House GOP suddenly afraid to talk about abortion after Alabama ban backfires


After pushing a reckless 'infanticide' lie for months, House Republicans suddenly don't want to talk about abortion anymore.

Turns out passing an extreme abortion ban that would force rape and incest victims to give birth isn't so popular with the public.

Now, House Republicans — who for months have been pushing a dangerous lie that Democrats support infanticide (they don't) — are suddenly refusing to talk about the abortion issue at all, Politico reported Wednesday morning.

Politico said "dozens of Republican offices" refused to comment when reporters reached out about the Alabama law — which bans abortion from the moment of conception and creates criminal penalties for doctors who would provide abortion services.

Republican leaders have been split in their responses to the ban.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed the law went "further" than he would have liked and said he supports exceptions for abortion that include "rape, incest or life of the mother."

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise took the opposite tack, suggesting after the Alabama law passed that he would have voted for the bill.

Republican House members are left without a clear path to follow.

"It's really a state by state issue," Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) told Politico of the Alabama law. "I'm not ready to go there yet."

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) similarly declined to answer Politico's question on the Alabama law.

"I need to vote," she told Politico. "I haven't read up on all the provisions."

By going silent, House GOP members are ignoring talking points circulated by a House Republican caucus that includes nearly three-quarters of all Republicans in the chamber. The talking points pushed lawmakers to repeat the vile claim that the law forcing rape and incest victims to give birth is better for them "physically" and "psychologically" than getting an abortion.

It's also a change from House Republicans' previous strategy: Lying about Democrats' abortion position and claiming they support infanticide if they don't vote for a pointless messaging bill that would impose criminal penalties on doctors.

Perhaps Republicans are abandoning these strategies because they have become so absurd. Doctors don't deliver live babies and then kill them — that's a patently false right-wing lie. Even more, fetuses simply are not aborted up until the moment before they are born, which Trump has ridiculously said. That just does not happen. And since infanticide is already illegal, creating new laws around it doesn't serve any real purpose.

It's not surprising Republicans have gone silent on the abortion issue after the Alabama law passed. The Alabama law is wildly unpopular with the electorate. Not to mention, two-thirds of voters support upholding Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision granting women the right to an abortion which the GOP has been systematically trying to overturn for decades.

But rather than justify their unpopular abortion positions to the public, Republicans would rather avoid tough questions about them.


Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.