Abortion Foes Played the Long Game, And They Are Winning

Yves here. The leaders of the feminist movement of my youth bear culpability for the failure to secure abortion rights. They wasted their time and Peak Feminism tail winds chasing a never-gonna-pass Equal Rights Amendment instead of nailing down key protections via legislation. And not caring about funding was another big fail. Richard Nixon was perfectly happy to go along with abortion rights but insisted the government not pay for it, knowing full well that that de facto created serious restrictions.

By Sonali Kolhatkar, the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations, and a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. Produced by Economy for All

Republican state legislatures are creating abortion refugees across America.

After Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a draconian bill, SB 8, into law last year, empowering bounty hunters to sue abortion providers, those seeking care fled to the neighboring states of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

But GOP leaders were ready for them. Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt on April 12 signed the nation’s strictest abortion ban into law, ending all abortions in his state except in cases of danger to the pregnant person’s life. Now, reports are emerging of Oklahomans turning to the neighboring state of Kansas for abortions.

Not to be outdone by his GOP colleagues, presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, also signed a 15-week abortion ban into law similar to the one passed by states like Kentucky.

“I think by the fall, abortion’s going to be criminalized in about half of the states, and I think that’s a really scary place to be,” Imani Gandy, senior legal analyst for Rewire News Group, told me in a recent interview.

Already, low-income people living in states with abortion bans are facing prohibitively expensive travel to access care. The costs could jump even higher as more states enact bans and people have to travel farther, weighing the pressures of finances, juggling job schedules, family obligations, and the ticking clock of gestation. “It’s not going to be middle and upper-class white women who are going to have problems accessing abortion,” said Gandy.

And, it’s only a matter of time before the anti-abortionists’ wildest dream of overturning the Roe v. Wadeprecedent at the Supreme Court will come true. According to one analysis, this would immediately result in abortion becoming illegal in at least 13 states. Only 17 states and Washington, D.C., have ensured that abortion will be legal and accessible if Roe falls—and that figure is dependent on Democrats retaining control of those state legislatures.

You have to admire the long game that anti-abortion evangelicals have played, steadfastly remaining single-issue voters, catapulting any state or federal leader into power—no matter how antithetical to their values—as long as they promise to oppose abortion. With a multipronged strategy of state-level abortion bans that chipped away at reproductive rights bit by bit, tossing case after case to the Supreme Court, while at the same time relentlessly pressuring Republican leaders to appoint anti-abortion conservative justices, anti-abortion advocates have ushered in the end of Roe.

It used to be that nations like El Salvador, where abortion is completely banned, were a cautionary tale for the U.S. The laws are so strict that Salvadoran women who have miscarriages and stillbirths have also been arrested and incarcerated for harming their fetuses. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the U.S. is heading in just such a direction.

A 26-year-old Texas woman named Lizelle Herrera was recently arrested on murder charges after a grand jury indictment for the “death of an individual by self-induced abortion.”

“I think they just wanted to see if they could get a grand jury to convict a person of murder after a miscarriage,” said Gandy. “And they did.” It was only after a local reproductive rights group named Frontera Fund mobilized to demand Herrera’s release that the district attorney in question withdrew charges, saying there was no basis for her arrest in the first place.

According to Gandy, going through a grand jury proceeding “is not something that a district attorney does lightly,” and so she suspects it was a trial balloon of sorts to see if those people sitting on grand juries would tolerate a murder charge over a miscarriage. In Herrera’s case, it turned out they would.

“This is going to be the new normal,” said Gandy. “Black and Brown pregnant people are going to be the ones who are targeted by these laws that criminalize pregnancy.”

Gandy’s fear is based on cases like Brittney Poolaw, a Native American woman in Oklahoma who was convicted last year of manslaughter after having a miscarriage; Purvi Patel, an Indian American woman from Indiana who was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in 2015 for inducing an abortion (her sentence was overturned a year later after a massive national outcry); and Bei Bei Shuai, a Chinese immigrant, also in Indiana, who was convicted of feticide after attempting suicide (she too had her charges eventually dropped after public pressure).

