Despite the Republicans’ election-season flub with female voters, the party’s radical fringe is as focused as ever on overturning Roe V. Wade. Michelle Goldberg on what this means for upcoming primaries.
Less than four months ago, a Republican task force commissioned by RNC chair Reince Priebus released a blunt report—colloquially known as the autopsy—urging the party to abandon its obsessive Kulturkampf. “When it comes to social issues, the Party must in fact and deed be inclusive and welcoming,” said the report. “If we are not, we will limit our ability to attract young people and others, including many women, who agree with us on some but not all issues.”
Since then, the House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortion at 20 weeks, with no exception for severe fetal anomalies—anomalies that are often not detectable before 20 weeks. There’s been an explosion of anti-abortion legislation in the states, including a ban on abortion as early as 6 weeks in North Dakota. Ohio passed a budget bill defunding Planned Parenthood and imposing stringent new requirements that could close a third of the state’s abortion clinics. Despite Wendy Davis’s valiant, star-making stand in Texas, Republicans are close to ramming through legislation that will shutter most abortion clinics in that state. Late Tuesday night, North Carolina Republicans added anti-abortion regulations to a bill meant to prohibit Sharia law. If passed, it will leave only one clinic standing. Meanwhile, the Weekly Standard reports that Mark Rubio will spearhead a Senate version of the House’s 20-week abortion ban.