As I’ve mentioned before, some conservatives and non-conservative dupes are insisting that with Roe overturned, right-to-lifers will now happily set up government programs that will make life easier for the pregnant woman. Which they’ve failed to do at the federal or state level prior to Dobbs because, um, reasons?
Writing in the NYT, Jamelle Bouie explains why it’s never going to happen: “”This distance — between the rhetoric of “life” and the reality of conservative Republican governance — only looks like hypocrisy. In truth, it is perfectly consistent. That’s because the Republican ideal of a “pro-family” agenda is girded on traditional hierarchies. Reproductive autonomy, up to and including the right to get an abortion, weakens hierarchies of gender. And the social safety net — especially one that extends directly to mothers and children — undermines the preferred conservative social order of isolated, atomized households kept in line through market discipline.
If the goal of abortion opponents and politicians is to encourage life and promote families, then, yes, their interests and priorities are at odds with their actions. But if the goal is a more rigid and hierarchical world of untrammeled patriarchal authority, then, well, things are pretty much going according to plan.”
Bingo. From the point of view that men and women are just different, with women on the bottom, a lot of things make perfect sense. For example, right-wing misogynist (and Confederacy nostalgist) Douglas Wilson admits that religious conservatives don’t slut shame men the way they do women, but that’s because “A key that opens a hundred locks can claim to be a master key. A lock that opens to a hundred keys can only claim to be pretty much worthless.” And he’s totally not saying that it’s cool when guys sleep around … even though he is. Of course this is the same guy who’s view of sex is that “the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party [never trust anyone who says ‘egalitarian’ as a bad thing]. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.” It’s just a fact of life, so suck it up, ladies (Wilson also thinks it’s unfair to keep pedophiles away from children).
In case you’re wondering, Wilson’s views put him solidly in the right-wing mainstream. They give lip service to male chastity but “boys will be boys” — there’s no real shame if a guy doesn’t give his bide the gift of his virginity on their wedding night.
As I’ve said before, religious conservative policies are the fruit of a poisonous tree, completely tainted by their theological misogyny. I doubt they’re at all troubled that some pharmacists and doctors are refusing to prescribe methotrexate for women — it’s a medical abortion drug that also treats arthritis and lupus pain — but men can get it prescribed just fine.
Liberal evangelical Fred Clark has often pointed out that being anti-abortion is often used as an excuse to justify — well, pretty much anything. Sure, they’re not doing anything to help rape victims forced to bear a child, but you support murdering babies! They have the moral high ground! And that also excludes things like lying about a 10-year-old rape victim having to leave Ohio to get an abortion — she doesn’t exist, liberals made her up! Oh, she exists and the guy pled guilty? Of course they’re not apologizing for being wrong! The rapist was an illegal immigrant, that’s what matters! And Ohio totally has a rape exception in its abortion laws! No, it doesn’t. Besides, the abortion isn’t a real abortion.
The state’s anti-abortion AG (who claimed the crime didn’t happen) says that the life and health of the mother exemption would totally have covered this, but I can understand why a doctor wouldn’t want to bet on that interpretation. And while one columnist objected that the only source for the original newspaper story was the abortion doctor, and she’s “an activist” so she’s biased! As Nieman Lab says, ” If performing or receiving an abortion now counts as activism, well, then journalists will need to be okay quoting “activists,” unless they only want to tell the anti-abortion movement’s side.” Which is heavy on the lying — as noted in this twitter thread, a woman now insisting right-wingers completely support lifesaving medical abortions also claims abortions are never necessary to save lives.
(Side note: the law says abortion information doctors have to give women is no longer vetted by the state ob/gyns’ association but by “independent health experts.” I presume that means bullshit warnings backed up by religious conservative lies).
As Michelle Goldberg says, if the forced-birthers such as the AG really believe a 10-year-old rape victim (and at that age, it’s always rape — 10 year olds can’t legally consent) is entitled to an abortion, they could write that into the law. They won’t because a large part of the movement would object (maybe the politicians would too): forced-birth attorney James Bopp says that under the model legislation he’s written “She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.” She’s 10. There is no damn benefit to a 10-year-old bearing a child.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t care when members of Team Conservative are caught being hypocrites. But from their point of view, a lot of what looks like hypocrisy isn’t.