“More than half of women who seek abortions are already mothers,” said Gandy. “So, if we’re now going to start throwing these pregnant people in jail, who’s going to be taking care of these kids?”

Gandy is also disturbed by the timing of the new anti-abortion laws that empower private citizens to sue individuals over abortions, such as SB 8 in Texas. “It is particularly nefarious that this is going on at a time of economic crisis,” she said.

With rising inflation, interest rates, and gas prices, “we have states that are capitalizing on people’s financial struggles to encourage them to snitch on the private behavior of their neighbors on the off chance that they are going to be able to collect on this $10,000 bounty,” she added.

Meanwhile, Congress has failed to ensure financial support for low-income parents, dropping the ball on renewing the child tax credit, and passing paid family and medical leave legislation.

The horror that the U.S. is sliding toward could have been avoided had Democrats codified reproductive rights into law during any of the times they have been in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency in the decades since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Their inaction, even in the face of concerted anti-abortion activism and resulting successes, is unconscionable.

A legislative effort that was too little, too late, came this past March in the form of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have legalized abortion. But it failed to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, with Vox describing the bill as “primarily for messaging,” and asserted that its failure to pass “makes the case for a larger Democratic majority.”

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as the two sole pro-abortion Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, also voted against the bill, making clear their support for abortion rights is mere lip service.

Asleep at the wheel, lawmakers have left Americans at the mercy of a vocal minority intent on criminalizing abortion while caring little about financial support for parents.

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  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    This article is a reminder of how much class warfare dominates U.S. politics. U.S. feminism has largely been dominated by upper-middle-class white women, who have been concerned mainly with careerism. This is borne out in a milder way in the mess that is day care for children in the U.S. of A. The lack of access to day care for working-class women and even middle-class women is instructive, and speaking of instruction, some teachers pointed out that the impetus to get kids back into schools often turned into schools as day care.

    As Naked Capitalism has pointed out many times, both Yves Smith and Lambert Strether, the political parties were able to raise money off the issue. For the Democrats, fundraising led to inaction on an issue that matters to their base. Quelle surprise, the Democrats once more selling out their base. Again, Democrats prove to be bad tacticians.

    There is also a saying that anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism of the left, and many abortion-rights activists focused on Catholicism while not noticing that their Baptist cousins were more organized and more vociferous. Another case of bad tacticians, I’d venture.

    I note the use of the locution “people” and “persons.” Now that we have men who are pregnant (although in what numbers? Dozens?), I am reminded of the old feminist saying, If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    We are witnessing otherwise. As I have been wondering lately, gender itself has it uses and is not what is oppressing people. Inequality oppresses people. We have to have politics rather than psychologizing (and I’m noting how many Western commentators go on and on about Putin’s mental states… another feckless tactic).

    The question of abortion as a right is a question of power. It should be addressed politically. It hasn’t been, because liberals don’t like politics and won’t stay the course, and here we are.

    1. digi_owl

      It is interesting though that besides talk about a nebulous “middle class” any class based political talk in USA is anathema.

      I guess it is one more of those cultural self delusions that the nation seems to have plenty off.

      1. Robert Gray

        Too right.

        My father worked his ass off at a semi-skilled job all his life. He voted straight-ticket Democrat pretty much from Harry Truman until the day he died (2012) — except for 1992; he and my mother were as completely pissed off with the status quo as was just about everybody else at that time but they simply could not countenance voting for Eddie Haskell from Arkansas so they went with H. Ross Payroll instead. My point is that if you had asked him at any time during his working / adult life, he would have told you (his true belief) that he and his family were ‘middle class’. Cultural self delusion, to the max.

        1. digi_owl

          This weird thought struck me, that the issue of “class” could be tied up with being a nation of immigrants.

          Thus it may well be that there is a latent class system there, tied in with how long ago someone’s ancestors walked off the proverbial boat.

          And thus anyone with some generations distance from the immigration, ends up as the nebulous “middle class” because “working class” are reserved for recent immigrants.

          And the “upper class” do not refer to themselves as such, but instead bring up that their ancestors were present at the revolution (or soon after). but you can mingle with them if you have the money, as like any “royalty” they seem to be perpetually short.

