By focusing so heavily on social issues, Conservatives are ensuring losses on both social & economic issues. More & more Americans support, at least to some degree, a woman’s right to an abortion. More & more Americans support, at least to some degree, access to birth control. And more & more Americans support, at the very least, a more accepting attitude towards homosexuals.
No matter how much we may wish otherwise, Roe v Wade was decided in favor of the right to abortion. And after 40+ years, that’s not likely to change. Conservatives hurt themselves when they’re pro life to the extent that a rape victim is expected to carry the results of that rape to term. It’s not that the child is any less innocent, but the victim of that crime has already suffered enough humiliation, and will be haunted by the aftermath of what happened to her. To be faced with a daily reminder of that violation of her person just adds to that humiliation. Allowing abortion in a limited number of cases, like rape victims, will win back some votes from average Americans who may not look at abortion as a positive, as extremists on the left (Planned Parenthood, for example) do, but who are also turned off by the ‘no abortion for any reason’ rhetoric of extremists on the right. My own solution would be to allow abortion until viability for any reason. After that, allow abortion only in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. Government funding for abortion should be extremely limited- cases of rape, for example.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently proposed something that would take a huge issue away from the left as they constantly decry the supposed ‘War on Women’ being waged by Republicans. He would make birth control available over the counter. By doing so, women would be able to buy ‘The Pill’ without a prescription. Few traditional insurance plans cover OTC medications, so we could end this debate over whether a company should have to provide it as part of their medical plan. (For the record, I don’t think Viagra should be covered by medical insurance either.)
As far as gay rights go, while I don’t like the idea of ‘gay marriage’, I do think that any person should be able to name another person as a legal partner when it comes to rights of inheritance, making life/death decisions, hospital visitation, and so on. This can apply to two men, two women, 2 men & a woman or even a group of people who have a common interest in each other’s well-being. I certainly won’t celebrate certain lifestyles, but I believe that people can, for the most part, make decisions for themselves.