Sexual Health

What the Media Missed within the Republican Platform Debacle

This piece first appeared in our weekly publication, The Fallout.

Republicans launched their celebration platform in preparation for subsequent week’s Republican Nationwide Conference in Milwaukee, and most media protection bought it dangerously unsuitable.

Pundits had been anticipating the platform to incorporate some sort of nationwide abortion ban—possible a 15-week bansince that had been the GOP place the celebration publicly coalesced round. What Republicans delivered as a substitute was a radical embrace of fetal “personhood,” a whole adoption of Trumpian double-speak on abortion and additional proof that overturning Roe v. Wade was a part of their bigger authoritarian playbook.

As an alternative of embracing some particular nationwide abortion ban, Republicans are set to undertake a platform at their conference that embraces “life” below the 14th Modification. This can be a very clear sign to states to proceed with complete abortion bans and their personal declarations that life begins at conception—like Alabama has through its state supreme court docket.

It additionally suggests congressional Republicans will transfer ahead once more with the Life at Conception Act, which might open the door for a personhood-curious Roberts Courtroom to usher in a nationwide abortion ban—one that features banning in vitro fertilization and most types of contraception through judicial fiat. The invoice had 131 co-sponsors final legislative go-round.

Simply because the platform doesn’t say “national abortion ban” doesn’t imply the platform doesn’t have a nationwide abortion ban baked into it.

You’d by no means know the way radical the Republican place on abortion is, although, if you happen to adopted any of the nationwide protection on the platform rollout. By their accounts, Republicans have moderated on the difficulty, possible given the large electoral backlash they’ve confronted since overturning Roe. That is journalistic malpractice. As is uncritically reporting that the GOP platform guarantees to help entry to contraception and IVF, regardless of a number of quick threats on the contrary. That features Challenge 2025’s plan to reanimate the Comstock Act to ban or limit all kinds of reproductive well being care, together with contraception.

The media getting the GOP platform radicalization on abortion unsuitable is a part of the bigger downside of the media getting all the radicalization of the conservative motion unsuitable. The Supreme Courtroom simply pulled off one of many best energy grabs and constitutional heists for conservatives in historical past, one so massive it threatens democracy itself. And it’s all attainable thanks largely to a media prepared to play alongside.

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