Republicans Are Trapped by Their Party’s Anti-Abortion Extremism | The Nation

Riled up anti-choice activists ensure that the fight over abortion will continue to dominate elections.

Anti-abortion politics was an easy enough game for Republican politicians like Briggs—just so long as Roe was the law of the land. Lawmakers could happily say they were pro-life, decry abortion as murder, and pass a few restrictive laws without much fear of either real-world consequences or significant political backlash. Republican politicians were in the fortunate position of criticizing the status quo by offering hypothetical alternatives that couldn’t be evaluated.

Abortion is surely not going away as an issue in politics. But it will be just that: an issue, like food safety, reliable public transit, affordable housing and adequate energy supplies. All these, and countless others, are issues in politics, too. We need these things, and if the government won’t provide them, we assume at least that the government won’t stand in the way of our getting them.

Speaking recently on the syndicated radio program, conservative host Pat Miller said:

Our work as a pro-life movement is far from over. If a young lady can hop in a car in Fort Wayne and in an hour and a half she can be in a place in Michigan or in just under 3 hours, she could cross the line into Illinois and achieve what she was able to do with abortion clinics here in Indiana. The fight is far from over.

Republican Representative Jim Banks of Indiana, a guest on the show, agreed with this sentiment.

Marilyn Musgrave, vice president for government affairs at an anti-abortion organization named after Susan B. Anthony, told Brownstein, “It is totally unacceptable for a presidential candidate to say, ‘It’s just up to the states’ now. We need a federal role clearly laid out by these presidential candidates.”

Republican politicians are right to be uneasy about their party’s sweeping anti-abortion stance. It’s both politically unpopular—and extremely cruel. But the GOP as a party remains in the thrall of anti-abortion extremists. That fundamental reality won’t change soon.