          1. JamesV

            You guys are hitting on something.

            We’re losing on abortion not because of them playing a “long game”. We’re losing because the only issues that corporate media allows discussed and that Democrats will talk about are abortion and woke issues. As you said, Democrats were once the party that worked for higher wages, things like the Green New Deal and environment, and peace, at least sometimes. Democrats have carved class issues completely from their platform.

            So ironically, their focus ONLY on these issues is why we’re beginning to lose ground on it. The real tragedy? That will allow them to reup their intensity on this one issue (and woke). The cycle will continue and the downhill slide of wages and life for the majority of Americans will continue–perhaps even hasten.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      “You have to admire the long game that anti-abortion evangelicals have played, steadfastly remaining single-issue voters, catapulting any state or federal leader into power—no matter how antithetical to their values—as long as they promise to oppose abortion.” …
      “Asleep at the wheel, lawmakers have left Americans at the mercy of a vocal minority intent on criminalizing abortion while caring little about financial support for parents.”

      I have trouble reconciling these two extracts from this post. I think our Power Elite are playing the a long game to continue using the culture wars as means for keeping the Populace occupied while maintaining and extending their control over the political economy and pressing forward with matters antithetical to the values, interests and welfare of the Populace. I wonder how long they can keep playing this game.

      1. JBird4049

        I agree with you and do not forget that women of upper middle class and above can always afford a discreet “check up” both before Roe v. Wade and now. If you or the people you care about don’t have to worry and it is an excellent political tool, why pass new legislation to protect the right? I do think that long term this might backfire on the most extreme of the pro-life supporters. There are awful reasons why coat hangers were the symbol of the pro choice movement and a symbol of why doctors especially emergency room physicians were often not pro-life absolutists as they had to deal with the ruined bodies and corpses of pregnant women. I’m sure dealing with the families must awful as well.

        The country was more conservative then, but the cost of being doctrinaire was clear, and our nation is becoming more detached from reality and withdrawing into a fantasy world of black and white thinking without nuance. It does help the powerful, the ambitious, and the corrupt.

        I think that as it was fifty or sixty years ago, there will be again back-alley abortionists and more legitimate clandestine networks; this will give our increasingly callous, brutal, and corrupt police more opportunities to do their work as the opportunistic politicians demand more “to protect the children.” That the elites of our country don’t think healthcare or work that pays anything is necessary to protect the children and their families, but moralizing hot-air about a woman’s right to choose or saving the lives of the unborn does… funny how the actions of the supposed left, or liberal, or conservative elites all seem to be more alike than not. Different words. Same results.


        Yes, but women’s rights is a real issue as well. Hence women’s rights (abortion is a woman’s right) have been abandoned by the political elite, not because they disagree that such rights exist, but because they fear being dis-elected should they become a target of those wishing to extinguish a woman’s right to an abortion. So much for the individual rights our conservative friends champion endlessly. Politics in the U.S. is a fear and money-driven puppet show. So much for democracy.

  2. Arizona Slim

    Here’s a story from the Arizona Slim family file:

    During the bottom of the Great Depression, my mother was living in Buffalo, New York, in, shall we say, not the nicest of neighborhoods.

    One of the neighbors was a lady with three kids and, uh-oh, she was pregnant again. The family couldn’t afford any more children. So, the lady went to a back alley abortionist.

    Alas, there were complications, and my mother’s mother was there to help. She nursed the neighbor lady back to health.

    What Grandma Mac did made a very strong impression on my mother. She was staunchly pro-choice for the rest of her life.

    In recent years, I think that our society has lost touch with personal and family stories like this one. Sad to say, but I think we’re about to get reacquainted with them.

    1. Pat

      Several decades ago there was a documentary on PBS, iirc, which was about abortion before Roe v. Wade. I don’t remember much but I do remember one man recounting his story. He was from a poor family with many children, he talked about how there were many days there wasn’t enough food. His mother got pregnant and in desperation sought a back alley abortion. It was not successful. I can still hear him saying, “we didn’t miss that baby, but we did miss our mother.”

