Although the British media has mainly focused attention on the differences between Barack Obama and his contender, Mitt Romney for the presidency of the USA, one issue that has not been mentioned is abortion.
Yet, this particular topic is still very hot with Republicans opposed to abortion even managing to infiltrate Democratic meetings to protest. Oddly though, in past election campaigns abortion and birth control was not heavily fought over. So what’s different this time?
Most US political commentators believe that this year the presidency is much more important than previous years. In past elections it was generally accepted that the incumbent would be re-elected, but this year the race is apparently too close to call. This could be one reason why anti abortion campaigners, who are on the whole supporters of the Republican Party, feel buoyed up. They see their chance at last, if Romney is elected to overturn what they see as laws defending the right to kill unborn babies.
Interestingly though, it is not the candidates themselves who have been vocal, but the pro and anti camps themselves. Both presidential candidates have apparently been walking the proverbial tightrope neither wanting to upset the minority voters.
However one Republican supporter told reporters: “I’m confident that the Romney administration is going to stand for the principles of protecting life, of protecting conscience that have been the mainstay of what their campaign has been saying all along.”
While this is certainly the hope, it seems that those in the pro abortion lobby are not wholly convinced Romney will change anything if he gets power. So, the whole debate is very confusing.
Without doubt, whichever side you are on in the USA, the abortion debate is a long running sore that grips the American people more than anything else. Even if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election, it is likely that the issue will not be resolved.
This contrasts sharply with Europe, especially the UK where abortion is not a topic discussed much nowadays. In the last couple of years a number of Conservative MPs have tried to push it towards the top of the agenda, but with little success.