Despite America not being an evangelical theocracy, there is a concerted effort underway by religious Republicans to ban a legal medical procedure the Supreme Court ruled was a constitutional right 43 years ago. Sadly, especially in a secular democracy, the religious right and their Vatican cohort tasked Republicans to ban the procedure on religious grounds. Since they are being thwarted thus far from imposing a national ban, an anti-women’s rights cabal is having a great measure of success in Republican-controlled religious states to ban access to abortion services.
Unfortunately, that robust religious crusade has been ignored by mainstream media outlets and it leaves voters generally ignorant, sometimes willfully ignorant, of the Republican actions. However, according to a new poll, when voters were informed about the religious Republican drive to ban access to legal abortion in the states, they were “disgusted and angry” and two-thirds of voters want Republicans stopped in their tracks.
Now, religious Republicans claim that without a shadow of a doubt all the American people want abortion banned outright and overwhelmingly support their devious actions at the state level. In fact, the Supreme Court is due to decide whether those theocrats in Republican states like Texas and Alabama have the constitutional right to control women’s reproductive health choices. With a religious cohort on the High Court and their recent record of siding with evangelicals, it is doubtful they will protect women’s reproductive rights.
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In a real secular democracy, such religious legislation would never be introduced, much less passed and signed into law, but America has not been a secular democracy since Republican demigod Ronald Reagan gave evangelicals nearly unfettered authority to rule by theocratic edict. It is particularly troubling that this case is even going to a conservative Supreme Court with 5 avowed Vatican acolytes already renowned for deconstructing the First Amendment’s prohibition on the federal or state governments imposing religion by legal statute; especially when women are the target.
Religious Republicans are wont to claim that their crusade to deny women their right to choose is mandated by the people, but like everything Republicans claim, religious or otherwise, this is a blatant and filthy lie and another poll proves it.
According to the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) commissioned poll, there is a massive information gap about the different categories of new religious state laws that make it more difficult for women to choose a medical procedure that has been legal for 43 years. The NIRH poll revealed that fifty-five percent of respondents were completely unaware of the religious Republicans’ flood of state-level legislation restricting women’s constitutional rights to control their own bodies; something religious Republican men claim is their and the Vatican’s biblical purview.
The same poll participants were then provided with factual information from the Guttmacher Institute detailing the various categories of Stone Age religious state laws to control women and their reaction was swift and refreshing; exactly what one expects from people living in a secular democracy that believes women are not third-class citizens.
After receiving “this shocking new information,” most poll respondents were understandably stunned and appalled. In fact, they indicated that not only did they adamantly disagree with the religious Republican trend, two-thirds said these states’ religious laws are definitely going in the “wrong direction.”
The respondents were then asked to choose just one word that best described their feelings on learning of the list of new religious restrictions on women’s access to a legal medical procedure; most “chose words like unfair, wrong, disgusted, ridiculous, and angry.” It is definitely contrary to the “overwhelming” support religious Republicans in the states and Congress claim the American people provide in the GOP’s drive to control women.
The president of NIRH, Andrea Miller, said
“There is a misguided assumption that the public is divided on abortion, and that abortion restrictions have the approval of the voters. But when the public learns about the staggering intensity of such laws against abortion, which place women’s safety, autonomy and dignity in jeopardy, they become outraged.
When people see the current state of affairs, in terms of what kinds of laws are in place and what women need to do if they want to get an abortion, they’re shocked and appalled and they want it to change. The attacks that have been happening are ultimately an overreach so far beyond where the American public is. Awareness of that overreach, I think, will result in a tremendous power surging forward.”
This should be a giant wake-up call to all Democrats at the state and federal level going into a general election that, if the past three elections are any indication, will see Republicans gaining power and influence in Congress and the states. With every Republican presidential candidate pandering to the Vatican and evangelical right’s demand to ban abortion, and at the Republican-controlled state level, as the NIRH’s Miller says, Democrats need to “find effective ways to close the information gap about the recent trend in anti-abortion legislation to move outraged voters to take action.”
Sure enough, the results of the new poll indicate that the potential for a nationwide crusade to put a stop to this dastardly religious Republican assault on women’s legal medical rights could be in the offing. Because according to results in the new poll, over half the respondents plan to pay “much closer attention to political candidates position on reproductive health issues now that they’ve heard about the current state political landscape.” This is remarkable and encouraging news for any American with a sister, mother, daughter or wife.
What that means for Democrats, and more importantly their supporters, is that it is time to provide that information to voters. This is even more important as liberals and progressives are losing at the state level because their attention is perpetually focused on the White House. Of course the White House is critically important, but if voters on the left had given any attention whatsoever to local, regional, and state level elections in 2010 onward, American government may not be in the current dysfunctional predicament and theocratic laws may not be the order of the day.
One thing is certain; now that there is solid proof that an overwhelming majority of voters “are angry and outraged” at the religious Republican assault on women’s rights, there is likely no better time to mobilize and educate the other 33% of Americans to “pay much closer attention to candidates position on reproductive health issues.” With veritably all Republicans attacking women’s reproductive health, defending women’s rights may be the issue that helps Democrats gain seats in both houses of Congress, state legislatures, and governorships. It is a sad commentary that gaining seats may be the impetus to engage more Americans to defend women’s reproductive rights when it seems reasonable that decent Americans would defend them from religious patriarchs at all costs.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.