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GOP Governors Desperately Try To Claim Dems Are The Real Abortion Radicals Ahead Of Tomorrow's Elections
This doesn't work any more!
For the last few weeks (months?), there have been multiple articles in practically every major outlet about how Republican Governors Mike DeWine and Glenn Youngkin are test driving a bold new course on abortion. Every time I look and expect to see something new, but each time it’s really just that they are claiming that, actually, they are very reasonable and Democrats are the real abortion radicals.
If you want the truth, I’m not actually super clear how this is “new,” especially given that it has involved the spread of ridiculous old canards like accusing Democrats of supporting insane things like “abortion up until the moment of birth.”
In Ohio, abortion is literally on the ballot. A very confusingly worded ballot, thanks to anti-abortion creeps, but it’s there. Voting in the state will end tomorrow and soon we will find out if the Buckeye State will include the right to abortion in their state constitution.
Gov. DeWine, who signed the law barring abortion in the state after six weeks, has been grasping at straws trying to paint the ballot measure as radical and promising that if Ohio voters don’t approve it, there could maybe someday be a compromise that everyone would like.
“If we’re able to defeat this, then I think we can come together as a state and find a place where a majority of Ohioans can, in fact, agree,” he said a few weeks ago.
In an appearance on yesterday’s “Face the Nation,” DeWine again tried to paint the amendment as radical by, uh, calling it radical.
“If you look at Issue 1 — it’s a radical proposal and whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, it just goes much, much too far,” DeWine said. “It is a radical proposal and does not fit Ohio.
When pressed by moderator Margaret Brennan on what that actually meant, he suggested that the problem was doctors not having their decisions on who can get an abortion “reviewed.”
“So that’s the person who’s going to determine — there’s no review of that,” DeWine continued. “Second, there is a wide exception written into this law, which talks about the health of the mother. The Supreme Court, the United States has defined this extremely broadly; [it] can mean health, can mean something having to do with her income, it can have something to do with how many children she has and again, it is the person performing the abortion in the clinic who’s going to make that determination, and there’s no review of.”
And who should be “reviewing” that decision? State legislators? Part of the reason these restrictions are going over like lead balloons is specifically because people want doctors to be able to make the best decisions with their individual patients and not have to, say, wait until someone goes into sepsis before providing them with miscarriage care. It is very clear that this is not a thing that works out well, logistically, in real life.
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In Virginia, it’s Republicans who are on the ballot and Gov. Youngkin is promising that if voters let them take over the Senate, they’ll only ban abortion after 15 weeks.
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who won in an upset in 2021, is leading messaging around abortion for Virginia Republicans. They have adopted much of his position: a 15-week abortion ban, which includes exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.
His strategy is aimed at combating the image of the GOP as extreme on the issue, something that helped Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterm elections. Virginia Democrats, energized by the fall of Roe, won key areas that Youngkin had previously carried.
Youngkin and his protégés keep claiming that the ban after 15 weeks isn’t a “ban,” which it obviously is.
Right now, abortion is largely legal in the state before the third trimester (with the usual health exceptions) and Democrats control the state Senate — meaning they can overturn whatever abortion bans Youngkin and friends come to the table with. Youngkin wants voters to stop them from doing that.
Democrats, however, are hoping that their position on abortion and other issues will allow them to take over the entire state legislature — which would certainly be a big help in the bellwether state going into 2024. While Virginia is still pretty purple and polls show the election could easily go either way, the vast majority of voters want to keep abortion rights exactly where they are.
The common punditry wisdom on this issue is that if the Youngkin/DeWine strategy of promising to compromise on abortion in order to claim that Democrats are the “real radicals” works out, that it will be tried in other states. This seems unlikely to happen, as the fact that most people want abortion to remain legal has never really been something Republicans have concerned themselves with — and they’d probably get in more trouble with their base if they were seen as compromising.
Ironically, the overturning of Roe v. Wade is the thing that killed the ability of Republicans to claim that abortion restrictions like these are “reasonable.” That only works when people have no idea what those restrictions actually look like if implemented. It’s clear what that looks like now, and it looks a whole lot like “serious pregnancy complications going very, very badly.”
There are certain things that only seem like a good idea to people so long as they can remain relatively ignorant about them, don’t think about them too deeply or never actually see/use them in practice. Fast fashion, fast food, wizards, diamonds, shower sex, New Year’s Eve in Times Square, the lyrics to Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams (Get Into My Car),” taking a bath surrounded by candles, private health insurance, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture eyeshadow palette, etc. etc.
Add abortion restrictions to that list.