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Republicans recycle their mass shooting playbook to deflect blame for Roe overturn

In the wake of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the horror stories in what happens once you ban abortion have quickly piled-up. Women are bleeding from miscarriagesbecause doctors cannot abort a failing pregnancy unless the individual is on the verge of death.A 10-year-old girl was forced to visit a huge selection of miles in order to avoid having a baby to a rapist’s child. Patients with ectopic pregnancies, which are always unviable, are seeing care delayed and denied, risking their lives and their fertility.

And when confronted with all this suffering, what’s imperative to remember is this: This is always the idea.

Abortion bans are designed to distress and suffering. They act otherwise, but anti-choice activists aren’t surprised by these horror stories. The misogynist sadism that fuels the anti-abortion movement hasn’t been limited by punishing women for sex for pleasure instead of procreation. Maiming and also killing women who wished to be pregnant was always section of the plan. Forcing victims to provide birth to a rapist’s child was always a guiding impulse.

We are able to know this because anti-abortion propaganda is awash in stories romanticizing dead and maimed women, whose “sacrifice for the unborn” causes right-wing hearts to pitter-patter. Christian conservative media loves only a female deadfrom childbirth, and it’s really no wonder. A dead woman embodies the right’s ideal of femininity: silent and compliant, without desires of her very own.

The only real woman they love nearly just as much as a dead one is really a rape victim submitting to childbirth. This type of woman might not be entirely silent, but she meetsthe right’s ideal of total female self-abnegation, a complete embrace of her role as a servant and vessel forthe desires of others. For those women who don’t desire to sacrifice themselves? They’re deemed “selfish,” which only justifies forcing the sacrifice upon them.

Republicans can’t win the abortion argument on the merits. Instead, they flood the discourse with bad faith, lies, victim-blaming deflections and conspiracy theories.

Glowing stories of mutilated female bodies and submissive rape victims are mainstays of anti-abortion propaganda. But most conservatives aren’t dumb enough to believe a lot of the country swoons at stories of pointless female suffering. On the other hand, the GOP is experiencing a political stomachache when confronted with such stories flowing fromthe Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. However, not so much that they are willing to back off from these horrific abortion bans, needless to say. Restoring women to second-class citizen status is too important a political goal to simply give up just because the general public is reeling over its bloody impacts.


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Still, they do desire to discover a way to create septic pregnancies and child rape victims less politically damaging to the GOP’s midterm prospects. AndRepublicans curently have a preexisting playbook for how exactly to the stand by position unpopular, deadly policies, even yet in the facial skin of widespread public revulsion. It’s the one they use to obtain through the now-routine mass shootings due to lax gun laws they support.

The GOP’s mass shooting playbook is made on a genuine, if nihilistic premise: People will grow familiar with all types of evil, as long as they’re sufficiently demoralized.

All that must be done to obtain the general public toacceptmass death and destruction would be to remove any hope of change. Eventually, the general public grows numb and starts tuning out the horror stories, since there is no point in getting outraged over something you’re powerless to avoid. Knowing that, the political strategy is easy. Republicans can’t win the abortion argument on the merits. Instead, they flood the discourse with bad faith, lies, victim-blaming deflections, and conspiracy theories, wearing people out until despondency kicks in and folks quit fighting back entirely.

For many years now, Republicans and the gun industry have mastered the art of deflecting blame for mass shootings through one particular pivot: Blaming the victims because of their own deaths. This usually will come in the proper execution of the “good guy with a gun” argument, where Republicans declare that only if the victims of the mass shooting had returned fire, they might have already been saved. Victims may also be blamed for not locking doors or having military-style self-defense training to get ready for a vacation to school or the supermarket.Not merely are these arguments false,they’re morally reprehensible, because the implication is that ordinary people must have to live as though these were in a war zone. However they have already been successful at convincing most voters that nothing will ever change and mass shootings are simply a thing we need to live with now.

