Friday, August 05, 2022


Today The New York Times has a story about Republicans who are desperately trying to recalibrate their positions on abortion in an election year, in response to widespread voter anger about the Dobbs ruling and state bans. The story mentions the likely Republican candidates for governor and lieutenant governor of Minnesota.
In Minnesota, Scott Jensen, a family physician who said in March that he would “try to ban abortion” as governor, said in a video released before [Tuesday's] Kansas vote that he does support some exceptions: “If I’ve been unclear previously, I want to be clear now.”
I wouldn't say he was unclear. Here was Jensen in May, in a different interview:

Now he says he supports rape and incest exceptions, as well as exceptions when "the pregnant woman's ... mental and physical health is in danger or jeopardized."

The Times notes that the incumbent governor, Democrat Tim Walz, who is pro-choice and is running for reelection, doesn't trust Jensen or his running mate on this:
Mr. Walz said he would stay on offense, and not accept any softening of the Republican line.

“I take them at their first word,” he said of Dr. Jensen and his running mate, Matt Birk, a former N.F.L. player and anti-abortion rights advocate. “If they get the opportunity they will criminalize this while we’re trying to protect it. So it’s become a central theme, obviously, I think that flip on their part was in response to that.”
About that running mate: Matt Birk, who played for the Baltimore Ravens when they won the Super Bowl in 2013, refused to accompany his teammates to the Obama White House after the victory because the president supported Planned Parenthood. Also, Birk boasts that the crisis pregnancy center where his wife used to volunteer conducted Catholic Masses facing a Planned Parenthood facility across the street -- until the Planned Parenthood facility relocated.

And on the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, Birk delivered a speech at an anti-abortion convention in which he said some choice things:
Birk told the audience: “It’s not over. Our culture loudly but also stealthily, promotes abortion. Telling women they should look a certain way, have careers, all these things.” ...
Yes -- how terrible it is that women have careers.
“Rape is obviously a horrible thing,” Birk said. “But an abortion is not going to heal the wounds of that. Two wrongs, it’s not going to make it right.... One of the arguments that I saw probably 20 times online today was about rape. And you know, obviously, they always want to go to the rape card.” ...

“Shortly after we won the Super Bowl—did I mention I won the Super Bowl?... They said, well, abortion’s legal. And it was kind of an easy out for a lot of people.... A lot of things have been legal before that we’ve changed, right. We always hear about, I’m sure you’ve heard—I know I’m talking to a bunch of pro-life warriors here—you know slavery used to be legal, right. Which is an interesting comparison to make, because really the way that the other side treats an unborn child is basically that the unborn child is the property of the mother. Other laws, you know, women used to not be able to vote in our country. Now we let ’em drive. I mean, I have three teenage daughters that drive, I don’t know if that’s a good law or not. Just kidding. Sorry, kidding, kidding to all the women out there. And don’t tell my wife I used that joke, she hates that joke.”

These are the people who are running for office in the GOP. The party can't be allowed to walk this back.

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