Much like classic defenses of slavery and Jim Crow, talking about “state’s rights” in abortion debates is a way right-wingers can duck saying what they actually want. Except Lindsey Graham has now called for a national 15-week ban, which the bill’s disingenuous title describes as late-term abortions.
No surprise, at least not to me. The forced-birth movement has never made any secret that what they want is an end to abortion, not merely to return the issue to state government. But given how much pushback the Dobbs decision has already generated, Republicans are not happy Graham has played this card pre-election. Shakezula agrees it’s a lousy political move although some political pundits are struggling to explain how it’s a win for Republican strategy. As witness it’s inspiring more young women to vote.
So no surprise either that Repubs continue lying about what they want. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance, insists the right to abortion (and gay marriage) are perfectly safe. As Alexandri Petri snarks, they’d like you to believe they don’t support Graham’s anti-abortion position (“We just want to ban abortion first in one state, then another, then another, and we want to do that 50 times in total — until all the states have banned abortion! “)
Yesli Vega, a Repub candidate in Virginia, recycles another old lie, that rape won’t get you pregnant: “it wouldn’t surprise me, because it’s not something that’s happening organically. Right? You’re forcing it.” This is both wrong and irrelevant: if Vega opposes abortion rights for rape victims, it wouldn’t matter if it’s only one or two people who lose their rights (I’m sure she doesn’t think aborting only a couple of babies is acceptable). She’s factually wrong about rape and pregnancy, but I imagine the point is the same as with the late, unlamented Todd Akin — if rape doesn’t produce pregnancy, women who say they were raped are just lying sluts so obviously no abortions for them!
Fellow Virginia Republican Jennifer Kiggans grumbles that Dems “are trying to make that the issue to deflect, right, from all of the issues that voters really care about. They’re trying to distract with these shiny objects like the abortion issue.” How dare women inconvenience Kiggans’ political career by caring about their lives?
As for the idea touted by some right-to-lifers that red states will up their support for mothers and children, well, no.
I go into forced-birth bullshit in more detail in Undead Sexist Cliches, available as a Amazon paperback, an ebook and from several other retailers. Cover by Kemp Ward, all rights remain with current holder.