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Texas and the GOP War on Women

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Above: If only

There’s never good news when we are talking Texas politics. That very much includes its war on women.

It’s possible that, even if Planned Parenthood is defunded at the federal level by current Republican efforts, funding might be restored by subsequent legislation. But Texas provides a startling example of how quickly the women’s-health landscape can be wrecked by a withdrawal of resources—and how lasting that wreckage can be. Within months of the family-planning budget getting slashed in Texas, more than sixty women’s-health clinics had closed. Such effects can take years to undo, even if laws are reversed. In 2016, the Supreme Court overturned a Texas law that had halved the number of abortion clinics in the state. Only two clinics have reopened. The sprawl of Texas is almost incomprehensible—it’s the same distance from Houston, my home town, to El Paso as it is from Houston to Kansas City—and that sprawl means that rural clinic closures bring immediate and catastrophic consequences for poor women and women without cars. Teen abortions and teen births have both been increasing in Texas since 2011, and the maternal mortality rate in Texas doubled from 2010 to 2014. It’s now 35.8 deaths per hundred thousand live births—the worst maternal mortality rate you can find in the developed world.

Last week, I spoke to Caroline Coyner-Such, a clinician who has been working in health care for forty-three years, twenty-seven of those at Planned Parenthood. She now works at a clinic in North Austin, one of three in the Austin area that collectively serve nearly nineteen thousand patients each year. “Twenty or thirty years ago,” she told me over the phone, “we saw mainly women under the age of thirty-five. These days, as Texas women lose access to other options, we’re seeing more women, and a wider range of women—preteens up to women in their fifties and sixties.” The previous day, a homeless patient had come in. The North Austin clinic provides well-woman exams, S.T.I. screenings, cervical-cancer screenings, breast-cancer screenings, and birth-control counselling, among other things. It does not provide abortion services, but the surgical center at the South Austin location, thirty minutes away, does.

As clinics in other areas have been forced to close, the Austin-area clinics have begun seeing more and more patients from farther away. “Yesterday, I saw a patient from Elgin, which is an hour away,” Coyner-Such said. “We see people from Killeen, which is another hour away. This means people have to take a whole day off from work to drive to Austin to get basic services—which often used to be available in their communities—and go back. We routinely send prescriptions out in a seventy-five-to-one-hundred-mile radius.” The Austin-area clinics have a base of private donors and local grants that they’ve been able to draw from as they’ve scrambled to replace public funding; small clinics often lack this piecemeal buffer, and rely more heavily on Title X, which is Planned Parenthood’s other federal funding source.

“People are fearful,” Coyner-Such told me. “The summer is usually lower in terms of patient numbers, but not this year.” The news is a constant presence in her workplace, she said, with patients showing up afraid that their insurance will be taken away, and with new regulations from the legislature rolling in. “We have to be constantly monitoring in order to know what we’re going to lose and what we have to recoup,” she said. “It takes a lot of effort to stay on top of—I can’t believe I’m even using this term, but—the fake news.” Patients are sometimes openly surprised that the clinic is clean and professional, or that Coyner-Such has specialty certifications. She knows the kind of campaigning she’s up against. “Years ago, I had a Planned Parenthood bumper sticker, and someone slashed my tires,” she said. “After that, I quit doing bumper stickers—it’s not worth the tire replacement.”

This is the goal of the national GOP. Making sure women die of cancer and from illegal abortions, ensuring that they are punished for sex by unwanted children who will grow up in poverty and then creating major taxpayer burdens when that poverty leads to incarceration is real life Republican policy. It hardly needs to be said around here, but that is why this blog has so little tolerance for pointless third party vanity campaigns. They contribute to people’s death when they allow Republicans to take office.

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  • rea

    I can see why that guy regrets his abortion–he missed his chance to go down in history!

    • To be fair, he *could* be a trans man. But probably not.

    • MikeG

      I regret that his mom didn’t have one.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        There’s still time for a post-natal abortion, and that guy is a prime candidate for one, being clearly acephalic.

  • Balancing their ethnic cleansing with increased numbers of those subjugated.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Hey, don’t point the finger at Texas legislators — it’s all Eve’s fault!

  • King Goat

    “this blog has so little tolerance for pointless third party vanity campaigns”

    Pointless major party vanity campaigns like Wendy Davis’ though, ‘nother story!

    • DaftPunkd

      If that’s the case, isn’t any Democrat’s candidacy for statewide office in Texas a vanity campaign?

