Incremental extremism: on the success of the anti-abortion movement

Incremental extremism

by digby

Here's a good discussion on Chris Hayes this morning about the abortion question in the VP debate:

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I think the best point made here is just how extreme the mainstream of the GOP is on the subject today. The fact that banning abortion except in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother is now considered the "moderate" position in the GOP shows that the anti-abortion agitators are making incremental progress. It wasn't that long ago that it was considered barbaric to demand that a woman bear her rapist's child. That's no longer true. In fact, it's being extolled as something which women should feel privileged to do despite the trauma it inflicts on her and the relationship to the child she's bearing. And certainly until recently most people just understood on a gut level that forcing a young teen-ager to give birth to her own sibling was hideously immoral on all levels. Now it's a mainstream conservative position to hold that abortion is wrong in all circumstances, justified by some moral gobbledygook about the innocence of the fetus, the already sentient, breathing human be damned. All over the country state legislatures are voting on "personhood" amendments and other extreme measures that could result in banning abortion in all cases if Roe vs Wade is overturned. Some politicians are proposing that the life of the mother cannot be weighed in favor of the procedure.

These people are in it for the long haul and they will keep pushing the center to the right unless advocates for women's rights are willing to engage this head-on and push back hard. Certainly there has to be an end to Third Way style accommodation. If these people are such fanatics that they are now entertaining the idea that the life of the fetus literally takes precedence over the life of the woman, then this is a battle for the very lives of women.

  This is where it leads:
A pregnant 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic died from complications of leukemia, according to CNN. The young woman was forced to wait nearly three weeks to begin chemotherapy to treat her disease as hospital officials initially refused to treat her fearing it could terminate her pregnancy. In the end she lost her life and the pregnancy, and may have died because of the delay in her treatment. Under an amendment to the Dominican Republic's constitution which declares that "life begins at conception," abortion is banned, effectively for any reason. The girl's leukemia was diagnosed when she was just nine weeks pregnant.