On the abortion front, the blame-the-victim strategy is manifesting as claims that doctors are somehow “misinterpreting” abortion bans should they fear legal consequences for terminating miscarrying or ectopic pregnancies.

In the National Review, Alexandra DeSanctiswas blunt in her victim-blaming, writing “it’s the fault of the doctors themselves, not the fault of the pro-life laws” if abortion bans prevent doctors from helping patients with failing pregnancies. John Seago of Texas To Life worked exactly the same false claim in a comment to the brand new York Times, blaming “a failure in communication of regulations, not regulations itself” for denials of miscarriage care under abortion bans.

This victim-blaming is, needless to say, also flat-out dishonest.

In the same interview with the brand new York Times, Seago finished up admitting the Texas law requires doctors to deny miscarriage care before fetus has fully died alone, even though doing this means forcing patients to endure sepsis that may cripple or kill them. And, asSlate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern carefully organized on Twitter, DeSanctis’s lengthy article can be a lot of nonsense, as “doctors who terminate a pregnancy due to a medical emergency may face lawsuits” where in fact the burden of proof is in it to show an abortion was essential to save a patient’s life.


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Obviously, the right-wing lawyers who’ll bring forward such lawsuits will deny that the abortions were necessary, and depend on the truth that most jurors aren’t physicians to confuse them on the reality.

All that must be done to obtain the general public toacceptmass death and destruction would be to remove any hope of change.

The anti-choice community can be rapidly developing its version of the “false flag” conspiracy theories that proliferate on the proper following a mass shooting. With shootings sites like Infowars push false stories a shooting is staged by the “deep state” to improve political support for gun control. In real-time, we are able to now visit a similar accusation rising through to the right in relation to abortion, as Stern documented.

Confronted with a steady blast of horror stories concerning the impact of abortion bans on patients suffering failed pregnancies, anti-abortion advocates have retreated right into a paranoid conspiracy theory that doctors want to “create viral stories making abortion bans look culpable.” pic.twitter.com/RapvDOqRVg

Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 26, 2022

The embrace of disinformation and noise to deflect attention from reality was likely inevitable. The present day GOP operates exclusively through mendacity. This iteration of the strategy really kicked off following a report of a 10-year-old rape victim having to visit for an abortion became national news. Right-wing media made a bet that, because of the low reporting rates for rape and medical ethics regulations preventing doctors from sharing private patient information, verifying this story will be difficult and used that as cover to falsely accuse the physician of lying concerning the story. Once the doctor’s account was vindicated by reports that was among those rare rape cases having an arrest, there is no apology or backing down. Instead, conservativespivoted to telling more lies concerning the doctor. Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United forever, in a genuine show of shamelessness, even denied that aborting a pregnancy in a 10-year-old can be an abortion.

Foster isn’t dumb. She knows that the procedure of aborting a pregnancy in a kid rape victim is equivalent to aborting a pregnancy in a 25-year-old who had consensual sex and that both are banned under Ohio’s stringent abortion law. She’s doing offers with the term “abortion,” invoking just how it connotes sexual stigma in order to avoid discussing the legal and medical definition of the term. But, needless to say, abortion means terminating a pregnancy. That’s what these laws ban, whether or not you’re a rape victim or you’re experiencing an incomplete miscarriage.

Foster’s glibness tells the complete story. She doesn’t value child rape victims. All she cares about is bullshitting her way through another short while, days, or months however long it requires for the public’s unsustainable outrage to fade into acquiescence. In the end, the maimed women and retraumatized rape victims certainly are a feature, not just a bug, of abortion bans. The central animating belief of the anti-choice movement is that women were placed on this Earth to submit and sacrifice, therefore women’s death and pain are essential.

Most Americans don’t agree, but regardless of. Republicans learned from gun violence that the general public can be designed to accept all levels of misery and death, as long as they’re drained of hope that things could ever be better.

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