Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Can Republicans "moderate" their position on abortion?

One of the most important stories coming out of recent elections is that, whenever voters have a chance to weigh in about abortion, they have chosen to support a woman's right to chose. That has supposedly made Republicans think twice about promoting their extremist views. 

But as Kavitha Surana reports at ProPublica, anti-choice activists are successfully lobbying red states with abortion bans to oppose adding exceptions for rape, incest, and health risks. 

[I]n the most conservative states, Republicans ultimately fell in line with highly organized Christian groups. Those activists fought to keep the most restrictive abortion bans in place by threatening to pull funding and support primary challenges to lawmakers that didn’t stand strong.

Their fervor to protect the laws reflects a bedrock philosophy within the American anti-abortion movement: that all abortion exceptions — even those that protect the pregnant person’s life or health — should be considered the same as sanctioning murder.

 This tells you all you need to know about how far these folks are willing to go:

The Catholic Church and the anti-abortion movement also have a history of celebrating the stories of women who were willing to sacrifice their lives to continue their pregnancies.

One of the most well-known stories is about Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young Italian woman who refused chemotherapy in 2011 for cancer on her tongue because she was pregnant. As the cancer progressed, it became difficult for her to speak and see. A year after giving birth to a healthy baby boy, she died.

Live Action, a major anti-abortion advocacy group, included Petrillo on a list of “7 Brave Mothers Who Risked Their Lives to Save Their Preborn Babies.”...

In anti-abortion circles, Petrillo has been described as a “heroine for the 21st century” and a “modern day saint.”

On the Protestant side, the movement Speaker Mike Johnson is most closely aligned with - Christian reconstructionism - includes this in their statement on "The Christian Worldview of the Family:"

We affirm that every human being begins life from the moment of conception; that the zygote, embryo, and fetus should therefore be entitled to full protection of law (Psalm 139:14,15; Jeremiah 1:5; Exodus 21:22-25); that killing the zygote, embryo, or fetus through abortion or any other form of violence is murder; that removal of the zygote, embryo, or fetus from the womb is justified only when leaving the child inside the mother would cause death for both mother and child; that the Church should encourage research to improve the chances of survival for a baby so removed; and that no baby should be deprived of nourishment or necessary medical care after birth for any reason (Deuteronomy 5:17).

We deny that either the mother, the father, the civil government, or any other person or institution has a moral right to decree the death by abortion of any child for any reason, be it social, economic, psychological, etc.

For these folks, any abortion from the moment of conception is murder - unless continuing the pregnancy would cause the death of BOTH the mother and fetus. That's as extreme as it gets. 

When Republicans attempt to moderate their position on abortion, these are the folks that are determined to stop them. 


  1. Can they moderate their position on abortion? Yes. Will they? No. Because no one is in charge of the Republican Party. Ronna Romney McDaniel may head the party, but when has she ever said no to Trump? Party policy is set when talking heads give the orders, whether on TV, radio or online. The party has not set policy on its own for decades. They outsourced messaging to Fox over 25 years ago, and Rupert Murdoch was happy to drive the party off a cliff and SFB's like Rush and Alex Jones make sure the party does not lose momentum while the party tumbles down the hillside. Then you have Speaker Johnson - a Christofascist wrapped in deep South manners and honey coated lies. The Christofascists never thought they would have one of their own as Speaker, so you can bet the Christofascists will never support any attempt to remove Johnson. And the Christofascists will never allow the party to abandon a full-on abortion ban.

    At this point in time, I don't see the party fracturing, but I do see it contracting as they drive anyone with a hair of moderation in them, out of the party. Unfortunately, those who have been driven out of the party will still largely support the party, because they can't bring themselves to think any other way. And even after election cycle after election cycle showing their numbers shrinking they won't change their ways because...no one is in charge of setting policy for the party and the talking heads will continue to drive the party farther in to extremism.

  2. they have a problem with the "moral right to decree the death by abortion of any child for any reason" but have no fucking problem whatsoever decreeing the death of the goddamn MOTHER of that child?!? yeah, there's a gaping, black hole in their goddamn "moral" centers.


Sure, Trump is unfit for office. But his agenda would also be a monumental disaster!

For just a moment, I'd like to back off the fact that Donald Trump is unfit for office, is a serial liar, has been found guilty of rape/...