Republicans are very busy running away from Alabama’s tough abortion law, even though they not only enabled this exact situation by stealing a Supreme Court seat from President Obama and then installing two exceptionally far-right extremists to the bench but also, their platform insists on personhood for a fetus.
Conservatives are using states to whittle away at Roe v Wade in concert together and they are not doing that because Republicans actually disagree. Conservatives saw the confirmation of far right anti-women’s freedom judges credibly accused of rape Brett Kavanaugh and reliable corporatist Neil Gorsuch as a GO signal by Senate Republicans.
Which of course, it was.
But now that these laws are being passed and the public is not impressed with the overt cruelty and stupidity inherent in the position that is rooted in domination and punishment of women instead of an actual desire to reduce abortions (which are reduced by accessible and affordable birth control, rather than threat of death, public shaming, or any other conservative measure), Republicans are running far away.
Just watch Republican “moderate” Susan Collins, who actually made sure Roe could be challenged by confirming Kavanaugh when everyone with a pulse knew he was against Roe. Now Collins is all, Alabama’s law is “terrible” and “very extreme.” She said she did not think the Supreme Court would uphold it.
Oh, really? The Supreme Court she helped stack with anti-women’s freedom judges with zero integrity and knowledge of women’s bodies? That’s odd. How does that add up.
If you voted to confirm Kavanaugh, you voted for Roe to be challenged. That is a fact.
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is doing a similar tap dance. His is ‘OMG how cruel, nothing to do with me, but of course I oppose abortion but not like this. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that while he opposes abortion, Alabama’s law “goes further than I believe.”
“In my whole political career, I also believed in rape, incest or the life of the mother, there was exceptions,” he said, adding that that is the Republican Party’s official position and “where many of us stand.”
No, see, actually that’s not accurate. The Republican Party’s platform is one of personhood for a fetus (warning, this GOP platform link takes you to a page that also links to gossip news to smear Democrat Doug Jones in Alabama, because that is what Republicans do when caught red-handed):
The Republican Party is proud to stand up for the rights of the unborn and believe all Americans have an unalienable right to life as stated in The Declaration of Independence; Republican leadership has led the effort to prohibit partial-birth abortion and permitted States to extend healthcare coverage to children before birth. Republicans have also passed laws for informed consent, mandatory-waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation. Thanks to Republican legislative initiatives, there has been a tremendous increase in adoptions.
More from On The Issues:
2012: Faithful 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. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.
Republicans always supported a fetus amendment to the Constitution, but their cruelty has sharpened over the years as the extremists took over the party. Back in 2004 they made sure to add “but our pro-life agenda does not include punitive action against women who have an abortion,” which means that later this was deliberately taken out.
Republicans deliberately removed the part about not supporting punitive action against women.
The legal problem for Republicans is if the unborn have an “unalienable right to life,” that means that even in the case of rape, incest, and a threat to the mother’s life, a fetus has more rights than a woman.
So that means that Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri – states that have recently come out with either harsh bills or laws limiting women’s right to live and their freedoms – are right in line with the Republican Party’s platform.
Then they have the issue that, as The Hill pointed out, “Senate Republicans in recent months have pushed two bills, one sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that would protect fetuses after 20 weeks of pregnancy — the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act — and a second, sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that would protect infants born after failed abortions, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.”
There is no time to address the scientific and medical ignorance of Graham and Sasse, but suffice it to say, their bills are not based in medical reality.
Republicans no longer make clear that they do not support punitive action against women, and lo and behold, these laws are punitive, and yet Republicans are telling the press they go too far.
Too far? Republicans elected Donald Trump as president and Mike Pence as Vice President. They not only nominated but confirmed Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. If laws are going “too far” it’s because those state laws reflect what is happening on a national level with the Republican Party.
Republicans are running away from these laws because they are outrageously cruel and punitive, which is actually the point.
If Republicans wanted to end abortion, they would be funding accessible and affordable access to birth control, which is the best way to reduce abortions. But instead they’re cutting off access and even trying to criminalize it at times. Why? Because this was never about reducing abortions.
It has always been about controlling women, and now under the leadership of predator Trump, it is openly about what always drove it, a desire to punish women who try to claim their own power.
Suburban women fueled the Democratic rise in the House in 2018, and they will be watching how this legal battle plays out because these outrageous laws are alienating moderates.
If Republicans think they can just walk away from this issue, that is on the media. The media’s duty is to inform the people that this is actually the Republican Party’s platform. Perhaps they should be asked why they don’t want to own it, and why they removed the part about not being punitive to women so many years ago.
The so-called “Christian conservative” tone of the modern day Republican Party is more Salem witch hunt ignorance combined with cruelty than it is compassion and help. Similarly, in extremism, Republicans are also seeking to build a Bible-based society.
Republicans hide this deliberate, sick desire to hurt women under the auspices of helping fetuses, but we all know that once born, Republicans spit in contempt on poor mothers, single mothers, working-class families who can’t make ends meet, people of color, LGBTQ couples with babies, and anyone else who doesn’t fit into their cookie cutter mold of how a “mother” should behave and look.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.