      • Thom

        Until one wins, which will happen eventually, but only if Democrats keep running and we keep supporting them.

      • King Goat

        Any of them who make abortion rights the centerpiece of their campaign. You have to moderate on that issue there.

    • brad nailer

      Wendy Davis was a viable candidate with a real chance of winning, to say nothing of the public consciousness raised by her candidacy. Jill Stein, a vanity candidate, had no chance of winning and almost no chance of even influencing the vote numbers. I assume she did, however, confuse a lot of people, mostly liberals.

      Also, “major-party vanity campaigns” is an oxymoron. Our current president’s campaign is a recent example.

    • stepped pyramids

      Because if Davis hadn’t run, the Green candidate would have surely defeated Abbott. Who was that again?

      • Karen

        There wasn’t one.

      • Karen

        To be clear, I completely agree with you.

  • efgoldman

    Aren’t slightly over half of all voters women?
    Damn.

    • Thirtyish

      Would that more of them recognized the relationship between anti-choice politics and misogyny. Or, even more to the point, would that more women weren’t on some level misogynists themselves (or at least far too willing to accept and excuse soft and hard misogyny).

      • ExpatJK

        “The only moral abortion is my abortion,” etc

    • TJ

      It’s amazing the number of women in Texas who would rather cut off their nose to spite their face…but then the reality is that most of these women voting this have health insurance and don’t know/care about the lives of poor women…especially heartbreaking since many these middle class women probably relied on PP in their 20s.

    • stepped pyramids

      I suspect there are more women in the United States who are having, have had, or may have potentially reproductive sex than there are working class white men. And yet for some reason policies that address the needs of the former are idpol, but not for the latter.

      • sherparick

        I would say that there are very few policies in Texas that address the needs of working class people of what ever sex or color. There are issues that cause people, both men and women, to adhere to their tribe and the psychological privileges of being “White” (also known as being a “Real American, a “Real Texan,” or “normal American) hence the worship of guns and the spread of the belief that no matter what a mean, selfish, prick you are, you are a good Christian who Jesus loves, as long as you are against abortion. From my once pro-choice, Republican Texas friends, who have become Evangelicals, I have learned that this is all that is required of a “good Christian.”

        Texas has some of the lowest voter turn out in the U.S., by design. And those that turn out to vote, are older, white, Evangelical Christians who are reminded that if they want to get to heaven, they have to vote for the most anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-tax, and pro-gun Republican running for office, because Jesus loves his guns and hates women who do the sexy thing for any purpose other than making babies.

  • sigaba

    They contribute to people’s death when they allow Republicans to take office.

    Blackmail!

  • tsam100

    Slightly off topic: I got called a short sighted fool on FB today because after reading that Democrats (supposedly) will entertain pro-life candidates next year, I objected, stating that agency and autonomy for women weren’t a perk of having Democrats in charge, but a basic human right. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be true.

    • sigaba

      I am perfectly alright with people holding anti-abortion sentiments in the Democratic party, as long as the policies and agenda of the Democratic party are arrived at openly through and through a participatory process.

      Pro-lifers running as Dems have gotta know from the outset that they’re not going to make a lotta headway on abortion in the Democratic party for now. If abortion is a make-or-break issue for them then they probably can’t run as Democrats. If they can run as Democrats it’ll be because they happen to be pro-life but worry about other things much more, like universal health care, or police abuses, or minority rights, or the big ball of class issues.

      • Karen

        This is my view. You can think abortion is icky or a bad idea so long as you don’t push banning it as a policy view.

    • You can be “pro life” in the way Dean Heller was “anti-medicaid cuts”. We’ve used that trick in Virginia before the Blueward drift kicked in. If it comes down to a Republican hell bent on throwing women who get abortions in jail for murder and a Democrat who says they’re “pro life” but votes for all meaningful, actionable items as pro choice, I’ll take the Democrat.

      Edit: Louisiana with Jim Bel Edwards is a good case of this, pro life but got medicaid expanded. He’s “pro life”, but I’m sure women in Louisiana are glad they had him over the Republican’s alternative.

      • ExpatJK

        Small correction, he’s not “pro life”, he’s anti-abortion. I have been pregnant and none of these supposedly “pro life” people were pro MY life.

    • AlexSaltzberg

      The hill has really descended quickly into click bait.

      They asked a litmus test question that could only generate bad responses — either the DCCC refuses to support candidates or supports a candidate with a conservative view. They then framed the article as if the DCCC official was signaling that it wasn’t important, when the answer is that everything about a candidate matters.

      But anyways — pro-life Dems are fine as long as they support the Democratic pro-choice agenda. And if that’s a problem for the candidates, then the Democratic party shouldn’t support them.

      • humanoidpanda

        And let’s be blunt here : if a pro choice candidate can’t beat a pro life candidate in a democratic primary, how are they going to win the general on that district ?

      • djw

        Exactly. The chatter on facebook I saw today seemed to fall for the bait, hook line and sinker.

        There also seemed to be very little appreciation for the fact that party hacks in DC won’t make this decision, democratic primary electorates around the country will.

        • AlexSaltzberg

          DCCC could recruit a pro-life candidate. There’s nothing preventing someone else from challenging them. Biggest issue would be funding in the primary and what they’d do after the election if their hand picked candidate didn’t win.

          And I expect the DCCC to be recruiting pro-life candidates. And those candidates will probably lose. But they need to be planning for a wave election, which involves recruiting candidates in every district.

      • tsam100

        The point I failed at making was that I don’t want this to turn into a party war, and I really don’t want to alienate women, and I really don’t want one or two of these guys being a vote that can tip a chamber of Congress. I feel like it’s damned important to defend women, we need them, and I think they’ve earned it.

        • AlexSaltzberg

          The only deal breaker that pro-life Dems demand is Hyde amendment stuff. Which is awful, but also the status quo since 1976. It will be an issue when democrats try health care reform again, but probably not until then.

        • ExpatJK

          Thanks, Tsam. This woman for one appreciates the sentiment.

          • Origami Isopod

            So do I.

            Also, I really need to re-enable the Chrome thingy that changes pro-life to “anti-choice,” because it irks me to see the former, a bullshit right-wing framing phrase, used all over a liberal blog’s comments.

            • tsam100

              I’ll remember next time

            • ExpatJK

              Oh I need that because I cannot stand the “pro-life” label for these people. As I said above, I’ve been pregnant and they were certainly not pro MY life. They are anti-choice foetal supremacists.

    • heckblazer

      If a few new candidates are pro-life the way Harry Reid was, I think the party will be fine.

      • stepped pyramids

        Reid was legitimately shitty on abortion (23% rating from NARAL) before becoming Majority Leader, at which point he pretty much set aside his personal positions in service of the broader agenda.

    • ASV

      Democrats have entertained pro-life candidates for literally the entire history of the abortion debate.

    • Bitter Scribe

      I’d vote for a “pro-life” Democrat only if 1) he or she had a decent record on other issues and 2) was running against a typically swinish Republican. And it would still piss me off.

      • Joe Paulson

        does this involve a prostitute and a Louisianian?

    • NeonTrotsky

      I’ll paraphrase a comment I made yesterday. If Democrats didn’t occasionally support anti-abortion rights candidates, then a bunch of people in Louisiana wouldn’t have healthcare. It kind of pisses me off to see people insist that we have to support centrists like Ossof if we’re going to win, and then turn around and say that we need a litmus test for abortion rights(and to clarify, I’m not saying that you are saying this, just that this is an attitude I’ve seen consistently across my FB feed). If we’re going to be a big tent party, and I think we do to win, then that big tent shouldn’t only be one that flexes on economics.

      • King Goat

        Yup.

      • Paul Thomas

        I’ve been arguing a similar point. Litmus tests are stupid. The question is whether the candidate’s stances, taken as a whole, are significantly better than the Republican’s, and it’s vanishingly rare that that won’t be the case.

        The only place where a pro-choice litmus test might be appropriate is in districts currently represented by one of the handful of remaining pro-choice REPUBLICANS, i.e. where electing a pro-“life” Democrat would actually put abortion rights further at risk. And I suspect that in those districts, there is essentially zero probability that any viable Democratic candidate would be pro-“life.”

      • ExpatJK

        Obviously yes, litmus testing can be problematic, but this statement really rankles me:
        If we’re going to be a big tent party, and I think we do to win, then that big tent shouldn’t only be one that flexes on economics

        as does the one at the beginning:
        If Democrats didn’t occasionally support anti-abortion rights candidates

        The Democrats have been a big tent party that includes anti-abortion rights candidates since basically forever. This is the party that included Bart Stupak. Bill Clinton was famous for his “safe, legal and rare” formulation, which is hardly a rousing defence of the right to an abortion. There is a serious push on economics from the Bernie wing of the party (for lack of a better term, and I do recognise that Bernie is not technically in the party) – I would be completely stunned to see something similar with respect to abortion rights. The idea that Democrats are consistently supporters of pro-choice candidates, and only pro-choice candidates, or that abortion is not an area in which the “big tent flexes,” is basically laughable.

        As for the Louisiana post – I believe Scott, or one of the other front pagers, had a pretty good post about it at the time. I am not a Louisiana voter, but I do agree that Bel Edwards was certainly better than the alternative. It has to be emphasised, however, that this decision came with greater cost to women than it did to men, precisely because of Bel Edwards’ stance on abortion.

        Oh, and abortion is of course very closely linked to economic issues for women, so this idea that they should be separated is hilarious.

        • NeonTrotsky

          “The idea that Democrats are consistently supporters of pro-choice candidates, and only pro-choice candidates, or that abortion is not an area in which the “big tent flexes,” is basically laughable.”

          The fact remains that there are people trying to make this the case, like Howard Dean, Tom Perez, like half my friends on Facebook, and several people in this very comments section. It’s bad strategy honestly, and it just gives ammunition to the parties critics on both the left and the right.

          “Oh, and abortion is of course very closely linked to economic issues for women, so this idea that they should be separated is hilarious.”

          Look, I’m a pro-choice progressive I don’t disagree. It just irritates me to all heck to see people attack people for not backing centrists like Ossof, and then turn around and insist that supporting people like that guy in Omaha is just unspeakable. We should be supporting both, because the Republicans are worse in every way imaginable, not just supporting candidates that are the least offensive and nonthreatening to big donors.

          The Democratic party is basically at zero risk at becoming an anti-choice party across the board, because that’s not where the base is, and that’s not even where the public is, and I see no real harm in throwing some money at candidates in the south and midwest who’s seats would otherwise be filled by some Republican.

          • ExpatJK

            The fact remains that there are people trying to make this the case, like Howard Dean, Tom Perez, and like half my friends on Facebook
            OK, so get back to me when, as a party, the Democrats explicitly say they will not run any candidates that are anti-abortion. Until then, this is silly, because there are people trying to make the case for lots of things. There is a huge push with respect to economics, and it has gone farther faster than ANYTHING related to abortion in the party. This is…telling, to me.

            We should be supporting both, because the Republicans are worse in every way imaginable, not just supporting candidates that are the least offensive and nonthreatening to big donors
            Are there people seriously saying they would vote for a Republican rather than an anti-abortion Democrat? This is not the argument. In my previous post, I explicitly said I AGREED that Bel Edwards – an anti abortion Democrat – was preferable to the Republican. I don’t think anyone on this blog has seriously argued for voting for the GOP over a Democrat to further the cause of access to abortion.

            Also, at least with respect to Heath Mello in Omaha, he co-sponsored a bill requiring ultrasounds before abortion. To me at least, that’s beyond a standard anti-abortion stance, and I personally find it problematic. Of course, I assume his GOP opponent would be exponentially worse on the issue, and thus of course Mello vs GOP is not a hard call. But the issue there, iirc, was calling Mello a progressive and so on, when he was demonstrably NOT one in what is a key economic and social issue for 50% of the population.

          • tsam100

            I wanted Ossof to beat the dumbfuck scumbag he ran against too. I just don’t want us all to throw up a green light to anti-choice fuckers thinking that’s some kind of long term strategy for electoral victory, especially in light of the empirical fact that women are absolutely necessary for electoral victory. To me, it’s the same as shrugging off one of these blue lives matter racists.

            • NeonTrotsky

              I don’t think anyone is arguing for adopting anti-abortion nonsense as part of the Democratic platform, rather that insisting that the DNC explicitly not fund anti-choice candidates is a bad strategy, for the same reason that insisting that the DNC not fund anyone who isn’t a socialist or whatever label you want to plug in there is a bad strategy, as much as I would prefer that members of the party were much more in line with the left of the party with regards to unions, public spending, and anti-poverty policies than they sometimes are. I regularly vote for my pro-gun, anti-regulation, pro-free trade, pro-Israel Democratic congressman because I know the Republican would be worse, and because I know that there is no way the Democratic party will ever have a majority without candidates like him, but in doing so I have to hold my nose because I know those policies actively hurt people, probably even cause people to die who wouldn’t otherwise. I just don’t see why we should treat abortion any differently.

          • tsam100

            To state the point more clearly, I want being anti choice to Democratic voters what supporting tax increases to balance budgets is to republican voters. It shouldn’t really be a question.

    • TJ

      The Dems are big tent party. Few issues are settled platform planks. I’d like to see it be much more multicultural for instance but I don’t see that ever happening in reality.

      • tsam100

        Totally agree. I’m down with a big tent, but stinky motherfuckers have to sleep outside.

        • TJ

          LMFAO… Reminds me of LBJ’s quote: “I’d rather have them inside the tent pissing out then outside the tent pissing in.”

        • Linnaeus

          The way I like to put it is this: it’s a big tent, but you still need a ticket to get in.

    • tsam100

      So what other basIc rights are open to negotiation in the big tent? I feel like a lot of liberals would be more angry about someone who hates marriage equality than abortion. I don’t know why we’d need to cede ground on this. It’s supposed to be a core value. Amen don’t call it a litmus test. That’s fucking stupid. It’s not a litmus test anymore than asking if you support cops not shooting unarmed black people all the time is a Fucking litmus test. Goddamn. This shit is fucking insane.

      • humanoidpanda

        First off, 8 years ago, the Democrats ran a guy arguing that marriage equality was bad for president.
        Second, the issue here is that unlike marriage equality, the vast majority of the public is not fully on board with the pro-choice position. (aborion is icky and should be legal but maybe we can figure out a way to limit it to people who have good reason is probably a plurality position in the electorate). You also need to consider the fact hat many good Democrats hold the “abortion is bad ethically, but should be legal” position. So, making a clear cut like we did with gay marriage is not going to be politically viable.

    • mds

      I got called a short sighted fool on FB today

      Well, in fairness, your gravatar is Goofy squinting.

      • tsam100

        Oh. Well that explains some stuff.

  • MikeG

    Maternal mortality rate in Texas…[is] now 35.8 deaths per hundred thousand live births—the worst maternal mortality rate you can find in the developed world.

    This is the actual kind of “American Exceptionalism” that results from right-wing rule.
    Worse than Egypt and Sri Lanka, and just barely better than Mexico. USA! USA!

  • Joe Paulson

    I’m sure someone regrets their abortion like people regret marriages, having a child and so forth. That’s what freedom is about — sometimes you make choices that you might regret, though later you might change your mind. You might even make the choices for confused reasons etc. It’s what being free, including free to control your body, sort of means. It isn’t a one way ratchet.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    In this part of the country, keeping anti-choice Democrats away from our party’s nominations is at least as important as keeping vanity, third-party candidates at bay. One of the three major Democratic candidates for next year’s gubernatorial nomination here in Oklahoma is State House of Representatives Minority Leader Scott Inman, who is absolutely terrible on these issues. There is very little chance that a third-party vanity candidate will be on the ballot next November, but there’s a very real chance that voters will be faced with a choice between an anti-choice Republican and an anti-choice Democrat. So please add to your intolerance of vanity third-party candidates a similar intolerance of folks like Inman.

    • ExpatJK

      Thanks, Incontinentia.

    • Paul Thomas

      I’m afraid I know little of these Oklahoma state politics of which you speak (apologies to Douglas Adams). Is Mr. Inman generally worse on issues, taken as a whole, than his Republican counterpart? If not, then why is his candidacy a bad thing?

      Also, and this is really what’s baffling me about this post, why is voting for unelectable liberals with a (G) after their name pointless vanity voting, but voting for unelectable liberals with a (D) after their name commendable?

      • tsam100

        You’re assuming that the difference between a pro-choice D and an anti-choice D makes the difference in electability. I’m not sure you could produce evidence of that being a consistent truth, given that red precincts think all dems are gun-grabbing, baby killing commies who hate America, and swing districts swing. There may be cases of that one issue tipping a swing area, but I doubt it’s really a thing.

        • Paul Thomas

          This is fucking Oklahoma. If the difference between pro-choice and pro-“life” doesn’t make any difference in electability, it’s because neither one of them is electable, in which case we really are just woolgathering about who to vanity-vote for.

          • humanoidpanda

            But thing is that sometimes, weird shit happens. Take a possible midterm year, combine it with the budget crisis Oklahoma is having, and you might have a lightning strike.

          • Incontinentia Buttocks

            “If the difference between pro-choice and pro-“life” doesn’t make any
            difference in electability, it’s because neither one of them is
            electable”

            Nonsense. Not all pro-life voters are single-issue voters. And the ones that are probably aren’t voting for a Democrat anyway.

