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How extremist the GOP became on abortion
In 1970, even "pro-life" politicians supported a woman's right to choose. One GOP legislator even decided his career wasn't worth voting against choice. Those days are no more.
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We’ve not seen in the past 50 years the ramifications on people’s lives when the Supreme Court didn’t protect the right, across the entire country, to choose an abortion.
But soon, we’ll see those ramifications, as many states ban abortion. The result will include the deaths of many women who won’t be able to have a safe abortion and the horrors of those forced to have a rapist’s child or a child born out of incest.
It’s unfathomable — and I think it’s one reason why the GOP has had success. Two generations haven’t seen that reality in their own lives — including two generations of GOP legislators — and the horrors on a mass scale are far removed.
That’s why I found this short, four-minute film from Abortionfilms.com so instructive and interesting. And so ominous. It’s like going back in a time — but also lays out what the future will be.
The clip focuses on the vote by the New York State Legislature in 1970 to legalize abortion. The reality then was that hundreds of women were dying from botched illegal abortions. Something had to be done. This was three years before Roe v. Wade, and legislators grappled with passing a bill to save women’s lives even if it challenged their religious beliefs.
You will see how even legislators who believed life began at conception still voted for the choice being left with women. And one GOP assemblyman, George Michaels, knew a vote in favor could end his career. But he felt he had to do the right thing. The New York vote helped lay the groundwork for the Roe v. Wade decision just a few years later.
Watch this clip and think about how different it is today. There are no Republicans like this, and part of it is because they know for much of the public the reality of not having the right to abortion hasn’t existed. They’ve been able to become more and more extreme, many of them probably thinking abortion would never actually be taken away as a right. But now it has, and tragically, the realities of this right being nonexistent will come into sharper view.