      While I do believe there are some anti abortion people out there who really are about the fetus being fully human before birth and all abort the children. Probably the ones you find at the soup kitchens and working in halfway homes or adoption centers. But most of them are more about control, control of women and other lessers. And yes I put every one of those Governors in the control category. Look how so many of those states provide the least support for people in need. I do think 90% or more of the anti abortion laws should be thrown out because they have been justified by religious beliefs and are an infringement of the religious freedoms of the women and the providers. But religion is not what fuels the real movers and shakers behind the movement and the laws.

      1. redleg

        Control is the underlying theme.
        They are coming for contraception next. The persistence of “oral contraception is abortion” fallacy indicates that this is the next step after Roe goes, probably the same day in some places.

      2. scott s.

        I don’t know who these “movers and shakers” are, so can’t comment on what fuels them, but I can assure you that the pro-life movement is not about control at the grass roots. Fetal persons either have the rights of other persons or they do not. The concern I see expressed by Catholics is that many priests and bishops give lip service to life issues.

        The democrats in government here in Hawaii are happy to pass any abortion bill that is brought to them. They went so far as to mandate crisis pregnancy centers post signs telling clients where to go to get abortions, until the federal courts overturned it.

        1. marym

          Making abortion illegal doesn’t protect any rights (except in some cases those of the rapist’s relatives and friends). If abortion is illegal the state has control, not the fetus (for whom the outcome may be birth into a medical, economic, family, or social situation where they can’t survive); nor the mandated incubator (for whom the outcome may be abuse or death); nor the mandated incubator’s non-fetal dependents (for whom the outcome may be loss of care and safety).

    2. CitizenSissy

      My otherwise very conservative late great-aunt, who was an emergency room nurse in good-old pre-Roe America, dealt with the aftermath of illegal abortions. She was steadfastly pro-choice and a stalwart supporter of Planned Parenthood.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘And, it’s only a matter of time before the anti-abortionists’ wildest dream of overturning the Roe v. Wade precedent at the Supreme Court will come true.’

    Tactically, that would be considered a good thing for the DNC. Oh sure, there would be outrage and Progressives would be furiously tweeting and also begging the President to do ‘something’. But for the DNC, this would be a cause celebre that they could milk people endlessly for donations to overturn that decision. They wouldn’t have to do it mind, but they would promise to do so if they had an overwhelming majority in the House, Senate and the Presidency. But even if they did have those ducks lined up, there would always be ‘just enough’ Democrats found who will cross the aisle and defeat any bill to reinstate it. So better luck next time.

    1. KLG

      This. They will be “fighting” once again, for a “right” they have no intention of winning. For winning is not the objective. Their reason for being is maintenance of their status in DC and keeping the pipeline to K Street open for when that time inevitably comes.

  4. Michael Ismoe

    This is just another example of how the Democrats don’t know squat about politics. The Democrats had no idea what redistricting was in 2010 until they lost 1000 seats in 5 years. The Democrats had no idea that judges were important until the Republicans go “judge shopping” to get the results they want. Now – now that Republicans control 70% of the state legislatures throughout the country – the Dems find out that voting restrictions, abortion bans and “flat taxes” are all under their control.

    The Democrats will spend 90 million dollars on an Amy McGrath to “make a statement” but won’t invest ten grand to help a struggling state legislature candidate. The Dems are always fighting two election cycles ago. They deserve every beating they get, unfortunately we regular citizens are collateral damage.

    1. orlbucfan

      These “Democrats” know plenty about politics. Don’t kid yourself. They are a wealthier version of Reagan “Democrats.” They are moderate GOPukers. I would be considered a member of the PMC, believe me, I fill all the criteria. However, I would be considered a political weirdo in their circles. Water off a duck’s back.

      1. JTMcPhee

        bucfan, you have it exactly right. Effing hypocrites.

        And now the head_chopper Ukraine is another darling of liberal (and conservative) tribal delusions of liberty, trillions for their “defense” and not one cent for real-world diplomacy.

        Some days I just wish that the neocons, who also play a long game, get their nihilist way and goad the other nuclear nations into an all-out thermonuclear “exchange.”

