Michael Gerson ponders “The Trumpification of the pro-life movement” and how it “exacts a price”:
[I]f the overturn or revision of Roe comes, it will almost certainly return greater flexibility to states regarding the regulation of abortion. This will kindle dozens of debates across the country and become a contest of persuasion and organization.
It is then that the Trumpification of the pro-life movement will exact a price. There is a serious cost when a movement that regards itself as pro-woman associates with misogyny. There is a serious cost when a movement that claims to be expanding the circle of social inclusion associates itself with nativism and racism. There is a serious cost when a movement that needs to be seen as charitable and reasonable associates itself with the politics of abuse and cruelty.
This turns out to be a particularly pure test of transactional, single-issue politics. Would you trade a major political gain for a large chunk of your moral reputation?
I don’t want to argue that such a choice is easy. Maybe gaining two justices is worth it. But I am skeptical ….
This is exactly right.
The Supreme Court is not going to outlaw abortion, though there is a little-known legal theory that correlates the roughly contemporaneous (a) enactment of early anti-abortion statutes under the influence of physicians who were becoming aware of the facts of embryology and (b) the post Civil War amendments, concluding that the unborn were and are thereafter constitutional persons with constitutional protection.
Back to practical reality. At most, the Court will remove some or all of the fanciful constitutional barriers to anti-abortion laws it has erected over nearly five decades.
Then, in most states, it will be necessary to fight for re-instatement of pro-life laws that were docilely taken “off the books” following Roe v. Wade (it’s “most states” because a few left there laws on the books in anticipation of Roe‘s eventual demise).
In those legislative debates, which are already beginning in states friendly to feticide and which anticipate reversal of Roe (see this New York Times editorial goading on “blue states … locking down reproductive rights”), the credibility of the pro-life movement will matter a lot, and its alignment with Trump’s person, his policies, and his Twitter ejaculations, will have proven to erode that credibility.
In short, it will come down for many to whether they can stomach voting in sync with those misogynistic, nativist, Trumpified pro-lifers.
Just. You. Damn. Watch.
This is among the reasons I’ve basically ceased financial contributions to the political side of the pro-life cause. Fate—or they themselves—has dealt them a very dubious hand, and I judge that my charitable dollars are better spent elsewhere.
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