The GOP won't win Hispanic votes by opposing abortion rights

Eventually, Republicans will have to stop currying favor with antiabortion zealots. The alternative is losing election after election. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., November 29, 2013 — Nearly two weeks ago, a proposed ban on late term abortions in Albuquerque was defeated. 

Jeri Clausing of the Associated Press reported that “(i)n a closely watched, first-of-its kind municipal election, voters in New Mexico’s largest city have soundly defeated a ban on late-term abortions.

“Voters… rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. The campaign included protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and displayed pictures of aborted fetuses.”

The same groups which advocate rolling back abortion rights in totality supported this ban. These organizations have been driving antiabortion politics as a wedge issue in Republican circles for decades. They have failed at the national level, find only limited success in state houses, and now are facing loss on Main Street.

The Albuquerque loss was especially bad news for them, however.

For decades, antiabortion Republicans have said that by opposing pregnancy termination, they will curry favor with Hispanic self-declared abortion rights opponents who vote Democratic for economic reasons.

According to the Census Bureau, 65 percent of Hispanics are Mexican-American. Albuquerque has long been a major power base for Americans of Mexican background. Based on the failure of the abortion ban by such a large margin in an area with a heavy Mexican-American population, it seems the above mentioned strategy isn’t working.

In other predominately Mexican-American areas, such as Greater San Antonio and Southern California, politicos who support abortion rights and fiscal leftism win with ease. Republicans who oppose abortion rights and champion financial conservatism, meanwhile, lose.

There is a clear trend here.

Like it or not, the antiabortion movement does not appeal to the Hispanic majority at polling places. The idea that because Hispanics are mostly Roman Catholic, social rightism will follow is sheer nonsense. 

Economic benefits appear the motivating factor in support of a candidate, not what some priest says from his pulpit.

Nonetheless, antiabortion devotees can be counted on to ignore this. How come? Simple: They never earnestly cared about Hispanic votes in the first place. Any claim to the contrary is an effort to save face. All they wanted was a new vehicle for eroding abortion rights.

Indeed, the minds behind antiabortion activism’s hardline fronts will stop at nothing. Said individuals care not for the GOP or even America where it counts. Rather, they are motivated by fundamentalist religious doctrines. For them, government policy is an extension of church sermons.

By promoting the legislation they do, anti-abortion rights crusaders believe that favor has been curried with the divine. This belief is so strong that, even in our growingly secular society, antiabortion activism remains a hallmark of right-wing politics. 

During the years ahead, if Republicans wish to remain electorally viable, then bidding antiabortion zealots farewell is essential.


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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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