Abortion activists must learn to lose well
Lessons from the fight for same-sex marriage.
Sasha Issenberg is the author of “The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage,” out in paperback this May.
In right-leaning state capitals, it is as though Roe v. Wade is already gone. Anticipating that the Supreme Court will soon limit if not eliminate the half-century-old constitutional right to an abortion, legislators are growing increasingly creative beyond merely moving up the stage in pregnancy at which abortion bans apply.
Pro-choice activists are likely hunting for fresh strategies and innovative tactics that will help them win these fights. But there’s another element of a successful long-term campaign: learning how to lose.
There are, simply, good ways to lose public-policy fights and bad ways to lose public-policy fights. If they can learn how to lose well, activists now have an opening for large-scale public education, not only in states that are set to pass new laws but the rest of a country whose citizens, media, and politicians are newly en…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Slow Boring to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.