Fritz Pettyjohn: The politics of abortion in 2022



Sensible men, who value domestic tranquility, defer to their wives on abortion. Men like Ronald Reagan and Ron DeSantis look to the mother of their children for guidance, and Nancy Davis and Casey DeSantis had and have knowledge and insight on pregnancy, babies, and motherhood that their husbands lack.

So it is that both California Gov. Reagan and Florida Gov. DeSantis adopted reasonable positions on this vexing issue.

In 1967 Reagan signed the California Therapeutic Abortion Act, which allowed abortions when there was a grave threat to the mother’s health, or in cases of rape or incest.

Earlier this year DeSantis signed legislation which allows abortion until the 16th week of pregnancy, or when there is a credible threat to the mother’s health. The law of Florida satisfies neither the pro-abortion zealots on the one hand, nor the pro-life absolutists on the other. It represents the middle ground, where most American women, particularly married women, are found.

The Democrats say they want abortion front and center in our politics, but they will rue the day that happens. The Democratic Party is in thrall to the rabid progressive left, which accepts no limits, however reasonable, on “a woman’s right to choose.” The Florida law, a compromise which takes effect next week, doesn’t satisfy them. 

It will soon dawn on Democrats that they need not look to the Supreme Court for the abortion protections they demand. All they need to do is pass a law. They control Congress and the presidency. Nancy Pelosi probably has the votes right now to pass a law legalizing abortion in all 50 states. It’s doubtful the Senate would go along, but this only sets the stage to make the election of 2022 a referendum on abortion. 

Democrats will lose that election, and they will lose on the issue of abortion. After the Dobbs decision, as Americans are finally allowed to vote on this question, most voters are conflicted. They don’t like abortion, but they also understand it’s necessary under certain circumstances. The new Florida law is as close to a consensus position as is possible.

In practice, Florida will soon become a sanctuary state for women in the deep South who live in states with draconian restrictions on abortion. From Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, women who want an abortion in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy will be able to drive to Florida for the procedure. This will horrify some in the pro-life community, who will criticize DeSantis for signing a law allowing it. He will be criticized by both extremes, which is precisely where a smart politician wants to be as he contemplates a run for the White House.

Most Republicans believe in tolerance, diversity, and the federalism which promotes it. Once they again control Congress and the Presidency, they will not pass a federal law taking the issue away from the states, and the people. That’s where these issues should be decided, in conformity with the wishes of a majority of each state. That’s how democracy works. Republicans are comfortable with that. Democrats aren’t.

In Alaska, the state Supreme Court would invalidate a law such as Florida’s. So Gov. Dunleavy has promised to introduce a constitutional amendment which would allow it.  As he well knows, the 27 votes in the House, and 14 in the Senate, which would be required to propose such an amendment aren’t there. And they won’t be. 

The only recourse is to vote for a constitutional convention this November.  That convention would be able to propose such an enabling amendment.  Then the voters would have the final say.

The question for the Governor is simple.  Does he support a “yes” vote on the convention?  The voters of Alaska deserve an answer.

Fritz Pettyjohn has been married for 50 years to the mother of his three children. He served in the Alaska Legislature from 1982-1986, and is the founder and author of the Reagan Project. He started his political career knocking on doors for presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in 1964.


  1. Usually if you propose that 15 week limit and explain that it’s murder after that point and contraceptive instead of for the life of the mother people are ok with stopping it there. But, polls don’t use nuanced questions just to get a answer.

    Unfortunately I’m ok with leftists and bad mother’s from having children.

  2. A Fight for Life

    The abortion decree comes ’round to here
    The argument raged on for fifty years
    “My body, my choice!” the battle cry sways
    “No, your body ends where another life stays!”
    Both sides dug in with fight and with tears

    The choice used to be so hard to make
    Praying that God would not forsake
    Once deemed safe, legal and rare
    Progressively turned to anytime, anywhere
    No different that a stomach ache

    A business conceived by Planned Parenthood
    Not all their advice was so clear or so good
    “No more dark alleys, no more blood stains
    We can make even more if we sell the remains!” 
    More a choice to take as much as they could

    Now protests rage in city streets
    More and more as the quarrels heat
    Some blame politicians or the Supremes
    Some say keep me out, I have no sperm in the stream
    No common ground upon which to meet

    Liberals now feeling the jilt
    Yell out to pack the court to the hilt
    Even politicians speeches incite
    Decrying the decision as having no right
    Promising the old way will be rebuilt

    As woke companies now agree to provide
    Abortion travel, a pro-choicers free ride
    So what’s really changed one might ask
    As the legality now is a state’s right task
    To agree to kill off whatever was inside

    • Poetry? Really?

      Roses are red, violets are blue.
      we are all sinners, even you.
      When it comes to murder,
      to mothers we cannot defer.
      When it comes to murder,
      we can never concur.

  3. A Constitutional Convention will be composed of elected delegates. They will be of all persuasions and philosophies. With a very strong possibility that the Soros funded contingent will be in the majority.
    The chances of passing an amendment is vastly more likely than any Convention rewriting the Alaska Constitution so as to create a “more conservative” version.
    But I await the specific language anyone thinks might achieve such a goal. So we can review it.
    All of it, the entire Constitution being up for rewrite, one must explain how your language fits, and how it constrains government in the fashion one hopes.
    Hopes are wonderful. Constitutional language enables governmental authority, which is rarely wonderful. Do give exact wording so we can see if your proposal is real, or just a plan to enable the woke left to rewrite our lives.

  4. Stocks that have the potential to benefit (ie – price appreciation) from this recent development …. CELZ, EVFM, FEMY, VERU, VIVE

  5. “Sensible men, who value domestic tranquility, defer to their wives on abortion”
    No, such men are cowards. Don’t hide behind a woman because you are afraid of the opinions of others.

    • “‘“Sensible men, who value domestic tranquility, defer to their wives on abortion’
      No, such men are cowards………’
      “Sensible’ is wisdom. A war of wills within marriage results in misery for both parties. I need a loving wife, and I need to live with her for the rest of my life. If my own opinion on the murderous practices of others (as long as they’re not trying to kill me or mine) causes harm to my marriage, I’m going to be sensible and patient about it. My own wife is very pro-life, but she is filled with fear of The Enemy. I’d as soon kill them all with the jawbone of their own donkey……….

  6. My birth mother didn’t want me and put me up for adoption in an orphanage. That was the way it was done before Wade came along. Thankfully for me, I was adopted by a loving couple who wanted me and did their best to give me a good chance in life. If Roe V. Wade had been in force then, I would have been an aborted fetus and never allowed to live. I would never have seen all the places on Earth that I have enjoyed, never adopted and enjoyed all of the dogs that I helped save from being destroyed, never worked in search and rescue to help others, and never experienced the joy of saving another life, or helping veterans to face their death as a nurse. It’s easy to see a fetus as something without form or awareness, but very difficult to see what they might have become. How many Einsteins have we killed, or other geniuses that could have solved some of our problems because we couldn’t see our way to let them evolve beyond the fetus? We will never know. All we will ever know is the inconvenience to today’s lifestyle.

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