        By the way, the US nuclear policies like first strike weapons in close proximity to Moscow (flight time of missiles measured in minutes) have the Russians maintaining the Soviet “Dead Hand” system which if the Russian political and command and control are for any reason “degraded,” an autonomous system will launch all Russian nukes and ensure planet’s demolition: https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/russias-doomsday-machine-ready-action/story?id=8757004

        So all the bullshit about the West being able to use tactical nukes and the neocons’ smug assurance that “Putin is saner than we are so we can get away with murder because he will blink” is just that, arrant bullshit nonsense.

  5. Michael Fiorillo

    On a tactical note regarding D’s inability to engage in politics: there are literally only a handful of third trimester abortions performed for reasons other than saving the mother’s health or life: might it not have been expedient to have a tactical retreat and accepting limits, as a way of possibly peeling off some anti- abortion supporters?

    1. Pavel

      This is a good point. Resisting any (reasonable) limit allows the right wing to screech about the Dems wanting to allow abortion up to the time of birth. As you point out the vast majority are within 15 weeks. Many countries in Europe have essentially abortion on demand *but* within 14 or 15 weeks.

      As the main post points out, of course, this has always been a class issue; the well-to-do could always arrange abortions (or, similarly, divorces in days of yore) but the poor suffer. The Democrats, for all their calls for access to abortion have achieved very little if anything in reducing income inequality in the USA… actually just the opposite.

  6. Wukchumni

    The Donkey Show failed miserably when it came to stopping lives or saving them vis a vis Roe v. Wade & gun control, but it garnered lots of financial support along the way.

    Their new defining position is trans rights, which the evangs simple despise. Ought to be good for a decade or 2 of rancor…

  7. marym

    Thank you for this post. The failure of the Democrats has been complete and unconscionable. As always, the most economicaly vulnerable will be hurt the most.

    I do wonder though, given features of the new laws, and proposals that haven’t made it into law yet, whether the post-Roe world may be less accommodating to middle class women as well. Even assuming “middle class” still provides sufficient means to travel, find care for the kids at home, etc. how readily will they be able to obtain prompt medical care for ectopic pregnancies, or when they’ve had or are having a natural miscarriage? Sex education and teen pregnancy prevention programs in school? Contraception? Abortion-inducing medication even in the short window where it may possibly be slightly legal in some states? People to help them, given the extent of the penalties and bounties?

    As far as single issue voters, considering the conservative agenda for numerous other issues also being enshrined in state law now, for some portion of those voters, voting for proponents of state control over women’s bodies was probably not antithetical to at least some of their other values.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    A lesson from Ireland: Abortion was a very hot topic for decades, culminating in a constitutional amendment in the 1980’s that ‘sort of’ banned it. I say ‘sort of’, because it was so badly written the courts ended up interpreting it as permitting abortion in some circumstances.

    There was a particular impediment to campaigning in that while technically illegal, it was always quite easy to get one if you were ‘in the know’, either through a private doctor (for the upper middle class ladies), or just taking the ferry to England (or, for those in language minorities, to take advantage of freelancing doctors/nurses). This allowed a lot of wealthy or conservative families to avail of abortion while keeping up their smug religious external face. But it also meant that there wasn’t the same campaigning by upper middle class women that is so visible in the US. I recall back in the 1980’s when the original anti-abortion amendment was cast that based on polling booth surveys, the best way to have stopped it was by banning women from voting. This did not go down well with the feminist girl I was trying to impress at the time (despite the irrefutable evidence in my favour), I learned since then that sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut around some liberals if you want to… well, you know.

    The secret to changing it was taking things slow and steady and being ready to take advantage of scandals, such as the occasional death of a woman denied an abortion. There were a few harrowing stories (some exaggerated by the pro-choice lobby, but thats what you gotta do). But steady campaigning along with the collapse in support of the catholic church made change relatively painful and inevitable. Only a very small core of conservative catholics directly tried to oppose it. I think mainstream catholics knew it would lose and felt it better not to be so visibly on the losing side as it would reinforce the perception of weakness.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      We have tens of millions of Rapturanian Armageddonites who also oppose legal abortion. They aren’t going anywhere and won’t lose any support.

    2. Robert Gray

      > … the collapse in support of the catholic [sic] church made change relatively painful and inevitable.

      Depending on your perspective, that collapse occurred in Ireland in only one or two generations — surely one of the most dramatic social transformations in history (even if only in a small country).

      It’s a pity that it took such a scandalous trauma as the Church and the public facing up to the decades / centuries of abuse perpetrated by societally protected priests (et al.) but through the pain I think the world is obviously better off now.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The collapse was much faster than one or two generations – it literally took place within maybe half a decade. As I was living in the UK through the 1990’s it was very striking to me that every time I went home mass attendance changed from every church packed to mostly empty churches full of the elderly. The only thing that saved the catholic church from complete collapse was a major influx of catholic east Europeans. This was matched with an almost complete flip in social attitudes. It is a classic case study in how social changes aren’t necessarily slow, if the right conditions exist they can switch with stunning speed.

    3. CitizenSissy

      Let’s not forget the 2012 death of Savita Halappanavar from a septic miscarriage in a Galway hospital for which she was denied an abortion. Her death galvanized campaigners against Ireland’s Eighth Amendment,
      Deaths like these, I’m afraid, may be coming to an American hospital near you.

  9. Stick'em

    People forget Regan signed the most permissive abortion legislation of his time. This wasn’t a default Republican position back in the ’80s. It changed with the so-called Moral Majority of Faldwell and Weyrich.

    “I wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe— evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why?

    Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools.”


    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But now anti-abortionism has been a crusade for so many decades that whole generations of right wingists have been raised up in it and it is real for them now, too.

      1. Stick'em

        Of course a generation of people doesn’t know this. The point is the issue isn’t some sort of moral absolute with a historically self-evident conservative view the way it is typically portrayed in the media. Instead, it’s a wedge issue manufactured within my lifetime.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, it would be an interesting experiment to show them the history of that and see if they even care. Or even believe it.

  10. Dean

    This would be a great time for a pro-choice organization to introduce the concept of jury nullification to the public at large via a mass-media campaign.

    Jury nullification (US/UK), jury equity (UK), or a perverse verdict (UK) describes a not guilty verdict of a criminal trial’s jury despite a defendant having clearly broken the law. Reasons may include beliefs that: the law itself is unjust, the prosecutor has misapplied the law in the defendant’s case, the punishment for breaking the law is too harsh, or general frustrations with the criminal justice system. Such verdicts are possible because a jury has an absolute and unqualified right to reach any verdict it chooses, although they are usually not told of this right in the process of a trial.

    Source wikipedia

    1. edwin

      Jury nullification in the US has been used to protect people who have engaged in lynching. Interestingly enough it is also responsible for the free access to abortions in Canada.

      Jury independence has two main purposes. First, as indicated above, it is an essential protection against the abuse of state authority. Second, it allows juries to intervene in instances where the law seems to come into conflict with justice. Such was the case in the trials of Henry Morgentaler, prosecuted four times for carrying out abortions in the 1970’s and 80’s, actions that were deemed at the time to be illegal. In each of those trials Morgentaler was declared not guilty by his juries, though he had clearly and admittedly guilty of actions thought o be illegal. Morgentaler’s juries exercised their right to disregard the law — a demonstration of jury independence that is called jury nullification.


  11. edwin

    I think that the religious right’s real motive is a bit different. Segregated schools are important but I can’t help but feel that what is important is not abortion, but what it represents – liberalism. The are a number of policy positions that would reduce the number of abortions. Medical care for all, free birth control, sex ed, welfare that actually paid enough to provide for having children, free child care, and so on. Each of these are opposed by the anti-abortion crowd.

    The democratic party has managed to parlay itself as the liberalism party without supporting it. FPTP is not conducive to liberalism. The democratic party has done nothing to support the right of 3rd party candidates to run. The tweet from Hilary Clinton in yesterdays links is mockingly profoundly anti-liberalism. The US until Trump believed in exporting us free market capitalist liberalism at the point of a gun in a series of never ending wars. A contradiction – as this policy is profoundly anti-liberalism.

