The 2012 Presidential election campaign saw possibly the most directly juxtaposed tickets in our lifetimes. The stark differences in rhetoric and platform between Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan were distinct and undeniable on virtually every issue. One such issue where there was a vast chasm of space between the two camps was abortion. While it certainly isn't uncommon for Republicans and Democrats to be on opposite side of this argument, the Republican ticket in 2012 was probably the farthest right of any Republican ticket perhaps in the history of the nation (the caveat is of course Romney's flip-flop from his time as a Governor to his time as a Presidential candidate). Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan expressed directly a desire to see the Supreme Court overturn the famous Roe V. Wade ruling which essentially verified the legality of abortion.
In the wake of abortion being legal though, the GOP has taken very specific actions to reduce the numbers of abortions that occur. The general approach seems to be to reduce access to abortion providers, thus impacting the total number of abortions performed. One way that the GOP has tried to reduce access to abortions is to pass mandatory waiting periods for abortion at the state level. It is not just a coincidence that various Republican legislatures in multiple states have passed these measures, as mandatory waiting periods are part of the GOP's official national platform:
We also salute the many states that have passed laws for informed consent, mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health protective clinic regulation.
Mandatory waiting periods as a means to reduce a certain type of behavior isn't a concept isolated to abortion legislation - it was also part of the Brady Bill in the early 1990's. The Brady bill was a piece of legislation supported by Ronald Reagan and signed into law by Bill Clinton which mandated seven day waiting periods for the purchase of handguns. How did Republicans feel about waiting periods as a means to reduce behavior then?:
On one side, Republican Party officials and members of Congress have begun attacking the waiting period as an intrusive, big-government policy that has done nothing to stem violent crime. The Republican leadership in both houses is expected to try to block Democratic legislation that would extend the law. link
Waiting periods are "intrusive, Big Government policy" - got it. Apparently, not in regard to legal abortions though? It appears this is an appopriate place for a "Huh?"
But, of course, the waiting period policy that the GOP pushes in regard to aboriton is really there back-up position to an all-out ban on abortion. Here is another portion of the GOP's 2012 platform:
THE SANCTITY AND DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFEFaithful to the "self-evident" truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children
That pretty clearly indicates that the Republican Party favors a ban on abortion. So, it seems logical to review how effective Republicans think bans on things can be. En mass, they appear to believe bans don't work. In fact, according to the GOP, not only do bans not work, they actually make the problem being banned worse. Criminals will still get their hands on whatever was banned, because criminals don't follow laws - that's the general meme we are constantly bombarded with in opposition to bans on various things.
Yet, for some reason, there's a belief within the same contingent of people that a ban on abortion would effectively reduce abortions. Again, "Huh?" Why wouldn't all of those "murderers" who choose abortion simply find a different way to abort their child? Are 'criminals' who choose to have abortions somehow different than 'criminals' who choose to own guns?
Or, perhaps, the right legislation CAN indeed impact a given action in the desired way (rather it be gun related deaths, mass murders, or abortions).
Which is it GOP?