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America’s abortion battle has hit boiling point

In America, the culture wars have descended into farce. The top three ruling Democrats in the state of Virginia have been accused in rapid succession of racism and sexual assault and are fending off calls to resign. The local party finds itself trapped between the kangaroo courts of identity politics and losing its governing position to the Republicans.

The issue that provoked this fiasco, however, has all but disappeared from view. That issue is abortion.

Ironically, it would seem that the Democrats are now getting blowback from the race and sex wars that are the trademarks of progressive politics. At the same time, they and their media allies show no concern for what appears to be a grim elision between abortion and infanticide.

In Britain the abortion issue plays very differently, mainly because the Abortion Act 1967 was legislated by parliament and thus achieved a more consensual status. The law places stricter constraints on late abortions. What’s happening in America is a warning that, in the absence of such a democratically mediated settlement, what can develop is a battle between intransigence and barbarism.

To read my whole Times column (£), please click here.

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