This morning I was pleased to see The New York Times finally paying attention to the GOP's vigorous anti-abortion efforts -- a story on the subject is the lead item in today's print paper. But the Times story gets cause and effect all wrong:
After Republicans lost the presidential election and seats in both the House and the Senate last year, many in the party offered a stern admonishment: If we want to broaden our appeal, steer clear of divisive social and cultural issues.Seriously? The Times thinks this is because of Gosnell? Yup -- pay no attention to what's been going on in GOP-run states since the teabagger wave election of 2010. That's just an afterthought for the Times:
Yet after the high-profile murder trial of an abortion doctor in Philadelphia this spring, many Republicans in Washington and in state capitals across the country seem eager to reopen the emotional fight over a woman's right to end a pregnancy....
Much of the movement in recent weeks can be linked to the outcry over the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician who was convicted last month of first-degree murder for cutting the spines of babies after botched abortions.You may have seen the chart:
His case, coming on top of successful efforts to curtail reproductive rights in several states over the last three years, has reinvigorated the anti-abortion movement to a degree not seen in years, advocates on both sides of the issue said.
Twenty-five paragraphs in, the Times story quotes some numbers from recent history, including the numbers from that chart:
... laws that banned abortions at or near 22 weeks have been enacted in 11 states since 2010....Gosh -- and what happened electorally in 2010?
In 2011, 92 laws limiting the procedure went into effect. The previous record had been fewer than 40. Last year there were 43, according to Guttmacher.It should be obvious what's going on: the success of the teabaggers in 2010 immediately led to a reinvigorated anti-abortion push, although Republicans dialed it down temporarily during a presidential election year. But that was a strategic pause. What's happening in 2013 is a continuation of what happened in 2011.
But no -- much easier to shift the blame to Gosnell. It's all the fault of an abortion practitioner, and thus it's all the fault of people who support abortion rights. We asked for it.