Are Republicans or Conservatives Pro-Roe?
Richard Bennett is dubious about whether Dubya wants Roe vs. Wade overturned on the grounds that there might be a backlash against pro-lifers. Well … the fact that Dubya signed the McCain–Feingold campaign finance restriction bill might be an argument that he regards the short-term benefit of the Republican Party as more important than following principle. On the other hand, it is dubious as to whether there will be a backlash.
First, as far as I know there has never been an election where abortion was a major issue that was unexpectedly won by a liberal Democrat. Second, abortion was illegal for over a century with no backlash. For that matter, abortion is less “necessary” than ever considering improved contraception and a richer society able to support “unwanted” children. Third, in my experience most pro-choicers are unwilling to engage in a really sustained debate. Fourth, there has been a long-term decline in the number of abortionists. The people most involved are rethinking their actions. If we make more people think, we can expect more pro-lifers. Fifth, if the attempts to tie the Schiavo case to abortion succeed, there will be recruits for the pro-life cause who are “bleeping terrified” for their own lives and thus cannot give in. (It's worth noting that there were private options in the Schiavo case.)
I suspect there have been other bluffs about abortion. For example, making abortifacients available over the counter is unlikely to have that much of an effect since it will not provide the excuse that it is a medical matter. A doctor is needed to give permission.