies.