Ed Kilgore: Is the Anti-Abortion Movement Just About Suppressing Women?: "Even if many individual Republicans... thought of themselves as 'pro-woman and pro-life', it has been a long time since there was any party-wide commitment to the first half of that formula.... The anti-abortion movement['s]... its mass base is now found not among traditionalist Catholics, with their centuries-old teachings against abortion rooted in... medieval/early modern biology, but among conservative Evangelical Protestants, who were at most ambivalent about abortion until the late 1970s...

...It is hard to avoid the impression that the sudden and near-universal hostility to legalized abortion in Evangelical ranks is just a corollary to a general rule of intense hostility to... challenges to patriarchal family roles. The same conservative Evangelicals who are now the heartbeat of the RTL movement do not by and large share Douthat’s concerns about Donald J. Trump’s misogyny. From elites in the pulpit to the rank-and-file in the pews, they are enthusiastic supporters of the man. Perhaps RTLers like Ross Douthat feel they have been driven by circumstances into an accidental, even tragic, alliance with Republican misogynists. But for the bulk of the movement, there’s not much of a distinction left to worry about.

The other interesting aspect of Douthat’s piece is that he takes it for granted that Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would be a major step toward the cause of recriminalizing abortion. The entire campaign for Kavanaugh, and his incessantly evasive comments on the constitutional law of reproductive rights, was based on denying or at least obscuring that central fact. This pattern of deception has become habitual among RTLers, who shed crocodile tears for the rare “unborn victims” of late-term abortions while quietly working to ban the vast majority of abortions that occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, and even some “abortifacient” birth control methods. And lying about their actual views on reproductive rights is an unwholesome bond they share with Republican politicians who understand that their goal of turning back the clock on both abortion rights and women’s rights is very unpopular...


#shouldread

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