    That the biggest supporter of anti-war government these days is fox news is not surprising. War in the US is thoroughly connected with liberalism. The idea is to tear down the structures that have given us liberalism. What will be left at the end doesn’t look very nice, and it will be almost certainly more brutal towards women, immigrants, and African Americans in particular.

    1. JBird4049

      The Democratic Party says that it is for all the these things: “Medical care for all, free birth control, sex ed, welfare that actually paid enough to provide for having children, free child care, and so on,” but it’s just talk. Much the same as the Republicans do. They use words to hide their deeds. Although the Democratic Party is actually conservative if you look at their neoliberal policies and abandonment of minorities, the poor, and unions. The Republicans are essentially insanely reactionary. Not even true conservatives.

  12. drumlin woodchuckles

    I remember left-wing analysts and operatives and spokesfolk of various different kinds saying in various different ways that the “right” never intended to re-outlaw abortion because then they would “lose” it as a “forever-issue” to campaign on and raise money on. I can’t look up easily any one of the dozens of statements over the years to that effect that I read and/or heard, but I know I read and/or heard them.

    Did they really believe that themselves? Or did they just tell themselves that because they themselves used the forever-threat to legal abortion as a way to campaign and raise money and etc?

    So now the Lefties and the Libies and etc. are surprised, or are feigning surprise, to discover that the anti-abortion Righties really did mean it and really do mean it.

    The legal-abortion community has lost the battle at the national-federal level. That battle will stay lost for the next century or so, if the US even lasts that long. The legal abortion community will divide into two groups. One group will cynically exploit the national-federal de-legalization of abortion as a campaign issue to run on and raise money on. They will expose themselves by their behavior to all those with eyes to see. The other group will truly and sincerely try to keep abortion legal in some states where it is not yet outlawed at the state level.

    How will the other group win or at least prolong that rear-guard battle? If they think in terms of the “long sort” they will begin by seeing which states have an overwhelming keep-abortion-legal majority of state citizens, if any states do. If any states do, they will focus on keeping abortion legal in those states.
    They will then try to force a redesign of local economies in those states away from automation and towards de-automation and re-hand-laborization and etc., to create more chopped and shredded job opportunities in those states. They will then encourage pro-legal-abortion supporters from the abortion-outlawed states to move to the few remaining legal abortion states, to increase those states’s overall populations and to further increase the keep-abortion-legal population percent of those states. That would be the long sort pursued over the next few decades to gather every pro-legal-abortion person into the few Modernian states and leave all the Shit Headistani states to the Shit Headistanis. Shit Headistanis living in the Modernian states would be encouraged, through firing from their jobs, social and cultural shunning, etc. to leave Modernia and move to Shit Headistan.

    The Modernians would then be in a position to weaponise and exploit the class hypocrisy issue. Modernian states would institute rigid bans against offering abortion services to non-residents of Modernian states. The middle and upper class residents of Shit Headistan would be forced to suffer the full effect of Shit Headistani policy on abortion right along with the lower class residents of Shit Headistan.
    Meanwhile, Modernia would remain open to immigration of Modernian refugees from Shit Headistan right along. That would allow Modernia to begin waging the Long Sort Long Countergame. Make Shit Headistan poorer and weaker and eventually minoritize its influence and power at the Federal-National level so that it could never pass actual outlaw-abortion laws “for” the entire country.

    Keep making the Shit Headistani states so poor by economic shunning and cultural sanctions ( boycotts) and by constantly brain-draining their best and brightest to Modernia, and perhaps some Shit Headistani stateloads of people may decide to give in to abortion rights in order to make the ongoing depopulation and impoverization process stop getting worse.

    Of course some “pro-abortion” people will object to doing that. Those people will reveal themselves as never having been serious about keeping abortion legal to begin with. Those are the people who were always among the moral pacifists and the beautiful losers and such.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The neat thing about creating a ” United States of Modernia” is that a “United States of Modernia” could adopt some other pro-survival initiatives as well. Modernia could go as green and renewable as possible within the borders of Modernia in order to bring its spending on Shit Headistani coal , gas and oil as near to zero as feasibly possible, for example.

