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Don’t let anti-choice extremists cover up their anti-democratic aims

White supremacy is at the heart of the anti-choice movement and the radical right’s efforts to maintain white patriarchal power.
Dina Montemarano January 29th, 2021
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NARAL Pro-Choice America released a six-figure digital ad campaign exposes the presence of anti-choice extremists at the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol .

As anti-choice, anti-freedom activists across the country participate in the “March For Life,” NARAL Pro-Choice America released ads in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. This six-figure digital ad campaign exposes the presence of anti-choice extremists at the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol and the deep connections between efforts to undermine democracy and the ongoing crusade to outlaw abortion, all to block social progress and maintain white patriarchal control. To view the ad, click here.

This year the organizers of March for Life, the annual anti-choice rally held in Washington, D.C., canceled their in-person rally citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and “heightened pressures” on law enforcement in the city.

In truth, the anti-choice movement’s affair with Trumpism just crashed and burned as it saw many in its ranks promote or participate in the rally preceding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In some instances, they even joined in on the attack itself. That attack prompted the same security measures which made their in-person gathering impossible. Now, they are desperately rushing to redeem themselves in the eyes of the American public—but we cannot let them. 

These activists hostile to abortion rights may try to spin themselves as agents of morality concerned about “life,” but the fact of the matter is, the anti-choice movement has been both an incubator and purveyor of unsavory, regressive, anti-democratic ideals for decades. For too long, they’ve been allowed to invoke a faux morality to whitewash their true aims to control and punish people and block progress. That must stop now. 

It’s critical to understand that white supremacy is at the heart of the anti-choice movement and the radical right’s efforts to maintain white patriarchal power. As documented in the book and podcast, The Lie That Binds, abortion was just the tip of the spear of a larger conservative political machinery designed to thwart social progress despite their unpopular policy agenda. 

Today, we are seeing the ramifications of these deep connections play out in real time. Over the last few years, we watched the anti-choice movement’s full-throated embrace of Trump. And when it became clear that Trump’s power was slipping from his grasp, they did not hesitate to boost the disinformation he spewed, parroting his falsehoods about election fraud, amplifying conspiracy theories, and promoting Trump’s efforts to dismantle democracy. 

The anti-choice movement’s embrace of Trump’s disinformation and the violence at the Capitol is no surprise. After all, they wrote the playbook on disinformation and the most extreme actors in their movement have long trafficked in violence—including murder, arson, and bombings targeting those who provide abortion care. 

And even now, after the March for Life’s in-person rally was canceled, they’re still planning to turn up the dial on their in-person harassment of doctors who provide abortion care and those seeking care by showing up outside clinics next week. Some anti-choice groups have even encouraged their supporters to “show up at abortion facilities and fight.”

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Yes, there’s no question that the right to abortion is on the line. Though the Biden-Harris administration is already working to undo the damage the Trump administration waged on our fundamental rights, reproductive freedom remains in peril. 

Trump and Republicans in the U.S. Senate spent much of the last four years stacking the federal judiciary with a staggering number of judges—and those judges are unmistakably likely to be hostile to our fundamental rights. And just before Election Day, Senate Republicans dismissed the will of the American people and rammed through Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, solidifying an anti-choice supermajority that directly threatens the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

Even as we face a devastating and deadly pandemic, anti-choice state lawmakers are again revving up their engines to pass bills that directly challenge Roe. In just the last week alone, draconian bans on abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant were introduced or advanced in South Carolina and Arizona. And that’s after 31 states introduced, passed, or signed into law bans on abortion in 2019 and state after state pounced on the pandemic to try to roll back abortion access in 2020.

The anti-choice, anti-freedom movement won’t let up in their crusade and the threats posed by the anti-choice movement do not end there.

As evidenced by their participation in the Jan. 6 attack and unrepentant embrace and dissemination of Trump’s blatant lies, it’s clear that the anti-choice movement has no qualms about working to unravel our democracy at every turn. If left unchecked, they’ll continue their efforts to suppress the vote, push through their unpopular agenda at all costs, and spread disinformation that leads to dangerous public health policy.

They will stop at nothing to advance their agenda, and we cannot afford to let them succeed.

That means we can’t let up either. We know that the majority, the 77% of Americans who support Roe and the legal right to abortion, is on our side. Now is the moment to take bold action. We must shine a light on the anti-choice movement’s efforts to undermine our democracy and hold our elected leaders to account. 

If we don't seize on this moment to stop them, history will surely repeat itself.


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