Republicans: ‘We’re Not Banning Abortion! You’re Banning Abortion!’
The Samuel Alito Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, and Republicans spent the rest of the summer running from their own forced-birth policies. Even while Republicans passed grotesque forced-birth legislation at the state level, Republicans insisted that Democrats were unfairly painting them as extremists.
When the Dobbs decision dropped, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel tweeted with exultation:
Life wins! Millions of Americans are celebrating today’s ruling and a pro-life movement that has worked tirelessly for decades.
For a half century unelected judges have dictated America’s abortion laws. This historic ruling rightfully returns power to the American people to enact laws that protect unborn children and support mothers everywhere.
As this debate now returns to the states and the American people, we know there is still much work ahead. Republicans will continue to advocate for life, uphold the law, and stand against an extreme Democrat Party’s pro-abortion agenda.
Her message was clear. She was glad the Supreme Court killed Roe, and Republicans would actively push for the extreme anti-abortion laws that Roe had once blocked. Actual American voters are less thrilled and Republican candidates are on the defensive. Notice how the Republican Party’s official liar currently discusses abortion:
“I’m not going to speak about every candidate and where they’re at,” McDaniel said. “But the past four Republican presidents since Roe believe in the exception, and that is where I think a lot of the American people are, according to polling. But they also believe in limitations, and Democrats have shown no inclination to have any limitation.”
McDaniel’s a coward so she won’t discuss the deranged positions of candidates she’s actively supporting. She will say that Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and son, and Donald Trump all supported exceptions to abortion bans for rape, incest, and to save the mother’s life. That’s meaningless trivia, considering that the Republicans-controlled states have passed bans without those exceptions. Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s up for re-election in Florida, doubled down on his opposition to any exceptions.
Conservative columnist Ross Douthat at the New York Times lamented that President Joe Biden hasn’t even attempted to negotiate a compromise, a “culture war truce, if you will," over women’s bodies. This is insulting and ignores historical reality. Roe v. Wadewas a compromise: Legal in the first trimester, “narrowly tailored” restrictions in the second, and depending on the state, mostly restricted during the third trimester with critical exceptions.
This is why Republicans insist on lying about people terminating pregnancies a few hours before they go into labor or abortion doctors clubbing babies to death after they’ve been safely delivered. McDaniel grossly suggested that Biden and Sen. Mark Kelly’s abortion position “is more in line with North Korea and China than Western Europe and the American people.” This is a popular Republican talking point, and it’s exactly as racist as it seems.
Most European countries allow abortion on request through the first trimester. Republicans have banned abortions in some states after six weeks, which is before most people even know they’re pregnant. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott even recommended rape victims proactively take the Plan B pill the morning after their violent sexual assault.
Republicans are still clinging to their pre-Dobbs rhetoric. Here’s professional idiot Rep. Jim Jordan arguing on "Fox & Friends."
\u201cJim Jordan says Republicans will \u201clean into\u201d the push to ban abortion and force birth across the nation.\u201d— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) 1662471569
JORDAN: We’re the pro-life party!
You assholes wouldn’t wear a damn mask during a pandemic. You’re the pro-uterus-control party.
JORDAN: We’re gonna protect the sanctity of human life!
Jordan is a gun-humping NRA stooge.
JORDAN: Democrats have the radical position. They’re the ones who think you should be able to take the unborn child’s life right before their birthday for goodness sake!
That’s still a sick lie. Republicans can try to paint abortion rights supporters as homicidal maniacs but polls show that voters can easily identify the true extremists on this issue.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."