            But more importantly, you cannot fight against the GOP’s war on women by electing Democrats who support the GOP’s war on woman. You can argue that the GOP’s war on women is a lost cause and that we should elect Democrats who, while as willing to deny women access to reproductive health services as their Republican opponents, are better on other issues. But then you really cannot claim to be opposing the GOP’s War on Women.

            (Incidentally, in this case, Inman is also terrible on a variety of other issues. For example, he voted to put a “Right to Farm” measure on the ballot that Oklahoma voters actually rejected last year, which makes him more anti-environmental and pro-agribusiness than the Oklahoma electorate as a whole. He is, however, significantly better than whoever the GOP will nominate on, e.g., education and taxes.)

            • Paul Thomas

              There are literally only four logical possibilities here. Ceteris paribus, either a pro-“life” Democrat is more electable than a pro-choice Dem, or he is equally electable in the sense that he is certain to lose, or he is equally electable in the sense that he is certain to win, or he is less electable.

              As I note elsewhere, my knowledge of Oklahoma is limited, but I know enough to immediately dismiss the last two possibilities as ridiculous in a state as red and Southern as Oklahoma. That leaves you with the two options I originally identified– either being pro-choice is an electoral liability to some degree, or it doesn’t matter anyway.

              The rest of this just doesn’t follow logically. It is possible to concede that the war on women is lost for the moment IN OKLAHOMA, without somehow conceding it nationwide. E.g.: The observation that France in 1943 was occupied and for the moment under the control of Nazi Germany was obviously not tantamount to a concession that World War II as a whole was a lost cause.

          • Drew

            “I’m afraid I know little of these Oklahoma state politics of which you speak.”

            Then

            “This is fucking Oklahoma.”

            Hm. There appears to be an inconsistency there.

            • Paul Thomas

              Not really; the extent of my knowledge is more or less “Oklahoma is represented by crazed fascists in the Senate” and “Oklahoma voted for Trump by a gigantic margin.” So I’m familiar with the state’s general partisan valence, but know nothing about particular state-level politicians.

        • humanoidpanda

          The obvious counter-argument is Edwards in Louisiana, who is probably not elected if he is not screaming that he is “pro-life” and not that kind of Democrat under every bush.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Because the other two major Democratic candidates for governor are pro-choice and otherwise better on the issues. If it’s Inman versus a Republican, Inman will be the lesser evil. But if you’re concerned about reproductive freedom and ending the war on women, you need to do what you can to avoid putting Democrats in a situation in which the least bad candidate is a consistent legislative opponent of reproductive freedom.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    Would it be… uncivil… for a counterprotestor to wave a sign that read:

    I REGRET YOUR BIRTH

    Yeesh. Even I think that might go too far. How about:

    I REGRET THAT TIME YOU
    FELL DOWN THE STAIRS
    AND HIT YOUR HEAD

  • Michael Newsham

    Just think how many white voters Dems could get in Louisiana if LBJ hadn’t signed that Civil Rights legislation! /s

  • TheBrett

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I think the Democratic Party leadership is too fearful of potential electoral consequences from being seen as pro-choice. Most voters don’t rank the issue of abortion high enough for it to sway their votes, not even in highly conservative districts. They vote for other reasons and party ideology overall, and go with the anti-choice or pro-choice stuff even if somewhat reluctantly.

    There are people for whom that is a make-or-break issue, but they’re almost always going to be either staunch Democrats (pro-choice) or staunch Republicans (anti-choice) and thus not really open to persuasion. So why not take a staunchly pro-choice position, and tell any Democratic candidates who are personally anti-choice that they’re expected to vote the party line on the issue even if they play it down in the actual election?

    Republicans have figured out a version of this, although I don’t know if it was intentional. The national and state Republican parties and politicians are way, way more anti-choice than their constituencies, usually even including Republicans. It hasn’t hurt their electoral chances aside from Todd Akin (maybe).

    • humanoidpanda

      Except that in places where only a prof choice Republican can get elected, they nominate pro choice Republicans.

  • theoldsheepherder

    I would’ve never guessed that guy had an abortion had he not been holding that dumb ass sign.

  • Karen

    Thank you!

  • Karen

    The entire Republican project is to increase the level of misery in the world. Rich people can’t enjoy their pleasures of any old thing can have the same privileges. Religious authorities won’t have congregations if people can find happinesss in this life. (I’m a conventional Presbyterian, which is the same as al Qaeda to Republicans. My flavor of Presby has abandoned this noxious belief. Jesus agrees with us.)

  • Photo says everything about those people.

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