Let’s begin all this by considering the simultaneous and of course “coincidental” pile on from all of these Republican-run states on crushing women’s control over their own bodies. They are trying to outdo each other in having the most oppressive government crackdowns on the independence of women…including legislating mandatory cruelty against young girls who are victims of rape and incest (you know, the real guilty parties in a rape).
Some of these laws declare that it is a crime, once the mother just knows she is pregnant, to have an abortion, even in the early weeks. Some laws, like the Alabama law, state that a doctor who performs and abortion can be imprisoned for 99 years…while the rapist of an 11 year old girl spends just a little time in prison before he gets to claim his parental rights and entwine himself in the life of his 11 year old rape victim and mother for the rest of her life. Ah, the smell of Alabama justice!
Even spraying a crate of air freshener wouldn’t help.
By no means do these white male legislators (notice the two things that these anti-women voting Alabama legislators in the image above have in common?), who would never personally accept government restricting their freedoms, represent everyone in Alabama. But as in Missouri, Ohio and the other states now pouring their residents’ tax money into taking away women’s rights aren’t concerned in the least that they are steering their state’s focus and resources away from helping existing citizens with their many issues (Alabama is at the bottom of the list in education, infant mortality, health care, standard of living, poverty, etc…but at least child molesters can be assured of being rewarded with fatherhood there!).
It’s clear that this is a coordinated Republican war on Roe v. Wade, to bring it down as soon as possible. Mitch McConnell has abused his office to shove two right wing Supreme Court justices onto the court and give the extremists a 5-4 majority they are anxious to take advantage of.
But why is this such a high priority not just for Republican politicians and the Right Wing power brokers but for the corporate Right Wingers like the Koch brothers? Why has this issue been so persistently a top cause?
Plainly, it is an emotional issue that provides a sense of outrage and moral superiority for their base voters. However, it is interesting to explore the politicians’ motivations. Let’s begin by testing out the proposition of whether this is about an earnest moral value for Republican politicians. Because if it isn’t, then there has to be another motive.
The view they present is that they are pro-life because all life is sacred. Proving that proposition false takes little effort. These same politicians refuse to pass gun safety laws because it would “infringe on the rights of gun owners” despite between 30,000 to 40,000 “sacred lives” of innocent Americans being taken every year and that number is rising. And somoe of these victims are pregnant women and young children. Why aren’t these same Republican outraged by this ongoing loss of sacred life ad limiting gun rights the way they’re limiting women’s rights, to supposedly save lives?
These Republican politicians also oppose and do their best to cut benefits to provide food and health care to children in poverty. In Washington DC, they try to slash the nominal income and health insurance keeping the elderly alive through Social Security and Medicare. They support the death penalty and military conflicts where not only are their own residents killed in conflicts but innocent men, women and children (including pregnant women) are murdered. We don’t see a “pro-life” principle applying in any of these cases. Apparently, there is an unseen but big asterisk on their “pro-life” label.
If, for a moment, you put aside the abortion issue for Right Wing Republican politicians (which is nearly all of them at this point), what you see is pretty consistent support for allowing the deaths of others. Their “pro-life” position on abortion is an anomaly…and that’s because to them, this issue isn’t really about core beliefs or empathy, it’s about something else far more crass and cynical.
It is about power.
Plain and simple, these Republicans embrace anti-abortion fights so aggressively because it is such a perfect con job for them to benefit from. What could be better cover for those primarily chasing more power for themselves and their party and wanting to payback those wealthy people who fill their pockets with money? What could be better for them than exploiting abortion for personal gain and being able to hide behind the fake morality of standing up for a defenseless fetus? Of course, once it’s born, these politicians run into a conflict with taxing the rich to help pay to sustain that life so then it suddenly isn’t really that “sacred” anymore when life competes with campaign contributions (if newborns donated to politicians, that could change things…how about an infants’ lobbying group/SuperPAC, “Babies Urging Reproductive Parents”…BURP?).
And the motivation for power doesn’t stop there. The chauvinism that gushes out of the mouths of these RW Republican politicians is a reflection of the other power-related issue driving them. They have claimed that rape is consensual, that a woman can’t claim rape if it’s her husband, that women share responsibility for rape because of how they dress or if they drink alcohol and they even claim that women can’t get pregnant from rape if they simply decide they don’t want to.
The insecurity of these men at witnessing the empowerment and equality of women has been an ongoing threat to them. They do not want to see women as being equal to them, as being as competent and powerful and being an equal competitor in the career arena.
They liked it better when women were seen as second class citizens who served the man and could be patted on the head and told “how cute she is” when she tried to do things that of course only men can do well.
So there is another power-related benefit for these RW Republican men as they enthusiastically pursue their anti-abortion agenda, it knocks women back and away from them. Women lose and that’s what they want, men get to decide for women what they can do with their own bodies and what they specifically can’t do. In this pursuit, women have no control over men’s bodies while men take control of women’s bodies and affirm them to be lesser, just helpless vessels for a man’s reproductive use.
The comparisons to A Handmaid’s Tale have been well made and don’t need to greatly expounded upon here but as so many Trump voters have expressed, they really want to see America return to a time when white male Christians had supremacy over all other Americans, when women were considered inferior and had less power…along with minorities of course.
The old saying applies here, “Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” If these selfish, power-minded men eventually succeed in having the SCOTUS tear away the rights of a woman over her own body, legally making women the only class of citizen whose body the state has authority over, the political landscape changes.
No longer will the abortion issue energize the Republican base, once you get what you want, you’re not motivated to go out to protest against something that’s not going on anymore (at least not in clinics but in more dangerous, secret places again by people who aren’t doctors). At the same time, women and those who respect them, who represent a majority of voters, will gain an intensity of righteous enthusiasm to reclaim their equality and independence from government control when they’re pregnant. This is likely to become a force and a movement rarely seen in politics, in terms of scope and power.
Support for abortion rights grows as some U.S. states curb access: Reuters/Ipsos poll
Americans have become more supportive of abortion rights over the past year, even as a wave of Republican-controlled state governments have imposed new restrictions, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday.
The poll found that 58% of American adults said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 50% who said that in a similar poll that ran in July 2018.
For these craven politicians, if they win in the short term, they will lose eventually, one way or another. That’s the way it often works out in politics for those who would harm the many to profit themselves. This is ultimately a losing issue for these Right Wing Republican politicians, at least on a national scale. Around 60% of Americans think abortion should be legal, at least in some situations like first term, in the case of rape or incest and when the life of the mother is at stake. Many of these recent state bills fly in the face of what the majority wants.
The American people and women in particular, will in time, make their will the law of the land. Those Right Wing Republican politicians who are showing such spite towards them to benefit themselves…may be made to wish they’d never been born.