      Of course, if the Modernians were so stupid as to adopt culture-liberal gun-rights-suppression laws, then the Modernians would render themselves helpless against eventual invasion and conquest by the Shit Headistanis. If the Modernians could actually create themselves a Fortress Modernia, I hope they would not be so stupid as to throw it all away by instituting ” gun control” within Fortress Modernia.

  13. Dave in Austin

    I’ll leave the “who lost abortion” finger-pointing to others.

    But on the Herrera “abortion-as-murder” controversy here are some numbers. Starr County, TX, where it happened, is on the Mexican border. I’ve spent time there. When the local Mexican-Americans became a majority in 1970-or-so, the first thing they did was say “Free immigration!”, so the population in 1970 was 17,700 and in thirty years it was 53,000, almost all due to illegal immigration from Mexico. The County is now 97.9% Hispanic. Most of the non-Hispanics left. The per-capita income is $7,069, the third lowest among the 1,000+ US counties. Starr County is now part of the Third World embedded in a First World welfare state.

    And while I still agree with the general idea of Row v Wade, that abortions should be largely a personal decision but late-term abortions are much closer to “taking a life”, I see absolutely no Constitutional justification for the decision. It was the purest Supreme Court overreach and it short-circuited the largely successful political campaign to gain the right to abortion by what I still think is the proper method- through the ballot box.

    The long-term damage of Roe v Wade to our political system is vastly underestimated. Row v Wade convinced a significant number of voters that a vote in a Presidential election was no longer about “Who do you want to be President for the next four years?” but about “Who do you want to appoint the Supreme Court justices who will sit for the next 30 years?”.

    The Supreme Court is now our legislature on matters of social rights and relationships. The voters have come to understand that. A Presidential election is now also an election for the senior branch of our legislature, the Supreme Court. Read the swing to the right in the Starr County 2020 Presidential vote and weep.

    1. Robert Hahl

      And given the power of the Supremes, I don’t see how if Democrats “had codified reproductive rights into law” that would have kept them from deciding that such a law was unconstitutional. Only an amendment to the Constitution could have prevented it, and nobody has ever tried for that to my knowledge.

  14. Dale

    I see this in Darwinian terms. Individuals who sabotage their own reproduction will eventually be replaced in the population by individuals who refrain from doing so.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I have trouble with your formula: “Individuals who sabotage their own reproduction will eventually be replaced in the population by individuals who refrain from doing so.”
      Abortion does not sabotage reproduction. It is one way an individual might control their reproduction to avoid over-populating their capacity to provide for and raise their young. I see no reason to assume that individuals who refrain from what you have termed a sabotage of their own reproduction will necessarily reproduce more freely. That’s about as far as I am willing to step into this mire.

      In Darwinian terms, people will tend to reproduce. Many/most of the people who favor criminalizing abortion may have or may have had abortions in their past. Backroom abortions tend to have deleterious effects on survival and future ability to reproduce. In Darwinian terms, mere birth of the young provides little more than the possibility of those young surviving and eventually reproducing. In most of Nature, strategies of reproduction that rely on the number of young produced tend to be costly in terms of lives lost.

      In human societies, the progeny of powerful and wealthy parents tend to survive better than, and often at the expense of the progeny of ‘lesser’ parents. Which might suggest, in Darwinian terms, the merits of lesser parents banding together to eliminate the wealthy and powerful along with their progeny, that the ‘lesser’ parents might promote survival and eventual reproduction by their progeny.

      In Darwinian terms, it might be beneficial to reflect on what ‘fittest’ means. There is a tendency to regard the fittest as in some way ‘best’ — the same way that economists claim that whatever the Market decides is ‘optimal’. Fittest means an individual survived and nothing more than that. Its meaning is tautological.

  15. orlbucfan

    These religious yahoos never give up. They have plenty of money backing them in this dumbed down country. They focused long term, and viola, victory. The real tragedy is all the unwanted babies. Who will take care and nuture them? These so-called Fundie “Christians” back off real quick once the babies are born.

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