Dhe abortion debate in the United States has become a power struggle along partisan lines. How much was evident last week in the Supreme Court. When the plaintiffs demanded that the common abortion pill Mifepristone be made more difficult to obtain in the future, a majority of justices expressed skepticism, regardless of their political leanings.

In fact, it seems far-fetched for doctors who neither prescribe the abortion pill nor perform abortions to want to make it harder for millions of American women to access mifepristone, citing possible violations of their moral principles. The lawsuit makes clear how much the debate about abortion in America has become an expression of the country's political polarization. What began decades ago as a dispute over the scope of moral convictions has become a bitter partisan conflict by the election year at the latest.

Trump can only score poorly on this issue

There is no simple answer to the question of what is more important: a woman's right to self-determination or the protection of unborn life. But the fact that the gap in the United States is so deep that you can no longer hear the stone hitting the ground is the result of a culture war that the Republicans have pushed forward with all their might.

Americans’ attitudes toward abortion are more complex than simple “Pro Choice” or “Pro Life.” A majority support access to abortion, although to varying degrees. But this common denominator is lost in the heated debate. Since the Supreme Court struck down the universal right to abortion two years ago, abortion regulations are no longer measured by medical or ethical issues and have become Republican competitions. Fourteen out of fifty states have banned abortions, sometimes even in cases of incest and rape. Seven others have restricted access.

There is a gap between what most Republicans say publicly and what they do in their states. It is no coincidence that Donald Trump has said as little as possible about the issue of abortion these days (nor about the Mifepristone case). The party knows that it will only win points with a few people on this issue. Eight years ago, Trump said that under President Hillary Clinton, babies would be “torn from the womb” in the ninth month, but today he doesn't even want to openly speak out in favor of a nationwide ban on abortion. This is not a change of heart, but a political calculation.

The battle cry of the election year

Trump created this rift in American society. He has now won the evangelicals, who still had to be convinced back then, to his side with perhaps his greatest coup. It was Trump who made the conservative majority against the universal right to abortion possible on the Supreme Court with three judges. He has expressed his pride in this many times. During the election campaign, however, it is important to keep a low profile. But that shouldn't obscure the fact that Republicans will take tough action against abortion rights as soon as they have the majority.

For the Democrats, in turn, the issue has become the rallying cry of the election year. The louder the Republicans remain silent, the more urgent the Democratic appeals become. They portray the numerous abortion bans as the result of Trump's policies. The horror of many Americans that the decades-old right to abortion has been revoked is entirely in the spirit of the Democrats. The victory of a Democrat in the race for a seat in the House of Representatives in deeply conservative Alabama just showed that the issue is still mobilizing: Marilyn Lands campaigned primarily on access to abortions and artificial insemination.

Of all people, President Joe Biden himself is a reminder of how abortion debates have long been conducted in the past: along his own convictions, not along party political lines. To this day, the staunch Catholic Biden, who has voted for abortion opponents several times in his political career, tries to use the word abortion as rarely as possible. Instead, he speaks of “reproductive freedom.” However, as a Democrat and campaigner, Biden fights for abortion rights in the United States.

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