At the New Federalist, nationally syndicated columnist and former Denver Post conservative-politics columnist David Harsanyi wonders why Mark Udall’s position permitting third-trimester abortions gets much less media attention than Cory Gardner’s [past?] positions on Personhood, especially when such third-trimester abortions are even less popular than Personhood.
Assuming Harsanyi is correct, which I believe he is, two reasons immediately jump to mind.
First, is because the GOP base spends all of its effort ensuring that candidates are repeatedly placed on the record in attempts to confirm that they pledged their fealty to the most extreme pro-life positions. Pop Quiz: Go through the major GOP candidates of the last cycle for the last two cycles for Governor and U.S. Senate. Which of them have never endorsed personhood? Not Beauprez. Not Gardner. Not Tancredo. Not Maes. Not Buck. Not Kopp. Not Brophy. Not McInnis. Not Jane Norton. Only Gessler and Steve House were content to not endorse Personhood, and even those candidates were careful to take a pro-life line. Placing candidates repeatedly on the record on a hot-button issue is a very easy way to generate media attention.
The other reason is that third-trimester abortions are very rare, while birth control is very prevalent. Voters tend to care more about issues that may directly affect them, and removing access to birth control will affect significantly more voters than allowing or not-allowing third-trimester abortions. Moreover, even to the extent that a person wishes to argue that the death of an innocent “baby” affects us all, there isn’t much difference between the number of babies that die each year of Menkes Syndrome as there are “babies” aborted in the third trimester, yet good luck if you have ever heard of Menkes Syndrome.